Family, friends and a New Year.

Over the last few days we have noticed how many things we have around us, remind us of friends and family, and of places we have visited. 

We start the day off with breakfast of toast, made on the toaster bought by Rachael for us when we were in France, with the homemade bread from the recipe that sister Hilary gave me, which is made in the loaf tins that were Mums (they could even have been Grandma’s).   On our toast we have the honey from Paul’s bee hives, which is spread using silver cutlery that we were given as a wedding present from Mum & Dad.  Or maybe we have a boiled egg (hopefully one of Lex & Jocelyn’s delicious free range eggs) eaten out of the egg cup holders we purchased in Verdun whilst canal boating in France with Roger & Ruth.

Lunch is usually a simple affair that usually incorporate cheese and chutney.  We are currently eating the chutney that sister Sue gave us as well as some that sister-in-law Ann made.    On to dinner where we may have a curry made to the recipe gleaned from sister-in-law Leslie, incorporating the fresh lime leaves and chillies picked from brother Steve’s garden, also using the fresh spices that Steve gave us.  Dinner may be something simple cooked on the BBQ (purchased on a mammoth shopping expedition with very patient nieces Jenna & Rebekka).  The BBQ has it own table, thanks to friends Bill & Estelle. Or maybe we have risotto cooked in the Le Creuset pan that I bought on a shopping expedition with Jacky & Edwina.  There may be a sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese we brought back from Parma or a splash of Balsamic from Modena.   If Roy is very lucky, there may be some homemade baking, whipped up in my trusty 1950’s Kenwood mixer that brother Mike has restored and baked on the oven tray carefully cut down to fit my oven from Mum & Dad.  Or it may be something made from a recipe given to me from James & James -  the No Knead Pizza dough is a particular favourite. And of course everything is cut utilising one of the knives that Steve gave us, or my very special knife I purchased at Dehellerin’s in Paris! And if oysters are on the menu, they will of course be opened using the special oyster knife Roy purchased in Royanne.

The van is parked up, the hydraullic levellers set down and resting on the blocks (with ropes attached for easy retrieval) made by brother John whilst we were visiting him in Whakatane.

Then there are all the other things that surround us; the quilt made by Ann, the spice rack made by Mike, the coffee cup given to me by Altrusa,  jams and pickles made by me from recipes given to me by friends and family, hazelnuts from Don & Helen, pictures drawn by grandchildren……and much, much more.  

There are of course many, many reminders of our children Simon, Jason, Antony & Alexandra! Including the movies and programmes that we watch courtesy of Ants. And Alex, we are using the Pukeko tile that you gave us on your last visit home! We have put up the digital photo frame Ants gave us for Xmas and the photos roll around reminding us of travels, people, places and events. This year we will be using the calendar Alex made us for Xmas with the photos of our trip around Italy together.

All in all, friends and family are never far away, we wish you all a wonderful New Year with lots of love, friendship and happiness.

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2 Responses to “Family, friends and a New Year.”

  1. James G Says:

    What a wonderful post! Happy New Year to you both, and may 2012 see you put many happy miles (oops, kilometers, I mean kilometres) on your van!

  2. alex Says:

    This brought a little tear to my eye. Glad that you have us all with you all the time! Nice to see photos of the kids and you enjoying xmas together. Very impressed by the star wars lego!
    And I noticed the chairs Grandma and Grandpop were sitting on in the photo, are they from the van? Gosh you two really know how to ‘slum it’ in a campervan huh!!!
    Hopefully see you sometime this year!
    xoxox

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