After Christmas, we packaged up the remains of the rib roast with horseradish cream, the mashed potato casserole, the creamed kale; stuck the house keys and car keys in someone else’s hand (along with instructions for chicken and duck care and keeping); and got on a plane.
On New Year’s Eve, we stepped off a train with a cheering crowd of people ten minutes til midnight, got swept along to the base of the Eiffel Tower and then I pulled the bottle of bubbly I’d been carrying around all night out of my purse. I almost got hit in the eye with the cork because, um, I’d been carrying it around all night in my purse. Everything was sparkly, there were boats sounding horns in the Seine, I drank champagne with Ben, and then I danced with a bunch of Egyptians having a drum circle at 12:06 on New Year’s Day. I ended up walking shoeless in the streets by the end of the night, stockings in shreds, but that’s another story.
And then it seemed like vacation should be over, but we were on to London, visiting our wonderful friend (hi, Dai!), and enjoying another city that we both know, but have never been to together. It’s nice to avoid tick-box sightseeing and instead to just walk around and eat and drink and see, and that’s what we did. So I suppose I should be coming home with some Franco- or Anglo-inspired recipe for a crêpe complete or bubble and squeak, but instead, all I wanted to cook was spaghetti and meatballs, and I did, and it was great.
2014 looms with possible changes ahead. Now is the part where I should write something about how travelling for a few weeks gave me some needed distance from those decisions, a different perspective, a new lens through which to view my life. And it didn’t, really. My smart little sister says that people are wrong when they talk about how you need to be brave to get out of your comfort zone, travel, and see things. The travel and perspective–the escapism, really–are a privilege. The real courage is needed at home, where the ordinary things don’t change unless you work to make them so, where you face old demons and new challenges, and where you can’t just get on a plane to the next destination.
I over-plan, over-analyze, over-resolve, so no resolutions for me this year. I’m settling in on the home front, ready to work for what comes next. Happy (belated) 2014.