Recently I heard a young girl speak on the eve of graduating school and she quoted these words to her fellow classmates:"Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life" These words are apparently attributed to Confucius, a Chinese philospher (who in the words of our older son Tom, was a smart Chinese guy who would have made a lot of royalties from fortune cookies if he were still alive today!). Now I don't want to sound old and cynical but in my opinion, Confucius either never did what he loved or he had a bunch of servants doing the hard work for him!
After a couple months of travelling doing Live cooking shows far and wide, I am feeling a greater connection with the words of Bukowski than Confucius. In fact the words of Gary Player, a South African pro-golfer seem even more apt. After Player spent his career playing golf, the game he loved and was widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of golf, he said this:
"The harder you work the luckier you get!"
The lucky part for me has been visiting so many lovely places and meeting some really wonderful people. I've never packed and unpacked a bag so many times in such a short period as I have in the last couple of months and thats left me fully convinced that I don't want to be a flight attendant ever!
In between the cooking and travelling we did have a handful of days to enjoy the moments: a late lunch of sourdough pizza at a favourite cafe Berry Sourdough Cafe on our way to an event in Nowra, and a late night tapas at a new eatery in town The Latin Loafer, after an event in Port Macquarie. Then there was a delightful morning picking strawberries in Hahndorf, South Australia at Beerenberg Farm, and an early morning visit to Willunga farmers market where we caught up with the colourful stall-holder John. A lazy late afternoon swim at Port Willunga on the Fleurieu Peninsula as the sun sunk low, was followed by a dinner of fish and chips by the sea. Then my second visit to New Zealand, a trip to the Bay of Plenty on the North Island and the thrill of climbing the summit track at Mount Maunganui (or Mount M as I affectionately named it). It was here I also saw my dream vintage caravan and spotted the freshest green asparagus at the Tauranga farmers market.
Back on the home front (in between trips) we had an extra room built to give me a dedicated work space, this meant I could finally relocate my writing and recipe testing to somewhere other than the cluttered kitchen table. A place where I can work and then joyfully leave my mess where it lays at the end of each day. Remarkably my vegetable garden still managed to thrive on neglect while I was elsewhere and we harvested a lovely collection of onions, leeks and garlic and a few handfuls of self seeded tomatoes (that relished those hot days we experienced in November). Mr G who has been my reliable roadie all year, finished the year strong and was rewarded with a record size flathead, line caught from his boat on a camping trip on the shores of Lake Macquarie last weekend.
Now there is some days to breathe, the holiday season is upon us, the Christmas tree is up and the carols are playing. I baked my first of many batches of Christmas fruit mince tarts today, it is so simple to make your own. It certainly has been a deliciously full year, working hard at doing what I love. Happiest Christmas x j