Happy (belated) new year!

posted on: Monday, 13 January 2014

Setting up the new desk to entice me back to work

Basil, as depicted by my friend and fab artist, Catherine Insch

Me and the real Basil not looking that thrilled to be photographed

Hello for the first time in 2014! I've been on hiatus for the last month, watching tennis, going to the beach and dog-sitting Basil, my best friend's dog. But, it's time to be lured back into the real world. And  for me that includes making my now dusty work desk all pretty to get me back to my beloved Food*Style and coming up with a few New Year's Resolutions.

I've settled on two. One is to 'get there by my own steam' which has seen me dust off my vintage bike (from my pals at Bicycle Revolution in Brisbane who put them together using recycled parts). I want to see if I can walk, ride or catch public transport wherever I can. Why? I read this amazing article in the Guardian about how cycle paths in Bogota, a city with a reputation for kidnapping and drugs, contributed to a huge change in people's wellbeing and how they related to each other. It definitely inspired me to re-think how I choose to travel.

My second resolution is to 'eat the Viet way'. This doesn't actually mean eating Vietnamese food all the time! Though that sounds quite awesome. Rather, I'm thinking about what I observed while living in Hanoi. For example, regarding meat: it adds flavour to the meal, but it definitely isn't the meal. And sweets: most meals are finished with a plate of in-season fruit and that's about it. I'll never forget offering my Vietnamese colleagues Caramello Koala chocolate. Almost everyone recoiled, and the few who humoured me took the tiniest bites, very reluctantly, and couldn't get halfway through it. It has definitely made me think more about what I consider to be normal.

Hope you've got some big plans for the year! Would love to hear any resolutions! xx

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