Towards the end of 2014 we often talked about craving some change. We thought about another extended holiday, talked about moving cities and even considered moving back to New Zealand. All of those ideas will appear in some form in our future, but what actually happened in 2015 was that our employment situations shifted. Change is as good as a holiday, they say, and new jobs and business opportunities provided a new perspective. In this way, 2015 was a satisfying year.
Blogging-wise it was a little patchy. A busy life provides lots of material for blogging, but little time in which to write posts. Still, there were some stand-out moments. With regard to food, the blog’s raison d’être, the most popular post was Best Roast Chicken, generating the most website hits (by far) that I have ever had in one day (I blame the golden crispy skin in one of the photos!). However, my personal favourite was A taste of home (Fish & Fennel Pie) for the fishing photographs as much as for the recipe.
Another key theme of the blog is the ways that we create or make a home. The post My home is green and gold was an opportunity to reflect on the different landscapes and colours of my two homes, Australia and New Zealand. The post was extremely cathartic to write, and seemed to hit a nerve for ex-pat readers, New Zealanders and otherwise.
As for 2014, travel was a bit light. My post Road Trip was therefore an attempt to relive a past holiday and re-explore a favourite idea – the liminal nature of the journey. Photographically, the post Small things: Flowers & Fur was was the most satisfying to produce, and a good reminder to notice the minutiae of every day life.
My year in review posts always follow the convention of selecting one photograph to represent each month, using a photograph that was taken during that month. Some months have ample material from which to choose; others have very little and it’s harder to find something decent. Nonetheless, I enjoy the discipline of attempting to sum up an entire year in just 12 images – it’s my once-per-year journal entry. Thank you for reading Chez Moi in 2015 and best wishes for the year ahead!
January: I visited Cairns (in Far North Queensland) three times in 2015, all for work. This photo was taken on the first trip, from the window of the plane as we descended. Over the course of four days April and I flew from Cairns to Townsville then drove to Airlie Beach, MacKay and finally to Rockhampton. It was blisteringly hot, but a great way to see some more of this beautiful state.
February: February was a tough month as my lovely grandmother died. Despite the sadness, it was a privilege to help care for her during her final days, back in New Zealand. This photo was taken at Lamington National Park on the weekend I returned to Brisbane. The cool air of the deep green rainforest was just what I needed.
March: I love how the Albert St Uniting Church looks miniaturised from this angle. This photo was taken from the top of the Clock Tower at City Hall, which is accessed via the Museum of Brisbane – the best little free museum you’ll ever go to. On this day we were there for the Costumes from the Golden Age of Hollywood exhibition.
April: We travelled back to New Zealand for a week during late March and early April. Thanks to Dad, we squeezed in an early morning fishing trip on Doubtless Bay. It was a pristine day, and as the sun came up the fish were in a frenzy to eat our bait. Exciting fishing!
May: May was for celebrating the birthday of our dear friend Greg with pavlova in New Farm Park. It was also the month that I started saying goodbye to friends and colleagues in preparation for starting my new job. Four delicious cakes helped me show my appreciation for them.
June: In early June we had a lovely weekend at Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast, a last hurrah before I started my new job. We climbed Mt Coolum, had a massage in Noosa and enjoyed long walks on the beautiful beach. A perfect weekend getaway before knuckling down to the task of remembering all those new names.
July: I must have been busy in July, because the only photos I have are of Chocolate & Cardamom Muesli Bars. There was an unexpected trip to Perth in July, but beyond that, maybe we were still recovering from the epic party we threw in June to celebrate Colin’s 40th birthday? Quite possibly.
August: One morning in August I woke up to find the apartment flooded with golden light. Winter in Brisbane is a beautiful thing indeed. Other clues to August events lie in my calendar and photo library – new cafe discoveries, yoga with friends, and a winter sniffle. Not pictured: the flatmate experiment that went spectacularly wrong.
September: And here it is, the most popular food post of the year – Best Roast Chicken – in which a process of dry-brining leads to crispy skin and succulent meat nirvana. Besides roasting chickens, in September we also enjoyed a weekend away at the Glasshouse Mountains and my work activities took a smelly turn at the local rubbish tip.
October: October was a cultured month, with a delightful visit to the heritage-listed St Isidore’s for lunch with my book club group, and a roam through some of Brisbane’s most iconic buildings courtesy of Brisbane Open House. This photo was taken inside the Old Windmill in Spring Hill, which has a bloody history indeed.
November: November swooped towards year’s end at an alarming rate. Even so, being in the kitchen is one of my ways to relax and unwind and I found time to make many things, including some recipes I’m still working on. These Tahini Cookies are an old favourite and they never fail to please.
December: The last month of the year always feels so short. December was busy with end-of-year celebrations, baking homemade gifts, shopping and wrapping presents. Christmas was extra special in 2015 because we were at home for the first Christmas in four years. Mum always picks flowers for our room whenever we make it home, and this time they seemed especially lovely.