Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A new year, orchid hunting and litchis

This past year past in a blink of an eye.  It was one of great excitement and looking back, I could never have anticipated everything that happened to me and the family.  But that is the joy of life is it not?  We can never control everything that happens to us and yet we always end up a little stronger, a little wiser and a little surprised at the journey that is life.

We are still on holiday for a few more precious days.  Nothing beats a December holiday - sunshine and warm days around the pool, eating fresh fruit and ice-cream!  Pure bliss!  And of course orchid hunting trips to beautiful places.  

Friends invited us to dinner and afterwards we waited for the Masoyi fireworks spectacular to ring in the New Year last night.  The villagers of this remote area close to Hazyview has a tradition of purchasing some fireworks every month of the year.  Our friends have a veranda overlooking the village and we had ourselves the best seats in the house to enjoy it.  It really is something special.

And today we followed a little tradition of our own and went for our New Year's day picnic looking for orchids.  Nothing beats a little picnic under the trees near a little stream, surrounded by beautiful flowers and butterflies.  

And of course we took lots of litchis.  

Our trees are just dripping litchis at the moment.  We collect them by the bags full and eat them in a shady spot in the garden.  We canned some too for the winter months when we crave a little taste of summer.  Canning is a family activity where we all come together to peel, cut and chat.  It reminds me of growing up and helping my mom and grandmothers with the jam or preserves.  And now my children help too.

I made a little salad with litchis too.  Very simple, with butter beans, litchis and a dressing of mint, chilly, fish sauce, lime and sugar.  Delicious.

Best wishes for 2012!  Here's to the journey that is life and all the surprises installed for us around the corner.