It’s unsettling to come back to normality, when you’ve been galavanting around Europe for eight weeks having some of the best culinary experiences of your life. It’s unsettling to be back at work, sitting at a desk — or multiple desks (the wise ones at Fairfax have decided hot desking is the name of the game so we’ve become a workforce of wandering refugees, — forever without a home). It’s unsettling to look at your out-of-date blog and question if it’s worth continuing or throwing in the tea towel. The post-holiday plan is not to get bogged down with too much to do — to come up and smell the roses from time to time, which the wise one in our household points out i don’t do often enough. What to do? Life is a juggle.
The thing is, i have a feast of material to write about following my gastronomic adventures of late. And while some of it will make its way into the pages of The Australian Financial Review’s travel and lifestyle publications, and the AFR website that i co-manage, some of it would be equally well placed on my blog.
I say i’ve had some of the best gastronomic adventures of my life: that’s a big call, right? But it’s not all about eating at high-end restaurants (though, admittedly, i forced myself to do some of that!) Those adventures range from cooking at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, and spending a day (shopping, eating and discussing growing older) with Elena Arzak — of Arzak restaurant in San Sebastian — who was named best female chef in the world in 2012, to sharing paella with my best friend in Barcelona (and reminiscing about teenage days and flames), and barbecuing for my family in the lush grounds of a villa in southern Spain and later cooking side-by-side with my brother at an idyllic vineyard cottage in Gascony, southern France. Simple pleasures, many of them. Who wouldn’t want to write about that?
So here goes. I’m getting back on the blogging bandwagon, with a fading European tan and a bit of a plan: to write what i want, when i want, and not take it — and life — too seriously. If i go off-grid for a while, i’m just busy with other things, or pausing for breath.
I might just be smelling the roses. But i will be back.