The year that has just ended began, for me, in the worst possible way, with the loss of my darling Simi on January 8th. In the days and weeks that followed, there were several points when I thought I was going to go as well and of course, these days coming up to the anniversary of her death are also difficult.
But in February my Bertie-Pierrine, whom I love not as a substitute but in her own right, bounded into my life and we saved each other:
Other highlights of the year were visiting my new-found sister in Norwich, seeing Charles Aznavour live in concert in London and revisiting Cardiff, all of which I've written about here .
|Elm Hill, Norwich, UK|
It was also the year which marked the tenth anniversary of my move to Sicily and you can read about that here.
I was surprised, checking my blog stats tonight, to find that my most read blog post of 2015 was this Sabato Musicale - I must have a lot of readers who are Annalisa fans and very welcome they are! The second most read post was the one I have linked to above about Simi's death.
My recipe of the year. among those I've created myself, is my Brit-Indian-Sicilian Shepherd's Pie:
I don't have a gadget of the year but I do have new [to me] uses for two old ones! Both Mary Berry and Nigella suggest peeling ginger with a teaspoon in their latest books and I would like to thank them. It seems so obvious but I had never thought of it. Nigella recommends a microplane grater for grating citrus zest into dishes. I've had one for years but never realised how easy that would be!
My book of the year in English is The Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernières and my book of the year in Italian is Giuseppino by Joe Bastianich.
Instead of the Italian logic prize this time, I am awarding an Italian scandal of scandals prize and it goes to the TV advert that horrified the nation in January because - are you ready? - it showed a MasterChef winner adding a stock cube to her caponata! I am pleased to be able to report that this ability to be more scandalised by the use of stock cubes than by all the worst excesses of Italian politicians is alive and well, as a hapless would-be MasterChef Italia 5 contestant found out a week or so ago. "Ci hai messo del dado?"- "You put a stock cube in?!" exclaimed a horrified Joe Bastianich and the ice-cold eyes of Chef Carlo Cracco turned icier than ever.
It was yet another sad year for migrants and tragedies have continued to happen, not only in the Mediterranean but on the land routes too. Italy's European partners continue to fail her and, consequently, all who are in need of a safe haven. You can find links to all my migration posts here.
My hopes for 2016 are a safe corridor for migrants and an end to migration tragedies. As always, I hope for peace and health for those I love and for all of you, wherever you are.