Friday, December 30, 2011

Wrapping Up 2011

2011 has been a year of strenuous hard work for me. When not at the office, I was either:
  • editing
  • writing
  • researching
  • learning about marketing & publishing strategies and book cover design
  • blasting my 300 or so followers with annoying Tweets
  • pushing myself through an endless physical workout
What can I say, even at 36, I remain a workaholic. Nothing has changed. Luckily for me, I do enjoy my work. And I love heading to the gym or walking along Brisbane's river to clear my mind. So these mental extremes are balanced by physical extremes and I stay sane.

Yet like a true introvert, the best moments of 2011, were those moments I spent in my head completely removed from surroundings, transported through fantastic visions into a spiraling world of speculations and ideas often sprinkled with a good dose of my glorious imagination. And I must add, what would introverts be without this age's social media and intranet? Surfing the net was my die hard habit of 2011. One I'm unlikely to desist from for all the wonderful learning experiences it affords me. 

There were other highlights in 2011 so I'll go through them, with gratefulness and joy. Because you have to be grateful in life.  And you know what, no matter what the advocates of modesty would tell us, you have to be able to boast about what you love. How else do you reckon with this thing called Happiness? How else do you invite IT to stay?

My Photo Shoots
Dressing up and posing for the camera. I love the creative process of conjuring up shots, costumes and poses. Vanity for the sake of Art. Not too bad for someone who spent most of her teenage years in daggy tracksuit pants and Tshirts. Yet not too professional so I can still recognise myself. Phew...

Romantic Escapade
On a warm Winter's night, I was treated to a romantic weekend at the plush Emporium Hotel.  The bed was sprinkled with red petals, there were candles everywhere and we had dinner and breakfast at Tartufo Restaurant.  Enjoying time with my lover and best friend all through the year was a highlight. I know that those glamorous touches are just the icing on the cake and that every day spent at home holding him is a welcome escape for me.

Athens and Cape Sounion
Enjoying the cool autumn nights in Athens during our Greek holiday...Eating spicy charred meats in the old Turkish suburb of Plaka...Wandering into the ancient marbled world of the Acropolis among Gods and Goddesses and exploring the old ruins of the Agora all the way to up to the hills that overlook the entire city. Worshipping at Poseidon's Temple at Cape Sounion...Pretending to be a nymph...Going nuts with my Hipstamatic app. The term Hedonism comes rightly from Greece.

In Milos, I got lost along pristine Greek beaches and laid back coastal villages. I absorbed the Mediterranean Sun, Greek Food, more Greek food and just the peaceful non touristy world. Bottom right, you can see a sight that touched my heart, an old couple holding hands and venturing out into the late afternoon after the sun's rays had waned in the old town of Plaka. 

In Santorini, I was touched with overwhelming beauty and calm while staying at Iliovasilema Suites in the charming cliff edge village of Imerovigli. Having breakfast every morning while gazing at the caldera from our private balcony was one of the most peaceful and rewardingly silent experience of the year. Walking along the coastal path from the town of Fira all the way to the marble streets of Oia to watch the sunset was an experience I will never forget. 

Wandering through Paros and its markets. Stuffing myself with Galaktoboureko pastry for breakfast. Losing myself in the labyrinth that is Parikia's narrow white streets. It was early in the morning and the streets were near deserted. The last time I got this lost was in Toledo's Old Town in 1999. And here I was... I ended up having to stalk a gorgeous blonde local and ask her in which direction I could find the sea. Just my luck, she spoke zero English. But she began to make swimming arm motions and confirmed for me with the word "Thalassa". And then I remembered Grade 8 Greek history and the word Thalassa suddenly made a lot of sense. I was saved!

This year I spent my birthday on Mykonos island. I don't believe I have ever been that spoiled. One of the highlights was admiring the colorful stacked houses on the water's edge, otherwise known as Little Venice.  I also loved frolicking in the crystal clear blue waters and admiring the views at Psarou Beach. 

My Friend's Wedding
I have known my friend Karen for 12+ years now and it was a joy and an honor to attend her wedding late in the year. It brought tears to my eyes. Her parents were so nice to both me and Shane. While we did not know anyone else at the wedding, we felt very welcomed.

My Long Walks in Brisbane
When I take walks along the Brisbane river, to exercise, calm my thoughts, listen to music on my Iphone or just dream, I often come across these beautiful views. They have been my companion for almost two years now. I am grateful.

Gorgeous Food, Sex, Cuddles, Good books, Good films, friends who make me laugh and touch my heart. 

I want more of all this next year. Bring on 2012!