Saturday, February 9, 2013

another new year. last night we celebrated chinese new year in our own small way. it's been our third away from my family and next year I hope to go home for the feast, it's been too long. I would also like to receive a red packet from my younger brother who is married now and according to tradition needs to give me some lucky money.

we started the night by the river, which was very busy with families having fish & chip picnic dinners and a group of teenage boys who sat neatly in a row on the beach, an esky shared between them. we were there to remember my late grandparents, or ama and agoong as I knew them. they lived in indonesia and their ashes were scattered out to sea last year, together. and so as a family tradition, we leave some flowers in the water for them when we can, usually on the anniversaries of their passing and on occasions like chinese new year. I brought these frilly flowers from home and found a quiet spot to leave them. it's only the second time I've done it, the first time was surprisingly confronting and I put it off all day until it was getting dark. it was winter then, and once I'd made it down to the river I found it hard to leave. I wanted to watch the flowers float away until I couldn't see them anymore and I wanted to make sure no flowers got stuck along the way.

I haven't cooked for chinese new year since my first year in wagga wagga, when I thought it would be a great idea to cook a feast for 30 new friends. that year I spent a whole sunday making dumplings by hand and though the party was fun, it was so daunting that I've never contemplating doing it again. last night our favourite chinese restaurant was packed, not because of chinese new year but because of a few birthdays and the region-wide sports carnival that was happening down the street. we took the last free table, tucked away in the corner. I've never had fried ice cream before and we took a gamble and shared one last night, in the name of new year's festivities. it was sweet and creamy and crunchy but I don't think I'll be doing that again anytime soon! we went home and watched the ai wei wei documentary, which we were excited to discover at our local library.

and then it was sunday.

we've cooked a lot this weekend and stayed close to home. tony smoked some salmon and eggplant and I had a go at making bread again. some sad news we received from home on saturday came to dominate the weekend, in its own quiet way. it made me feel like I had a quiet week at work last week for a reason. we're sticking together, having small chats when we can and hoping for the best.

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