Between the Years

                                                                                               Bangkok, December 2013
The time between 26th and 31st December we call the time "between the years". These few days were always very special to me. It is actually when I enjoy Christmas the most, although it is basically over. The spirit is still there but without the "stress". These are relaxing days before the big countdown for a whole new year. I used to reflect the old year, month by month. There was time to read, time to write, and time to play.  
Now, my little family lives in Asia where shops are open 12+ hours every single day of the year. There is no real difference between workdays and holidays. Time never stands still. And there is not even much change between seasons. Although this year, we are enjoying some chilly days! The Holidays in Southeast Asia are so much nicer when temperatures drop below 25 degrees!
Before the time between the years, I cooked dinner for Christmas Eve and lunch for Christmas Day. We are having my husband's parents visiting from Italy, and friends joined on Christmas Day. It is nice to have the house decorated, to cook special dishes, to bake cookies, to built a gingerbread house, to wrap gifts, to light candles, to sip Champagne and to have the house filled with lovely people (accompanied by a fresh "winter" breeze)! 
We also had scheduled an operation for our son to happen during the holidays in order to have lots of time for him to recover before school starts again in January. Due to a little flu (that he caught on the last day of school during swimming lesson - I told you it is chilly outside!) the op was re-scheduled to Boxing Day (26th). Don't worry, all went OK and he is out today. The days and evenings in hospital were quiet (most of the time) - like the days between the years should be - when time seems to stand still. 
So I found myself with a book (Proust), a magazine (Elle Decor) and an ipad on the visitor's sofa. When the Internet was working, I visited all the pretty blogs on my blogroll. Some design bloggers had posted the most beautiful Christmas decoration of their homes, mantels and dining tables. But I have not seen any decorated chandelier. That's why I thought I can post something new: my Christmas ornaments up in the air (photo above). For me it is still Christmas (at least until 6th January). Some people even celebrate Christmas in January. And here in Bangkok the decoration will be out even longer.
When we came home today - like it should be between the years - I started to study the manual of my Christmas gift. I got a new camera! I was looking for a more handy camera for my purse (I cannot always carry my EOS around). But I had done little research so far. And since we went on a nice holiday in October, we said that's our Christmas gift. Therefore, I was quiet surprised when I opened a present for me, and saw, my husband had made a decision (fast as always). With this camera, he said, we can "share" lenses... Now, don't want to think about what that means. I just tried the new toy as soon as the battery was charged. - And I love it!! - It is what I need: self-explaining, easy to handle, from full auto to full manual. Light, compact and surprising quality. If I would have known that my first test shots turn out so well, I would have done better staging (photo above)!
Although the next photo (below) does not look that appealing ...
... dinner time was up, and the first occasion to prepare a risotto al tartufo! Angelo had gotten us a white truffle from Piedmont (photo above) which was seducing me with it's amazing smell whenever I opened the fridge these days. (I will post the recipe later.)
We are still in-between the years. And maybe it is time for some New Year Resolutions. I have not done this in a long time. As I really enjoy "the time between the years", I should try to find some "in-between time" to embrace on other occasions. Some people do meditation, or yoga. Every night, bedtime can be a quiet time in between the days - to reflect what has been and what might come. Something that I used to do, but simply forgot. Since my son and I enjoy some quiet time at bedtime, reading and talking, already, I want to start to include reflections on the day. For him to learn, for me to remember. 
 Wishing you all a peaceful time between the Years!