Happy New Year to you all.
How was your festive season?
Mine was totally different from any other years. It was the first time to spend both Christmas and New Year without family in my life (as you might know already, New Year is the most important holiday for Japanese – family time, just like Christmas in Australia. Read here). While my husband crossed the state border to see his family, I decided not to. The state borders keep opening and closing under this unstable COVID situation, and I just could not risk myself not to be able to come back without 14 days quarantine.
So, I had my single life back for 2 weeks.
The first week, I felt lonely. It was just because I took pity on myself by being left alone. He will be able to see his family, while I even do not know when I can see my own next time… However, thinking back now, I admit that I was surrounded by my loved ones during that week. My friend invited me to their Christmas Orphan Dinner, my bestie from Brisbane called me on Christmas Day, we did the Zoom family Christmas with my family in law, my presents were waiting under the tree. I would say, “LOVE ACTUALLY WAS ALL AROUND”.
The second week, I was getting used to the single life. Well…, I have to say I started enjoying. Catching up with girlfriends, spending more time on shopping, more calls with my mum, more chat with my friends in Japan, watching Japanese comedy on YouTube. It might sound boring, but I was doing whatever I wanted whenever I liked – that is the single life, isn’t it?!
I kept our tradition though – preparing Osechi (a set of several dishes prepared for New Year’s Celebration. Read here).
I almost did not do it but changed my mind, thought “Why not?!”.
Here is this Year’s Osechi for One.
Unfortunately, I could not prepare all elements this year since there is no EMS service available from Japan to Australia at this moment, and my mum’s New Year Special Box is still waiting to be picked up at her entrance. I just made it with whatever I could obtain here.
This year’s highlight was definitely this – Kombu Maki (rolled kelp). Instead of Japanese kelp, I made it with kelp picked up from the beach!
I know everyone goes “WHAT?!”, but this kelp is from our beautiful ocean. It is certainly as fresh, clean and edible as any other Aussie seafood. Now I found out that Aussie kelp can be cooked in a Japanese way. It was surprisingly good!
He is back home now safely without any quarantine requirements – very lucky. We are performing our flamenco show ¡el FLAMENCO! at Fringe World Festival in a few weeks time – super lucky. We are just very lucky to be here…
Wherever you are, I wish you good health more than ever, so that we can see our loved ones again when it is allowed.