January 1, 2010

A Little Reflection

I'm not really into new year resolutions. For me, I guess it's a good time to reflect back on the year that was and make a little self analysis. Then it may be good to come up with a few realistic goals and targets for the year ahead.

Turning fifty has had more of an impact on me than I realised. I feel less scared. Scared? I guess scared of taking on something that I once only ever dared to dream about. I have always dreamed of running that little cafe in the hills serving wonderful mediterranean food. I imagined a nice, rustic cottage decked out with lovely little objects for sale and of course my daughter Nicole's beautiful photographic works captivating people as they admire her mesmerizing landscapes hanging from the stone walls. Now that is an image and a half, isn't it. And all quite true. I have dreamed of this.

Then the dream changed. For a while it was "let's start up a cheese farm". Then it was let's plant macadamia trees, avocado trees, coffee trees, tea trees. We fleetingly considered a vineyard. That passed quickly. We gave more thought to growing veggies. Not exactly sure what happened there. It was definitely more viable. For a while the Borb and I talked about building a wood fired oven and making pizza's for drive through traffic on the week-ends.

Now I see myself doing something from the hills of our beautiful farm, but not running a cafe. I don't want to make mediterranean food. I want to do something really rather basic. Perhaps good old fashioned country food. Australian food. Preserves. Jams. Scones. The mind is ticking.

So what am I going to offer? There is much tree-changing going on and bush holidays have never been more popular. Do we put up some cabins, or B & B's. I think not. Somehow, for anyone who knows me, really knows me, food has to be involved. I did enjoy doing the Mediterranean cooking classes at the Tafe College, but they were very few and far between. They were also a tremendous amount of work for not much gain. It really was a labour of love. Excellent experience though.

So here's the thing. The latest thing. For today at least. I'm thinking of doing cooking classes. Nothing complicated. Simple country cooking in majestic surrounding country. Imagine a little stone cottage up on the hill with the most amazing views. Our soil is black basalt, claggy, rich, fertile, sticky and we must be very careful building anything on it. It is very treacherous. Anything is likely to move or crack eventually. Has that stopped Hubby? No way. He sees it as just another challenge. He wants his stone building and by golly he will get it. He is never short of a goal or two or ten. But it's not him, it's me that is looking for "what am I going to do".

Cooking classes on our hill. It sounds great. At this point in time, in this place in my mind it sounds the right thing to do. I am aware that I am not getting any younger. Fifty is well and truly middle age. If I don't do something before long, my opportunity will have come and gone, and I shall probably be one of those people lying on my deathbed "wondering". And won't that be sad.


  1. My dear Mariana,

    Happy Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Birthday - a whole load of happy, to you dear friend! Your party looks wonderful, a suitably exhuberant way to celebrate a half century. I love your idea about cooking classes - I'm sure you would be brilliant at it and unlike lots of other businesses, your start-up costs should be fairly small so you could always try it out for a while and see if you enjoy it? Another thing you might consider (something I'm thinking about myself too) is a 'pop-up restaurant'. The latest thing here is people running one-off restaurant nights in their homes, inviting friends, neighbours, strangers for a special dinner - people seem to love it, the quirkiness of it, the personal-ness of it. It's not the way to make a million, but it sounds fun!

    Wishing you a wonderful new decade, dear Aussie pal.


  2. I think that is a great idea can't wait for you to get started

  3. Oh - I love that first photo!

    Cooking classes sound fun. So many choices, ideas, though... I'd say just get started in something - it's bound to lead somewhere! The more people you meet, the more opportunities arise...

  4. Cooking classes sound fantastic Mariana! it would be a lot of fun :)

    do them! I bet the surrounding of your farm would be very inspiring to everyone who goes there. I can imagine the stone house your husband will be building too...beautiful surely. :))

  5. Cooking classes you say .........I remember some wonderful cooking classes that were done next door to me years ago and they were great but as you and I know the hardest part is the marketing ..how do you get people to come is the big question? We already know the classes will be no 1 (with you behind the kitchen) so come up with the "how to" and you are on a winner!!

  6. and i quote.. 'I have always dreamed of running that little cafe in the hills serving wonderful mediterranean food'

    well Mariana, if you ever do make it happen.. ill be sure to be your barista. :)

  7. Where are you queen? I miss your wonderful posts and hope all is well. Love Dx

  8. Dear dear Deborah. I feel like we have been ships in the night, continuously passing each other by. I have been away for over two weeks and unfortunately I find myself in a position where are I am having some lifechanging decisions to make. Thank you for all your good wishes. You were my first real blogging friend; oh and sister, and I have valued your cyberspace connection tremendously. I see that your blog is growing as indeed it ought to and I have loved all your precious storytelling posts and recipes. Thanks for being my very, very good Pommy Pal. Love Mariana.

    Thanks Chelsea. That photo was taken on my last day in the hills in Montenegro. It was a window in the house where we stayed. Love Mariana

    Thanks zurin for your continuous kind and encouraging remarks. Yes it would have been nice, but right now that will not be on the cards. I see that you, like Love and a licked spoon, are getting quite a following and by golly you deserve it. Keep up with your great blog! Love Mariana

    Hey there Stormy. Thanks sweetie. Thanks for pointing out the practicalities of the situation. And thanks for being there when I began those cooking classes. Your support was wonderful. Love Mariana.

    Okay Kendall - you are on! Love Mariana.