I’ve just come back from a week away down the south coast. My long-suffering, very patient partner (aka ‘The Bear’) and I escaped Sydney and went to stay in a little house with four other really dear friends. The little house it a bit neglected, but charming. The balcony wobbles. The oven is terrible. The stair-rail up the side of the house wouldn’t pass an OHS test. As someone climbs the stairs, the whole house wobbles like a firm blancmange. But it was the most perfect place to be.

We talked a lot. Read. I knitted (my new hobby). There was a lot of laughter. Lots of wine, champagne and some fabulous cider. Loads of Maltesers (TM). And these people put me back together after a pretty huge year. My job is excellent, don’t get me wrong. But it wears me out by the end of the year. I feel like an old flannel in some grotty Laundromat. Being around five wonderful people for a week was the most excellent thing.

I also had to take the cello with me. I am recording a CD at the end of January, which terrifies me. Every recording experience I have done up to this point has been incredibly stressful and really, I’d rather have root canal work. But I have agreed to try it again with my dear ‘musical brother’ accordion-playing-whizz. So I had to slope off for a few hours every day to practise.

It was a really enjoyable process, having the space to be creative. To try a few new things here and there. And to really enjoy playing again.

So here’s to 2014. I’m planning a year with many things in it. Some terrify me. Some I’ve done before. Some I’ve been wanting to do for a while. But I’m hugely optimistic. And smiling. Could be the result of an excellent week away. Thank you to the Bear, the Cabin Boy, the Wordsmith, the Colour Guru and the Lens-Cap Operator. I love youse all.