Happy New Year!

This week marks New Year for many – Nepal, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka to name a few (where I have lived 🙂 ) – so here’s wishing a very Happy New Year to all who are marking the New Year.

I am still really struggling with those horrible Taxotere side effects and so I thought it would be good to make my mind focus on last year and the New Year I celebrated in Sri Lanka., because it was a really special one.

I was lucky enough to be invited by a friend and colleague, to spend New Year in the south of the country.  I spent a fantastic few days with my friends and colleagues.  The break was a mix of tradition, spiritual, adventure and fun!  It is very odd to think back to a very different pre breast cancer life and although it is rather beyond my current thinking that I will be able for such times again, it surely can’t be impossible.

On the 13 April last year, New Year’s Eve, we drove down to my colleague’s family home in southern Sri Lanka.  We stopped off at the main sights and places on the way down and really it did feel like a holiday!

Fresh coconut juice in Matara

Dondra Head Lighthouse, at the southern most tip of Sri Lanka, and also the tallest light house in the country.

and looking immediately to the south – next stop the Antarctic!

That evening, we all went to the nearby temple for New Year rituals.

along with many families

and some very tiny people!!

On New Year’s Day, 14 April, the rituals start early – we were all up around 4 am in time for the ceremonial lighting of the first fire of the year, in the kitchen.

The timing for this is critical and needed my friend’s sister in the living room, waiting for exactly the right moment, provided on national TV.

With the fire lit, the first tea is brewed and the rituals can all proceed.

Including the important ritual of sending New Year text messages to everyone!

After the rituals and breakfast, we headed to nearby Bundala National Park – a wetland bird and wildlife sanctuary.  My friend, colleague and host was  also local expert!

We had a wonderful day, cameras working full time to capture everything we saw.

The day came to a close as we visited a mountain monastery and temple overlooking the southern plains of Sri Lanka.

And my favourite image of this New Year Adventure?  This picture captures the whole spirit of the break – a special time, with special people and very special memories.  Happy New Year and thank you!

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

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