Bring on 2012

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I'm back after a very special time in South Africa with my family to celebrate my parents' Golden Wedding anniversary.  So many people take their families for granted - knowing that mum or sister/brother are just down the road.  Knowing that their kids have cousins who they see on a regular basis.  For the immigrant this is not the case and for South African families in particular the modern day legacy echoes that of the turn of the last century, when so many people left the shores of Britain for the new world, in search of a better future, a better life for their children.  So many South African families today have children scattered to the 4 corners of the earth.  I have a brother living in Northern Ireland and a sister living in Australia, leaving my mum and dad with 1 daugher and 1 son still with them in South Africa.  We didn't think we'd all be together to celebrate this important milestone in my parents' lives, but by an absolute miracle all 5 of us were there.  We were together for the first time in 5 years and I can tell you that the sacrifice of missing my Christmas trade was worth it!  My family are so important to me and they are what have defined me and made me into the person I am today and to share that time with them was so precious.  I've bottled the memories deep in my heart because I don't know if we'll ever get the opportunity to all be together again :-)

Anyway, it's taken me almost 3 weeks to get my head cleared and my workshop unpacked and productive again!  I'm back in business and ready for those orders to come rolling in.

I'm currenly working on my 3 evaluation pieces for my Level 2 certification.  One is ready for the kiln and the old owl is proving to be a rather tricky customer, but I'm getting there - slowly but surely! 

I spent the morning with a friend who is a photographer, who very kindly gave me one of his old cameras so that I can improve the quality of my photos!  We spent 2 hours playing with F stops and shutter speeds and my brain was a bit fried, but hopefully my copious notes will come in handy when it comes time to capturing the shots!

I've run out of time again - needing to be at my next appointment in half an hour.  I wonder if my stomach will notice too much if I don't give it any lunch today ...

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