Nicky and I speak very rarely of private family matters.
The focus of our blog is 'exploring the mysteries of human behaviour as revealed in politics, media and entertainment (and whatever else catches our fancy)'.
Over the past three years our blog has stuttered along with infrequent posting, marked particularly by the illness and death of my mother, which I wrote about here.
As has mentioned to friends, one would think that the loss of relationship would be the most difficult aspect of losing a significant person, but it is not.
The most difficult aspect is picking up the pieces afterwards and that is what Nicky and I have had to do - managing the on-going emotional and physical welfare of my grandmother (my mother's mother), dealing with the shocking betrayal of my stepfather as well as the ramifactions his actions have had on our family.
And there is the other things thrown in front of you to challenge, to stretch, to deepen - in our case it has been the financial struggles of business ownership combined with the threat to our home due to a confluence of natural disasters.
Such growth has to be done offline, distilled internally, processed and evaluated.
2011 has been a watershed year.
Nicky and I have emerged from the other side focused on new opportunities, more in love than ever and more determined to raise our voice in expressing what is right.
So, to celebrate, a cocktail!
6 Parts Gin
3 Parts Triple Sec
2 Parts Cherry Brandy
1 Part Lemon Juice
1 Whole Maraschino Cherry
Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.