Tatjana backstage at the Big Thing Tour
Facing the holidays alone for the first time after a break-up or, the loss of a loved one is a big thing. My advice is to make plans in advance to spend the holiday in a new way… make new memories and traditions. That doesn’t mean you have to forget the old… why would you want to erase a wonderful part of your past? It is OK to shed a tear or feel sad… just don’t wallow in it. Remember you have the power to choose to be happy.
Nick, Tatjana, & Julie Anne Rhodes, and my in-laws
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. From the excitement of leaving cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer when I was a small tyke, to the excitement of making it a magical time for my own daughter...
Tatjana & Julie Anne Rhodes Christmas morning
Christmas has always been about the wonder in a child’s face for me. I knew my first Christmas without Tatjana (Nick and I alternated having her each year) would be hard.
I didn’t want to stay in the house in London alone, I knew being with my parents would only make us all miss her even more, and sitting on a beach somewhere with an idle mind was not a good idea. Then I opened the newspaper, and saw an ad for a cruise down the Nile...
Julie Anne Rhodes in Egypt
The British Museum curator would be lecturing in the evenings about what we would be exploring the next day. So, off I went to Egypt on my own.
A new mode of travel to go with my new traditions
I’m glad I ignored my friends who teased me “everyone on the trip would be old fossils twice my age”… not entirely true. There were plenty of queens on board to keep me amused too.
Doing my best Egyptian queen impression
It was the PERFECT remedy for keeping my mind off Tatjana’s absence, whilst being on an adventure through history in a fascinating land I’d always wanted to see.
Julie Anne Rhodes in Egypt
… and just check out the spread of food we had Christmas Eve on the boat!
(Egyptian Baked Beef)
- 1 1/4 pound ground beef
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 ripe vine tomato, sliced into 4 slices
- salt and pepper to taste
1). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2). Mix the beef, minced onions, tomato paste, cinnamon, and nutmeg with your hands in a large bowl.
3). Press mixture into an 8″ x 8″ square baking pan, about 2 inches thick. Cut a cross down the middle forming 4 separate pieces, and loosen sides carefully. Place one slice of tomato on each square serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4). Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with stuffed peppers and couscous.
PS.I also lost someone I loved deeply 10 years ago next week. Coming to terms with his death, I admit, has taken much longer to come to terms with than my divorce. Probably why I talk about my ex husband more… Michael was not a public man, and I still miss him very much.
R.I.P. Michael Alun White
No trips to an exotic land could spare me the oceans of tears I’ve shed, but I have eventually found that I can honor him by hanging onto the precious memories and letting the rest go. The energy of the soul and love it generates does not just disappear because the body has passed. It is always in our hearts, and I believe surrounding us, if we let it.