2011 was, and by the Chinese calendar still is, the year of the Rabbit. I am one of those little bunnies (24 years old in case anyone was wondering, no arguments or smirks please) and boy has this year been a pretty full on and amazing year on so many levels.
The year kicked off with a trip to Japan and Hong Kong, a trip that was made so much better by the fact that I was able to spend loads of quality time with my dear friends Shiori and Yuakri and Shiori's beautiful family. The week in Kyoto was spent wondering all over, eating delicious food between both Kyoto and Osaka and beautiful family dinners at Shiori's house full of reminiscing and a lot of laughter (plus the odd Chu hi or three!). Tokyo and Hong Kong followed and again, both cities offered us amazing cuisine, brilliant shopping and in Hong Kong's case, familiar family faces, which is always welcomed.
The beginning of 2011 also some horrific disasters in the form of the Queensland Floods which were catastrophic to say the least and the heart wrenching Tsunami and subsequent meltdown of the Fukushima Nuclear power plant outside of Tokyo. Many lives were lost, but no one could have imagined the devastating loss that Japan would face with over 15,000 lives lost, their worst loss of lives since World War II. The floods in Thailand later in the year, which left over 3 million people displaced was not only devastating but awful for me to watch on a more personal note, worrying about my family and friends there. As per usual, Thai people being their optimistic selves, let the world know that "they were ok, and not to worry". A truly amazing country full of optimism and strength.
2011 also saw an amazing amount of stars and events visit Australia and I was there for many of them. First off the ranks was volunteering at the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, which is one of the most amazing things I have ever been involved in. Jersey Boys was first of the rank, Chelsea Handler followed (both at the taping of her show as well as her gig @ The State Theatre), The legendary Grace Jones @ The Enmore, Maroon 5 and Sara Bareilles, Kylie Minogue (such a fantastic show), Jennifer Coolidge, Hairspray The Musical, Margaret Cho (She used one of my pics of her too!), In The Mood, Jennifer Wong (one of the hottest new comedians), Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Taylor Dayne (my 80's & 90's dance goddess), Australia's Next Top Model finale (also the finale for host Sarah Murdoch), Kate Ceberano, Janet Jackson (12 years of waiting paid off, AH-MAZING!), Dolly Parton (I cried when she came on stage, nothing more needs to be said here), KD Lang (mind blowing and complete convert), Salt N Pepa, Kathy Griffin (again totally brilliant) and finally, the chic Sade, such a stylish and beautiful show to end the year with. As you can see, this year was full of some pretty sensational concerts and events for me and loved every one of them!
This year also saw the Royal wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton, like his Mother Princess Diana's wedding, over a billion people around the globe watched this beautiful union take place. Later in the year saw her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip vista Australia (for the 16th time), a visit that many touted as being their last. It was just amazing to see the crowds turn out in Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to welcome our head of state, something that I wish I had been able to join in on. The year also some amazing people leave this world and they are (in my opinion): Jane Russell (star of the 40's & 50's), Elizabeth Taylor (screen, fashion & pop culture legend), Loleatta Holloway (Disco Goddess), Amy Winehouse (so tragic and sad), Betty Ford (yes, that Betty Ford), Steve Jobs (Apple Chairman and C0-founder) and Heavy D (rapper).
On a more personal note, I started a new job "adding sparkle to peoples everyday lives" and for the last 6 months, have been loving every bit of the job. Three high school friends gave birth to their first born's (congratulations to Romina, Tracy and Kennelyn - three more little "bunnies") I purchased a new home, cleared a horrific amount of debt, finished my studies and learnt more about myself in 12 months than I have in the last 30 odd years. A lot of people have stated that they can not wait to see the end of 2011 whether it be for personal or professional reasons, but for me, coincidence or not, this year really has been my year, Rabbit or not :)
Bunny on Bunny action - Hong Kong 2011
Here's to a disaster free 2012 full of good health and fortune, amazing new challenges, lots of travel, more sensational music and live gigs, fashion to die for and being surrounded by my beloved partner, family and friends.
Happy New Year Everyone!!
Here are a few shots from the fireworks over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, hope you like them: