Gosh. I have so much to tell you. This is the problem with living, it sometimes gets in the way of writing, but I’m ok with that to be honest. I hope you had an absolutely marvellous festive season and are about to have a wonderful start to the new year. Here’s some things wot I dun recently.
I went on me olidees. It was lovely. Quiet, quiet lemon quiet. As promised, we ate a lot of food, we read a lot of books and we did a lot of sleeping. We did a bit of wandering around in the wet and the fog. I was so pleased I had actually managed to go on holiday I burst into tears when we arrived. It lived up to all my hopes.
My husband re-proposed to me on the day we came home. Last year was our tenth wedding anniversary and we were going to have a high old time to celebrate our decade of nuptial bliss. Instead, I had a hysterectomy. So he got down on one knee, in the rain, outside our favourite bakery and asked me to marry him again in 2018 instead. I cried, he cried. The rain bucketed down. He got a wet knee. Three old ladies stopped to watch, and we got a round of applause from people in the bakery who were watching through the window. It was very funny, and very romantic, and very perfectly us. I said yes. So we have a wedding to plan in the new year. It will be suitably eccentric I think.
Christmas was quiet. This is perfect for us. We lolled around. I cooked a beautiful piece of organic beef and my roasties were absolutely perfect and all my Yorkshires rose. The only fly in the ointment was that after six and a half years, the cat has finally worked out that she can climb on the kitchen cabinets while we are absent. I had put the remains of the beef on the side, wrapped in clingfilm. When I came to clear the kitchen up before bed, I found the cat looking anarchically at me from the middle of the kitchen table, a sizeable hole in the clingfilm, and what beef she hadn’t eaten, all over the floor. She flicked us the ‘v’s’ and scarpered. Little bugger. No cold beef sandwiches on Boxing Day for us. Also, a flare up of IBS for the cat, who is only allowed to eat dry biscuits because otherwise she craps through the eye of a needle and bleeds, which is what she has been doing since then. She is perfectly fine with this state of affairs. I am not. We have the kitchen on permanent lockdown and she is on a warning that she will have to see the V-E-T if she doesn’t behave herself. She has been uninvited from the wedding.
Boxing Day saw us hosting my mum and dad and various friends who were around. I had the Christmas Food Fear on Christmas Eve and went to five different supermarkets to bulk buy supplies in case. This meant I had enough to feed the five thousand on Boxing Day. We are still eating leftovers.
I finally got to London to see The Box of Delights at Wilton’s Music Hall with my friend Claire. We were meant to go before Christmas, but I was snowed in and she had the lurgy, so they kindly moved the day for us. It was most excellent, although it took a little finding (it’s down a murderer’s alley, by a murderer’s railway cutting in Whitechapel). It was very festive. We ate there, and the food was great. The play was creative and imaginative and all the best bits of the book (which is a little turgid) and the television series. If it’s still on, you should try to get tickets.
We went to Bristol for the day to see my lovely sister and brother in law in their new house. We ate enormous amounts of Lebanese food and drank pink champagne and laughed a lot. It was a day well spent.
I went to Bromsgrove to meet my friends Kate and Rachel, who I have known forever and a day, and we ate lots of food and drank lots of coffee and caught up with all the news. I met Rachel when I was 13 and we met Kate when we were 18. Our lives have been entwined now for so long, and hopefully will be for even longer. Between us we have nine children. When we all get together it is absolute bedlam. The best kind.
Today, I am in my pyjamas, cleaning the old year out of my house and making way for the new year to come. We usually party with my friend Kim, but it is not to be this year (double party next year), and we are having a quiet one. My brother very generously bought me a bottle of Veuve Cliquot for Christmas, and we’re having that and bacon and eggs for our dinner. It will be splendid.
I don’t make negative New Year’s Resolutions. I intend to give up nothing and do nothing punitive. It makes things so much less stressful. There will be no diets, no gym membership and no setting impossible goals that are really a stick to beat myself with. I do like to set achievable goals sometimes however. My goal for the coming twelve months is to get better, and be kinder – to myself and everyone else. I wish you joy and more importantly I think, peace. Peace in yourselves and with yourselves, and may it spread far and further.