Thursday, January 01, 2009
The young baby years were no better, as they tended to involve merely "seeing the year in" over the increasingly dire telly and heading bedwards immediately afterwards. Then, and in the years to follow, there was the relentless approach of the school term, which sometimes began as early as January 3rd, depending on which day of the week Ne'erday fell. Whatever I was doing - wife of a teacher, mother of pupils, a teacher myself - this was the worst and darkest time, when the early-morning struggle to rise in the chilly dark seemed more of a nightmare than ever.
But enough of these dark rememberings. This year worked. The secret? Tidy the house after your Christmas visitors, noting as you do so that your house is actually quite a decent size after all. Shop early and casually, knowing that the close friends who are joining you for dinner on Hogmanay are bringing the main course and a Christmas pudding with them. Waste some of the afternoon on the computer, and on reading the book you've been too knackered to read in the past two weeks. Have a lovely relaxed evening with the aforementioned friends, enjoying the fact that the four of you have made a little effort to scrub up a bit. Eat heartily, so that the drink you consume makes you mellow but not drunk. Talk about the things that really interest you all - so that you don't have to witter small talk till the bells. At 11.45pm, put on the telly and wonder why BBC Scotland seem to find it so hard to get any decent singers and why the show has the rather desperate air of an impromptu gathering or a wedding without the bride - and learn that Jackie Bird has had her teeth whitened. (This is hearsay - blame the Best Pal) At midnight, kiss each other heartily, drink champagne and admire the Edinburgh fireworks, before switching to Jools Holland and becoming ever so slightly raucous. When your pals leave before 1am, put out any light that might tempt a first-footer, leave Mr B to do the washing-up, and head for bed with your book.
All this leaves you with a clear head on Ne'erday, able to enjoy the brilliant sunshine of a two-hour walk above Loch Eck - see photo - returning ravenous to eat bread and cheese and get your iMac wired to the BT hub so that you don't have to put up with the erratic wireless connection any more. This involves the return of Rob, who was your guest last night and who spent part of the evening persuading you to let him bring a long ethernet cable he just happened to have lying around, and results in the joyously speedy connection of my dreams.
There. No nostalgia, no maudlin maunderings, no hangover. I've had a good day and later there are two episodes of Eastenders to remind me of how lucky I am. But first I think I might eat again ...