Wow it's the 7th of January and I haven't even wished you a happy new year yet. I have missed you but I was poorly with a horrible virus that came just before new year, muddling up all our lovely plans and making me loose my voice, and sound like Ann Widdecombe when it came back...(Not a good sound.)
But the Christmas holidays were lovely and busy and full of friends and family. A couple of days before I seriously doubted that I'd even have a kitchen. But in a cat's whisker things fell into place with beautiful synchrony. Miraculously everyone pulled together giving up their weekends or evenings. They put down oak floors, fitted radiators, the new cooker and our old 1950's school sink. And even though the plaster is still pink and some things are a little unfinished (well actually a lot is unfinished) and the floor tiles didn't get laid in the kitchen or the cupboard doors put on and I was a bit shell-shocked with all the noise and bluster, my sweet neighbours brought me a big bunch of yellow roses to keep me going; it was fine and we were ready for everyone to arrive.
Hannah came the day before Christmas eve and we decorated the tree together. The one we thought we'd never find at such short notice. It was big and wide and beautiful and bright green, and reduced to a quarter of the price because there were only two days left.
We cleaned and tidied as much as we could, making up beds for everyone to sleep. When they came, we roasted the birds and cooked the vegetables, played games, listened to music and exchanged gifts. We watched the controversial Boxing Day Hunt meet in town and someone mentioned Downton Abbey. Went for walks, ate afternoon tea like Miss Marple would and watched the latest Hobbit movie at the cinema wearing big black 3D glasses. We cooked pizzas and fish and steaks and spicy Indian scrambled eggs and made this chocolate torte. Everyone helped doing everything, even the washing up. It was so much fun but sad to wave goodbye to everyone.
Here is wishing a happy, happy new year to you and yours. May 2015 be
the (whoops) better that you could ever hope for...