It was brilliant yesterday. The only pity was that Dilly and Al had to leave at the children’s bedtime – not only were we not quite geared up to having them all to stay, though that could have been managed, but Al had been up since 4 am and was pretty exhausted. But my plan of lots of small amounts of food all through the evening went fine. We started with blini, served with crème frâiche, smoked salmon and smoked eel (I know, eels are fewer in number now and probably should not be eaten. But I do adore them. Smoked eel takes me right back to childhood). Then salad niçoise (I started with foods containing lots of different accents. No three-digit numbers on a Mac, oh no. Just option and the logical letter). Then my favourite marinated chicken, which most of you who came to the Wall Party have already tasted, and fried potatoes. We took a break then. Ro and Dora went off to the pub and the rest of us looked at old photos, and a couple of hours passed quite rapidly. When they texted to say they were on their way back, I shoved a tray of tiny sausage rolls in the oven (a pound of sausage meat made 31, they were quite small) and cooked the lamb koftas and, though we hadn’t thought we needed more food, we ate them too.
By 11 o’clock, I admitted defeat and moved on to fizzy water. We did not see the new year in with the champagne in the fridge. BTW, prosecco corks are jolly hard to remove. We also didn’t manage any pudding.
The Sage asked me to set an alarm for 6 am, dammit. He was due to open the Village Hall at 7. I didn’t sleep after the alarm, Zerlina woke at 8 so I gave her breakfast and CBeebies while I cleared and washed up. When, gradually, the rest of the family emerged I cooked breakfast and made lots of coffee. Everyone was having a good time. I offered cheese and biscuits for lunch. “Won’t make the walk, the party won’t start until 3 or so,” I said.
Around 3.30, I made tea. Everyone left by 5. Next thing to do, after writing this, is to email my friends with apologies for not getting to the party. They’ll understand.
Now I think of it, everyone left before 5, because I started cooking again at 5. Ham that didn’t get used over Christmas. Gotta feed the Sage, after all. I also cracked a bottle (in the opening sense, darlings, I’m not accustomed to dropping them) at 5 o’clock. After all, I saw the new year in sober, so have every justification to get mildly pickled tonight. And there’s still a bottle of champagne in the fridge. Whoopie.
Darlings, I found baby photos of me. I knew they were me and not Wink because of The Chin. My mother (who loved me and was being truthful, not rude) said “You were a bonny baby. Wink was beautiful.” Tomorrow, my friends. I haven’t scanned them in yet.