Last night became a fairly magical evening. We had a beautiful meal with Hilary, Rupert, Meriel and Roy, played some games, announced our New Year's resolutions and then went out into the garden to watch people lighting fireworks across Lewes. We could hear people in the distance shouting greetings at one another and we shouted our own in return into the darkness...
Brother Edward 'phoned just as we'd gathered into a huddle to listen to ABBA's Happy New Year on Nathan's iPhone. Edward sang along on the other end of the phone whilst standing on a roof top somewhere in Canary Wharf, watching the fireworks bursting across London.
Meanwhile, my other brother, Tim, texted to say that he'd proposed to his partner, John, and been given an affirmative answer. Happy days!
We left a very tired Hilary to do Jago's night feed and decided to drive to Brighton beach. We were astonished to discover that the big Ferris wheel was still running, so at 1am were hovering in a four-seater pod, high above the town, looking down at the huge winter waves crashing onto the pebble beach below.
At about 2 am, we were lighting fireworks on the beach and jumping for joy like silly children every time a rocket burst in the sky. Perfect.
We were in bed by 3. Any later than that and I'd have turned into a pumpkin.
This morning we went for a walk with Meriel and Roy in the hills above Kingston, which is the little village outside Lewes in which they live. It was raining pretty heavily, but the tops of the hills were shrouded in beautiful cotton-like mist. We were accompanied on our journey by a puppy called Berry; a little cocker-poo, or spoodle. She's grown a great deal. When I last saw her, she was a tiny little ball of wool sitting like a merkin in Meriel's lap. She's become a really charming little creature; less dog, more teddy bear/weasel cross!
The first day of 1662, and Pepys woke his wife up by smacking her in the chops in his sleep. It was an accident, and the incident made him feel rather guilty.
Despite his new year's resolution to try and avoid trips to the theatre, Pepys spent the afternoon doing just that with the Penns, who subsequently invited him to their house for a mirth-filled game of cards, which became even more hilarious when it was discovered that Sir William had left his sword in the cab that had brought them home. Pepys' boy, Wayneman, was sent rushing after the coach, which he finally found somewhere on the Strand.