Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Couch potato

So there were about fifteen of us bringing in the New Year at ours last night. Cindy and I had a much-needed lie-in and then spent the afternoon prepping food and tidying the house for the party.

For the record, I made a stew, two cheese, mushroom and leek bakes, a second non-dairy-gluten-free stew, roast potatoes and a big salad. Frankly, I might not have needed to bother. Loads of our guests arrived with plates of food: a delicious chocolate and orange cake from Julie, a perfectly-iced raspberry cake from Jem, gold and silver sparkling brownies from Meriel, a home-made panettone from Tina and a huge vegetable lasagne from Abbie. People bought fruit, chocolates, biscuits and huge quantities of wine and champagne.

We had an absolute riot, laughed like drains all night and played some brilliant games. I had a Gin and Tonic - in fact I had two - and by midnight had forgotten all about my stomach gripes, which sadly returned in the night and have been plaguing me all day.

On the stroke of twelve, we played ABBA's Happy New Year, and then, rather randomly, sang Away In a Manger in four-part harmony. I've never been in the company of so many music readers before, so zipped up to the loft and did five copies of the first relatively-easy piece of four-part Christmassy music I could find. This particular Christmas carol was slightly in honour of Moira, who had once held a birthday party at her house when she was so ill, she was forced to spend the entire night in bed. There was one particularly surreal moment when everyone gathered around her bedside and (miles away from Christmas) sang Away In a Manger.

Later still in the evening, a few of us gathered around the piano and Abbie sang through one of the songs from Brass. It was rather lovely to hear it springing into life.

Bed came at about 3am, just as our next door neighbours started playing dreadful techno music, which kept Nathan awake for hours.

Tina and Mez stayed the night. We had planned a walk on the Heath today, but the weather's been so grotty that we simply sat and watched the Sound of Music (for a second time this Christmas) and then the network premiere of the final Harry Potter film.

So, from today, Romanians and Bulgarians have the same right to work here has other EU Countries... And quite right. I was actually really moved and very proud to see that groups of British people had turned up to airports with bunches of flowers to welcome them in. I'm frankly rather bored of British xenophobia (which invariably comes from the mouths of lazy, uneducated people who read rubbish newspapers.) I don't believe a single person coming into this country from those two countries will be expecting to collect benefits (or, for that matter, taking any jobs which would otherwise have gone to British people.) Sure enough, the immigration Armageddon which was predicted for today hasn't happened. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, UKIP.

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