This is a post I made elsewhere a few years ago. Seems odd to be posting something about new year before Christmas but it came to mind after a discussion on Twitter with Louise Mensch today. I’m off this year for Christmas and New Year. Cop friends will know how rare this is! The event below has become a tradition with our friends and we are doing it again this year. Really looking forward to it.
New year has always been of little importance to me. Working shifts on a 24/7 pattern means that over the last 18 years there have been many disrupted Christmas’s and New Years. New Year though is always the one that I was willing to give up. I’d much rather be home at Christmas with the family.
So this year was quite a rarity in that I was off for both. Christmas was everything I expected and we all had a great time. The difficulty with New Year is what to do, where to go, who with and how much is it going to rob me? In the past I have conformed to the sterotypical requirements to go out, be merry, get drunk and then pretend to be over excited about the fact that it’s just gone midnight. I suppose there must have been some good nights in there but overall it’s spending time with lots of people you don’t know, fighting at a bar to try and get a drink and spending as much money as you would on a nice weekend away. Suffice to say that the last few years when I have been home at new year we have tucked ourselves up, got the fire going and enjoyed some time together once the girls were in bed.
This year was slightly different. Since moving out here to the village and getting involved with the church we have made some of the best friends we have ever had. There is quite a bunch of us, all with children of varying ages who simply get on. We enjoy each others company and are happy to spend time together. So when the offer of an afternoon and evening on new years eve with these friends came up it was not a time to find an excuse but a definite “Yes.. we’ll be there”. The plan was a simple one and turned out to be the best new year I think I’ve ever had. I knew I was looking forward to it a lot as I booked the days off as leave so work could not annoy me.. and then at the last minute the call came in for working new year’s eve at double time.. would I go in? Normally I would have took it.. nothing to lose. This year it was a resounding but polite… No thanks ;o)
We all met up in the afternoon and around 15 of us went for a walk around the village fields. The weather was traditional for a change with frosty ground and a misty fog that hadn’t lifted all day. The dog came too but was most put out that he couldn’t get under the stiles and had to be man handled over the top which led to me getting covered in muddy paws. We all ended up back at one house where we kicked off our shoes and enjoyed hot mulled wine. After an hour or so we all wandered across to another house nearby where we settled in for the evening. All the children were fed and then they went off to play around the house leaving the adults to settle at the table to share a meal, conversation and plenty to drink. We spent hours at the table eating and drinking and it really was the best evening. I think it’s one of those things that if the children are happy the parents are happy. The kids were having a great time and as such we could all relax. By the time midnight came around there were a few of the kids who had flaked out… but many were still up and watched the fireworks on the tv and listened to the bells of the church outside … (that started 5 mins early!!). Everybody then wrapped up and headed for home leaving kids at various houses to sleep undistrubed.
The next morning we all got together again to collect kids and we all had a whopping great breakfast together. Bacon, sausage, Roberts most excellent poached eggs, tea/coffee, toast, croissants and on and on.
It all concluded in being the best new year ever. A quiet, uncluttered evening spent with people you want to be with and whose company you enjoy. Interestingly I had organised tickets for some people at work for a new years eve black tie event. They all had a great time too but were puzzled when we weren’t there… “No. Not our kind of thing. Need to have babysitters and so on. We spent the evening with a group of friends having dinner”
I guess it’s each to there own and my litany above may be your idea of the worst new year ever… however for me it was the best. One family couldn’t make the evening…. we all enjoyed it so much we are going to have a re-run just for them… can’t wait