Last year feels like a very long time ago, even though it was only yesterday. I can't believe that yesterday morning, I was at work in the office. Although I didn't leave until 4:00pm, it feels like a lifetime ago, thanks to the special magic that is woven at midnight between December 31st and January 1st.
We celebrated in our time-honoured tradition, by visiting our dear friends who hosted their annual New-Year's Dinner. I wore a simple black dress with a pair of earrings which are not what I would normally choose, but they called to me (and had been reduced to £1 in a sale!). They have diamantes arranged in a diamond formation, with three long dove-grey feathers hanging from them. Red lips and nails, of course! I baked a Bastilla to contribute to dinner - filo pastry swiss rolls, where the filling is a carrot and lentil mixture, spiced with ras el hanout, arranged in a spiral like a snail shell, sprinkled with flaked almonds and cinnamon. Our kitchen smelt heavenly afterwards!
We started the evening with Sloe Gin Fizzes, and sat down to dinner. It is always such a lovely mix of people, some new faces have joined us over the years, others have slipped away, but there are several of us who are always, always there. After eating, we went round the table and each played our song of the year. There were eleven of us this year, so it took some time! My song was 'Good Girl' as it was the first song I learnt a burlesque routine to, and it was this routine I performed on stage in October.
We then went round the table and said one thing we had learnt this year. Some are heartfelt, some are funny, all are interesting. Mine was a card a trick I learnt a few weeks ago! We then wrote down our predictions for 2013 and sealed them in an envelope before reading last years predictions, which were then burnt on the fire.
As always, we were taken by surprise that it was almost midnight! We just had time to pour the champagne before standing to listen to the chimes on Radio 4, and sing Auld Lang Syne before toasting the start of a new year. Somehow, I sat up until 6am, talking and drinking pots of tea. Suddenly, the last candle burnt out, and I was alone in the dark, so I took myself up to bed.
We never get up very early, and at 10:00am I rose to greet the new day properly. A pot of tea later, and we took our traditional walk down to the nearest shop to take in the fresh air, and to buy the morning papers. We were incredibly spoiled, as our hostess proceeded to make us fresh coffee and handmade croissants for breakfast.
We just had time to get to our next engagement of the day, lunch with Carl's friends. We were a smaller group than usual, but it was good to see them. Two of the group are getting married in just over a month's time, and it was lovely to look back at this same period in our own life.
And then, home, home, with the light of the first day of 2013 already fading. Home to spend some time together, thinking about the coming year, making resolutions and targets and plans, to watch a film on the tv, and then get an early night ready to start the first 'normal' day of 2013 tomorrow.
I hope that you spent the evening with people you love, and that 2013 is better than you could ever imagine.