A busy New Year with friends.

On New Year’s Eve we did as we usually do, and had a meal with our friends (Louisa, Sol, John, Dana, Claire, Simon, Tim and Geraldine). In previous years, I’ve felt rather under dressed as they have “suited and booted” or glammed up, according to gender. This year I finally decided to wear a dress and heels – and they were all casual! How come they all know what they’re doing and I don’t? πŸ˜‰

After a quick drink (very quick 2 mouthfuls in my case since we were late thanks to Billy, so he had to finish my drink!) we went to Quattro Mori where we had booked a table for 8pm. We had to wait a short while while they set up our table and it was very busy in there. We faffed about a bit getting seated since Tim insisted he had to sit next to Simon – which was, in hindsight, a big mistake since they fed off each other’s silliness and got louder and ruder as the night went on, making me slightly uncomfortable.

There was a bit of confusion about my starter when they brought me hot jumbo prawns with rice, instead of Prawn cocktail, and then told me they hadn’t got any prawn cocktail left, so I ended up having pate. The rest of our meals arrived without incident and then some had dessert too – Billy being teased for choosing hot chocolate fudge cake with STRAWBERRY ice-cream! πŸ˜€ Drink flowed VERY freely, though I only had 2 glasses of wine myself. At the end of the meal, a few of us wanted to work out roughly what individual choices had cost and pay that, but we were over ruled in favour of an equal split – which I didn’t think quite fair given the variation in food and drink consumed. It worked out an expensive meal and I wouldn’t be keen to return there in future.

Usually we remain at our restaurant until shortly before midnight and then wander along to a (packed) pub to see in the New Year. However, this year, we were out early, and we ended up in a pub of Louisa’s choosing though a couple of us were not keen and said we’d prefer somewhere else. The Grapes was very quiet with only a handful of people in it which would have made it ideal for sitting and chatting together, but very loud music was playing on the juke box all evening so we couldn’t really talk. We discussed moving on to somewhere else, but as some had put a lot of money in the juke box, they wanted to wait for their songs. And so it was that we stayed there to see in the New Year, though Louisa and Sol disappeared early as they’d apparently got a party to attend. Once we’d dutifully welcomed the start of 2011, we escaped to our longed-for beds. The evening was a bit of a let-down really, compared to previous years which have been great fun – I think next year we’ll be back at the Chinese which we’d all enjoyed last year, and I shall certainly be a bit firmer in saying where I would or wouldn’t like to be as midnight strikes.

When we got home, Billy and I were ready to fall into bed, but just as we were getting ready to do so, Nel came in, in floods of tears. Billy got to her first and he was absolutely brilliant! He spent the next 20 minutes or so cuddling her, calming her, letting her soak his shirt front, promising her it would get better and generally being that perfect man we girls need when we’re upset. I was so pleased Billy had been on hand as I felt he did a much better job of reassuring Nel than I’d have done, and she was much happier by the time we all went to bed at last.

I woke the next morning feeling absolutely dreadful – banging headache, really tired and generally ill, which could not have been alcohol related given I’d only had the 2 glasses of wine with dinner and only orange juice in the pub! I felt very hard-done-by, though having read my entry for last year, I can see it’s a common theme! I could only put it down to tiredness since I’d had such a busy holiday period, culminating in a late night, and dozed, showered, massaged my head, had coffee and breakfast, dozed again and finally succumbed to a couple of Paracetamol to try and feel better in time for the day ahead.

By the time we’d walked to Pat’s for our traditional New Year’s Day meal and games, I did feel better and happily, was able to enjoy a really good time . This year’s between-course game was an origami one – let’s just say that my attempts at making a frog and a pig were woeful πŸ˜‰ Steph was the runaway winner, though Paul and Raji did well too. We went on to play Trivial Pursuit as usual, with the girls getting to the centre long before the boys but failing every time to answer the Blue question as chosen by the boys. The boys won after correctly answering a ridiculously easy blue question. Pft! πŸ˜‰ We also played a couple of new games: The Logo Game, which we all enjoyed, and Articulate, which wasn’t bad either, though the sand-timer kept getting stuck. The day’s games ended a draw, with girls and boys winning 2 each – and we ran out of steam to play a decider. Barbara had done well to be here since she was recovering from flu, and was actually drinking only water all day! I suspect next time, the games will be less calm and orderly as she and Pat ply each other with drink again πŸ˜€ Yet again, it was a lovely day and Pat is definitely the “hostess with the mostest.”

I slept much, much better that night and woke feeling myself on Sunday – just as well as we had more socialising to do! It was Sol’s 40th birthday on Monday and Louisa had organised a surprise party for him Sunday afternoon. She’d asked for a contribution of as much ice as possible, so I spent the morning making lots, and then at 1.30pm Billy and I went on ahead and Raji came a little later. We arrived to see Sol placing balloons outside and he told us she’d cracked and told him about the party so he’d been helping to get things ready. Louisa made the ladies a Poinsettia cocktail on arrival and it was gorgeous, and very drinkable, though I paced myself and had just 3 all afternoon. Claire, Simon, John and Dana soon arrived, as did more people with children around the same age as Louisa and Sol’s too so there were soon lots of little people running around. They were all pretty well behaved but we were careful to look where we were going so we didn’t trip over them πŸ˜‰ We left at about 5pm or so, after a pleasant afternoon of drinks, nibbles and conversation.

So ended a very sociable Festive Season, with just one day to try and catch our breath ready for normality resuming on the Tuesday.

However you spent your New Year, I hope that 2011 will be a peaceful, healthy and happy one for you all.

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  2. […] I wasn’t quite 100% better, and Billy had started to sniffle, we both wanted to keep our annual New Year’s dates with our friends so we did so but kept it […]

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