The Last Supper
The river is as calm as a Japanese etching.
It's 11.o'clock and four out of six of us are still sleeping off the excesses of 2008.
The party went like this........
I arrived in the flat with nine days of cleanly, pressed washing, various books, an assortment of journals and a whole heap of expectations.
We had been invited into next door for bubbly, the square for a party, over the road for drinks or the possibility of staying in the flat and getting merry for the changeover.
By the time the light had gone and the cold evening had set in I had whipped off my clothes and transformed myself into Pyjama Woman.
My nephew Dan, his missis Isi, my two great nephews arrived with bottles of fizz and a blow up bed.
B and Nat turned up with their going out clothes, shared a couple of sentences with us, watched the end of 'Little Miss Sunshine' , showered and went off to a party in a tunnel in Waterloo.
Jim, me and the Dan brigade ordered in a very good Indian take away, whilst I set about telephoning absent friends.
'Is that Deborah?' I asked
'No' said a voice straight out of the Archers.
'Who is it then?' I asked unaggresively.
'Obviously somebody you dont know Dear.' said the Linda Snell soundalike. 'So goodbye'.
I was having reflexology at the time so couldn't get off the settee, but LInda Snell's abrupt telephone manner made us all, after a moments silence, explode with laughter.
And that is how the evening unfolded. Dan and I had been to ASDA - sorry - for some bits and crisps and had laughed our way round the United Nations of shoppers. Kat, our lovely neighbour came in with a bottle of wine half full, for us to finish. She was off to the Kings Road to slurp her way into the New Year with Wags, Recruitment Consultants and her lovely man, a big bloke with a heart of gold and a shiny black Mercedes.
Jim gave in and had reflexology, a gift from Isi, and a little man, who looked like Sherpa Tensing, arrived with a red bag full of our Indian tucker.
The big table was set. Bottles of bubbly, loads of spoons, buckets of rice and a selection of dishes, that were only surpassed by tiny pots of minty rhaita and really fresh salad.
Music selected, we set about munching our way through our last supper of 2008. Then the buzzer went and my nearasdamnit son turned up with his paramour and one of their four kids.
Jules Holland provided the soundtrack as our noise levels increased. We all stood for the countdown, and even though I have no voice (yes I have the flu bug that's flying around) I shouted as loudly as the rest 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and before you could say' I wondered if it's a recorded programme and are we all being taken in, yet again, by the BBC.' we were all hugging and kissing, crying and happily waving goodbye to an annus horrilbilis.
Tears dried, table cleared we chewed over past misdemeanors, laboured over new year lists, and shared aspirations. By 2.30 Jim was down and our, by 3.00 the nearsasdamnit son was gathering up his brood, by 3.30 the dishwasher was loded. By 4.00 the flat was as quiet as a mouse. By 4.30 I was up drinking superberry juice from the carton. By 4.33 I was asleep on the cool settee. By 5.00 I was back in bed with the old git.
And then I was up at 8.00.
The demon booze has polaxed the 'oosbind and nephew. The 2 great nephews are wartching 'Ratatouillie'. Isi and I are waiting for the noise of hungry men and the arrival of the Waterloo Party Brigade and then we will all sit down to smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels with scrambled egg on the side. I'm not doing the Bucks Fizz thing but they can if they want to.
Then Jim and I will drive back to the cottage. Let in the 'Oven Man' who drives over from Oxted to make my oven look like new and play some more scrabble.
In retrospect 2008 was an astonishing journey for me. LBC, 'An Audience With', new friends, new literary agent, Leicester Square, new hair colour, and a new contract.
Watch out 2009 you aint seen nothing yet.
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes
I have a feeling that this is going to be a Very Happy New Year for you and yours, and hopefully the other bloggers. I'm sure we all feel like old friends now, thanks to you. Love to everyone.
Thanks for sharing your fun time with us.