Despite my blind and misguided optimism I didn’t end the New Year with the perfect haircut, more money in the bank or a nicely organised fridge. What I did have was a home hair colour job that made my hair freakishly shiny (picture a more mature Miss Chrissy doll), a knocked out household after a stomach bug bit every one of us, and a great view of the spectacular lightning display from Mother Nature as she successfully and oh so easily outdid the City of Melbourne’s not unimpressive fireworks display. As my friend Jonathan would say - 'a lay down misere.’ And how!
We always have dinner with friends on NYE. Naturally what we eat is an important part of the proceedings and usually thought about as soon as Boxing Day is over, (who can do anything on Boxing Day?).
This year we had fish and chips. From the chip shop. I know what you’re thinking – but who wants to cook when it’s been a muggy, moisture sapping, killer summer day in Melbourne and your kitchen is the same temperature as your backyard. Not me, not our friends and obviously not the three hundred other people crammed into the chip shop.
Anyway, the food isn’t ever the point of it - we wanted to get together, we didn’t want to fuss and fish and chips fit the bill. I liked it - a lot. The fish and chips weren’t great but I didn’t care because I didn’t have to do anything. Well I did make a salad, and I did use real plates because this year we have a dishwasher. And our friend Miss BB did make a trifle (pictured) – complete with green sprinkles - a tribute to the stomach bug that knocked us all out! So I guess we did do something.
Mr C freaked us all out by sneaking out and ringing the doorbell just after midnight. Mr PMG is a Scotsman so Mr C came first footing , greeting him with silver coins, a glass of whisky and a printed picture of a lump of coal because let's face it, the real thing is hard to come by in suburban Melbourne. Mr PMG was chuffed.
The Scots refer to New Years Eve as Hogmanay for reasons unknown to me or any Scottish people I've ever asked. Traditional food includes Clootie Dumpling which is boiled in a cloth (clootie) and served in gob-stopper size portions. Good thing we didn't have it after the fish and chips - not that I think trifle qualifies as a health food.
So besides the weird hair the year ended on a good note. Stomach bug went, cool change arrived, and my hairdresser reopens on Monday. The storm blew 2009 out to sea and the new year came in fresh and full of hope.
I'd love to hear about what you ate on New Year's Eve, whether it's a five star stunner, a dodgy kebab on the way home from the pub or a pizza with a friend. I might steal your ideas for my next years celebrations. Then again maybe not the kebab - I'm not doing that stomach bug thing ever again.
Happy New Year.