So there we go. That was it, the Christmas and New Year festivities all over for another year. Half of you will be thinking "What a shame", the other half "Phew. Thank god/Santa/mince pies for that!"
I had a fairly hectic Christmas period, but a very quiet New Year - nice balance.
I spent most of the four days either side of Christmas on the road, visiting or chauffeuring friends and relatives to and from places. I dread to think how many miles I covered - not quite as many as Santa I'm guessing, but all worth it. On Christmas Day I was back in Brighton to volunteer at the Brighthelm Centre, serving hot drinks, soup and then a full Christmas lunch and presents to about 55 homeless, elderly and people from care in the community centres. This year was much better organised than last and after the presents had been given out, we gave a little carol concert. Two New Zealand girls and I were in charge of the entertainment so between us we played the piano and sang most of the well-known carols in a bit of harmony. My throat was unimpressed at my attempts at the descant though! I read out a poem I'd heard on the radio on Christmas Eve, which went down very well. You can see it HERE.
I received some lovely presents - mostly food related! That's not a complaint by the way - there's a double silver lining involved. First, they're delicious and second, I only have to find somewhere to store them for a short while till I eat them! So thank you to everyone who bought me presents, edible and otherwise. Although I'm really, really not sure about the Marmite Chocolate!!
Back to work came round fast but I only worked a day and a half last week then it was time for the New Year break.
I've never really "done" New Year. Pubs are all too busy or they charge you to get in and then rip you off with drinks prices. So I settled down with a film, some delicious nibbly dinner food from Waitrose (yes, I know, posh and expensive but what the hell!) and a bottle of Cava waiting in the fridge. The film was enjoyable enough, the food was tasty and then suddenly it was 11.55. Bubbly was poured, Big Ben was on TV and the "I dread to think how much that cost" firework display in London was causing Oohs and Aahs.
And that was that. By ten past twelve, I was under my new lovely new Christmas present duvet cover and dreaming my way into 2012.
So Happy New Year everyone - just remember, 2012 will be exactly what YOU choose to make it.