It's got to be a good start to the year when on the first day back at the office, the weather is calm enough that I can cycle the 18 miles in, after a year when the rain prevented me most days and will power the others. Hopefully my enthusiasm will remain for the 18 miles home this evening.
As we lay in bed last night The Cat's Mother listed the things we did over Christmas. No wonder I've been looking forward to coming back to work for a rest:
22nd December - Christmas Party at a friend's. Notable mainly because we made The Cat drive us there and back as she had passed her test the week before. I can tell you making a teenager come and pick you up at half past one in the morning is sheer joy.
23rd - Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty. Yep wonderful. There's somethig about dance that really fascinates me. This was a truly sumptuous production that we both loved. Go and see it if you can.
24th - Panto! No Christmas is complete without a Dame. This year we forewent the local amateur production, and travelled to Hackney to see Dick Whittington. The hoards of kids we took with us loved it. We enjoyed indulging them
25th - Round to The Muffins for a change. Normally it's at ours. Not for us is the traditional lunch stuffing your face full of turkey and then falling asleep whilst the Queen warbles on. No organised games and performances from noon through to midnight. It's as Christmas Day should be. Brilliant.
26th - Sixteen round to ours for lunch and a repeat performance of the day before. Beginning to flag a bit.
27th - Off to see my bruvver. We met at Jamie Oliver's parents' restaurant/pub. Lovely to see him and his girlfriend...we chatted for ages. Having sampled their food, we wondered where Jamie got his talent from.
28th - Off to Brighton. Not much to report, other than the DVD decided against working over Christmas. That'll mean I'll be able to maintain my record of buying anew DVD player every year. Who said anything about built-in obsolescence?
29th - Lost and Found Orchestra at The Dome. If you liked Stomp, you'll love this...an orchestra made out of junk, and sounding spectacular. Remarkable how moving a funnel attached to a long hose can sound.
30th - Enough of all this lying around doing nothing...it was time to do some learning. At Jamie Oliver's Recipease we learnt how to cook a Thai prawn curry. Twelve of us gathered round whilst the chef demonstrated and we then followed. The Queen (ours, not everyone's) was there to help us along, and we all turned out something that was quite passable. In fact delicious...we gobbled it down as quickly as we could.
31st - Up had recovered from a bug to join us in Brighton, and The Muffins had arrived the night before. We watched Puss in Boots whilst we waited for the storm to blow over...it didn't but the film was fabulous We should have gone ice skating in the grounds of The Dome, but the wind and rain put paid to that. The evening would have been a washout, had the weather not suddenly improved allowing us to head to the beach to let off fireworks. Legal? I've no idea.
1st - back to Essex. Relax.
2nd - off to London to meet some friends, who've recently moved back from Berlin, for lunch. We wanted to go to The Rain Room at The Barbican, but the two hour wait put us off. It's on until 3rd March
3rd - The Boy and I got a day of rest, whilst The Cats Mother and Cat headed off to a show with some friends. Evidently it was dreadful. And The Cat's Mother ate something she shouldn't.
4th - Relax. Except The Cat's Mother's Father got taken into hospital as a bug was hitting him harder than it should. So don't relax, don't panic. Just worry. He's on the mend now. Relief.
5th - 21st Birthday party - a friend's daughter. Realise just how old you're getting when you stand in some god forsaken bar with loud thumping music which you've never heard before stops you chatting to anyone. When you get home in the early hours of the morning begin to appreciate that once upon a time you would have thoroughly enjoyed it. And a small celebration as Brighton & Hove Albion knock Newcastle out of the Cup.
6th - Take the Christmas decs down. Did I ever mention how many The Cat's Mother puts up? We have more decorations than Selfridge's Christmas Department. Fortunately mostly done by the evening, so settle down to a lovely piece of beef and Series 2 of The Killing - a present from The Boy to The Cat's Mother. Nothing like blood, gore, murder and mayhem to end the season.