The day doesn’t start quite as early as I’d hoped to get up, but the alarm wakes me at 9am and I clamber out of bed and zombie my way to the kettle to brew myself a coffee in my swanky new cafetierre and drum up a cup of tea to rouse K with.
Once we’ve fallen out of bed and into some cleaning clobber we set about the flat. Seeing as we’ve only been in the flat for the odd evening and hardly any other time for the last week or more, things have been piling up, dropped off or unceremoniously dumped in the lounge, hallway, study and even the bathroom for want of a place to put bags down when we’ve come through the door and hit the sofa in “veg” mode. There is a lot to do.
We start by emptying all the Chrimbo packages and bags with gifts and attempting to find homes for everything, playing the DVD commentary on Pick of Destiny while we work. Halfway through the lounge, K reminds me that she wants to cook for the party tonight and requests I make a start on the kitchen so she can set-to on the cooking once she’s cleaned the bathroom.
I knuckle down the the washing up, re-organising and general scrubbing of the kitchen until it’s at least in a fit and clear enough state for K to rustle up her famous sausage rolls and more. Once I’m done I change out of my homewear into something a little more presentable and venture out into the big wide world to grab some last-minute things.
I start over at Mum and Dad’s, picking up a ‘script Dad had collected from teh chemist up the road from them for me. I stop and grab a bite of lunch (I’d forgotten to eat at home), then get way-layed by the sprawling mass of old photographs strewn across the dining room table. The ‘rents are getting their loft insulated (or at least inspected for insulation) and so have had to clear everything out of it.
Aside from the 15 boxes of stuff my bro’s squirreled away (ironically enough) up there, plus 2 or three boxes of my stuff and the same of their keepsakes, they’ve found a veritable treasure-trove of ancient photographs that show, among other things, that I was honestly and truly very cute once-upon-a-time. Knowing they don’t read this, I feel it safe to say I also found a pic of my Aunt’s wedding in which her husband actually had hair. Even Mum didn’t remember him having that much on top when they got married. Mind you, it was only 24 hours after my Nana’s funeral, so I don’t suppose Mum was paying a great deal of attention – it’s amazing the little tid-bits of info you find out going through old stuff.
Tearing myself away from Pa and his table of goodies, I left home with a hammer and some dishes to put dips in (we’re a touch lacking on the catering-supply front) and a bottle of wine for the festivities and made my way back towards home, aiming to stop at a local shop to pick up the bis and pieces.
The spanner is thrown by a text from K saying she needs all sorts of other things she hadn’t thought of when we went shopping twice in the last two days, namely the ingredients for Nigella’s Girdlebuster Pie – a desert so rich in sugary goodness that it’s sure to evaporate from any freezer in the country within minutes of the “ding” of completion on the kitchen timing clock. That said, it’s too cold for my overly-sensitive teeth to bear, so I have no idea if it’s actually tastes nice.
Once I’d collected the bits and pieces from the scrum that was Asda on New Year’s Eve as everyone tried to cram their last minute bits and bobs through the aisles, I headed back home.
Dazz had dropped in to say hey before heading back up North again for his New Year’s party up there and, bless him, ended up right in the middle of a veritable cleaning frenzy as we cleared, cleaned and moved things all over the flat to make it hospitable for the half-dozen or so guests we were expecting.
Once Dazz had gone and K had managed to calm herself down a bit in the bath (cooking brings on the fretful side of K, much like in her mother), I shot out to Maccy D’s for a nutritious evening meal to keep us going – with all the cleaning and cooking and cleaning we’d done, I wasn’t about to start cooking and messing it up even more.
Once we’d scarfed our hard-fought for junk food, K then turned my “no more cleaning” plan on it’s head by pouring half a jug of warm toffee over the pie and, in turn, the chopping board underneath it, then the kitchen surface, then the blender, then down the draws and finally onto the floor. It was a work of comic genius that seemed….well… somewhat less comic at the time.
Once the toffee was cleared and I’d remembered that I’d forgotten to chop up the veg stuff for the dips, I hurriedly set to it as our first guests arrived and the Wii was set up with extra controllers. Mid-way through our first game on Mariokart we were joined by the rest of the party and it all went swimmingly from there.
Most of the night was spent challenging each other and subsequently either screaming with frustration or laughter at Sonic and Mario at the Olympics, an insanely tiring game that essentially involves almost as much physical activity as competing in the Games themselves.
Once we’d all entirely exhausted ourselves, we settled on a more sedate game of Articulate, one of our Christmas presents and spent a good deal of time laughing our socks off at our ineptitude.
Without realising it, Midnight crept up on us and we flicked over to the last 15 minutes of pre-midnight musical fun with all the famous faces and those people you recognise and know you should know but just can’t place their names.
Midnight (and our leap-second for the year) came and went amid much hugs, smiles, good-wishes and clinking of glasses and the guests slowly ebbed away until K and I were left with the last vestiges of the clearing up before calling it a night just before 2am. We’re clearly not as hard-core as we used to be, but I’ll tell you something, I couldn’t have gone on any longer.
I blame the Wii. And Sonic.