|Happy New Year!
||[Jan. 1st, 2016|06:12 pm]
New Year's Day already - how did that happen?
And guests to play with, so no time to post now. But here's a half-written post left over from last year, so I can at least stop kidding myself I'm ever going to get caught up, and post that:
It starts with a news update: on Tuesday morning the garage who are to repair our car came and collected it, and left us a courtesy car in its place. We don't know how long the repair will take: the garage was running on half-staff over the holidays, and we are now in the middle of another bank holiday weekend. But in the meantime, we are mobile again. Not being able to use the car has been half frustrating, half an excuse to take things easy, but it had gone on quite long enough. We celebrated Tuesday with a visit to deliver a late Cheistmas present, some heavy duty supermarket shopping, and a jaunt to the seaside - to Seaham for a fish-and-chips lunch and the shortest possible walk along the front:
Onther than that, what I wanted not to miss writing about was the Bears' Carol evening. Always the same, always different (as BoyBear says about another Christmas tradition). This year F. arrived just in time to add the final touches to the mulled wine, which I had started in his absence (I am sad to report that adding more honey than seems plausible really does make all the difference; I wish this weren't the magic ingredient, but it is). So he was there to overhear, and be baffled by, A. arriving and handing me a bag with the words "I've made one of all the kinds of dinosaur, including the 3D ones that you have to slot together." (One of my purchases while out shopping with GirlBear the previous Friday had been a set of dinosaur biscuit cutters for A., who has an extraordinary collection of cutters with which she bakes delicious and appropriate ginger biscuits for all occasions. She received the gift with every sign of delight, and the words "Oh, I don't have those kinds of dinosaut!"). P. was absent, because he works as a
film extra background artiste, and had been at work from five that morning (leaving home at three) doing something highly secret in Lincoln's Inn, so the new arrangement of one of the carols (I've forgotten which one) featured neither his concertina solo nor R.'s fiddle (R. having forgotten to bring his fiddle). The other P. started a number of complicated discussions: there was one about the Sussex Carol really being from Derbyshire (Wikipedia knows nothing of this, and nor does R., who really is from Derbyshire), and one about how the wise men must have been travelling eastwards, if they came from the east and had seen the star in the east: we stopped short of drawing diagrams, but only just. And there was the traditional discussion about Here we come a-wassailing which, in the version we sing, maintains a strict rhyme scheme until the very last line, and then breaks it spectacularly. M. extemporised a revised version:
God bless the masters of this house:
Their names are Neil and Jan.
They give us Christmas carolling
And mulled wine in the pan.
We were having such a good time that we included two bonus carols, Shepherds, arise! and the Sans Day Carol, as previewed at the Islington Folk Club Christmas party.
Indeed, we had such a good time that the next day we accompanied GirlBear to the Whittington Hospital, where she was part of a recorder group playing half an hour of Christmas music in the foyer. What I learn from this is that I don't hate the Coverntry Carol at all, as a recorder piece I like it very much; but I do find it very tedious to sing.
Then, for a complete change from Christmas, durham_rambler and I went to the Jewish Museum, and then to dinner with helenraven, and both of these things were entirely satisfactory.
And the next day we came home.