Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year!

The tax claim got filed, and all the other jobs got done, so we left Liz in charge of the dog [or was it the other way round?] and went off little chef to Norfolk on Wednesday morning. We stopped at a Little Chef en route for a snack. We had a chat with the guy who served us about the Heston Blumenthal menus. I said I thought travellers wanted familiar food when they stopped on their journeys, and was assured that Little Chef was very concerned to meet the needs of its 'target market' - who apparently they refer to as "The Teacake Generation" !

Well thank you very much, callow youth in the apron, I feel instantly twenty years older!! Actually, I have been fond of toasted teacakes my entire life. We continued on our journey arriving at Toftwood Village Hall around 3pm, to find everyone working very hard getting things ready for the evening. my sis-in-law Marion had come up with this idea of a New Year's Eve Party - organised by the church but open to anyone who bought a ticket.

We helped set up for a bit, then returned to Adrian and Marion's to get changed into our posh party gear.

IM003126 Susan was in charge of food - here she is [on the left] with June. Susan has been a friend since the 60's, and I met June in 1972 when she married David. My Mum was bridesmaid for David's Mum back in the 1940's [down in Essex] so that family friendship goes back even longer.

Also helping was Freda - another friend from the 60's, whose son Stewart was Adrian and Marion's best man back in 1992. Here's a picture of Marion [on right] with Freda.



As well as being the overall event organiser, Marion was also singing with the band which provided much of the entertainment - which goes a little way towards explaining her outfit. She changed outfits 3 times during the course of the evening!

The food was great - starters of potato and leek soup, or melon medley [that was served at the tables] and then out to another room to collect main course from the buffet [ham, beef, haggis!, breads, and wonderful salads] followed by desserts [gateaux, trifles, and a fabulous mango and peach flummery] I helped with some of the waitressing.

One couple were taking photographs to raise money for the Building Fund - and we had our picture taken [thank you Adrian, for treating us] If I can scan the picture in, I may put it on the blog - for the first time in ages, a fairly reasonable picture of the pair of us!]

Marion's friends from church, Steph and Simon, did some exhibition dancing as part of the entertainment. if I understood this correctly, Steph was the first person in the UK to get her PE GCSE in Ballroom Dancing. They were very gifted. But when we first arrived in the afternoon, she was a little upset because she had found a tear in her newly acquired [from E-Bay] dress. Marion assured her Ang could fix it, so at 7pm, there I was sewing again. By hand - I didn't take the machine to Norfolk - perhaps I should have done!

IM003128 It mended beautifully and did not disintegrate during the display.

There was much music and dancing, and I did get up and bop about a bit during the Abba/Mamma Mia tribute section. Bob took a few photos.

Many of these were of people I didn't really know, and the only shots he got of me dancing seem to be when I was turning away from the camera!

However here is one of them

IM003130 I am dancing on the left. Marion is singing in the background. Dancing on the right is Sarah, and between us [in pink shirt] is Sarah's Mum, Ann.

Sarah [and her husband Richard] live across the road from A&M, and she reads this blog, so was doomed to get into it eventually! They kindly invited us to share their table - as M was singing, and A was working the PA [it isn't obligatory for males in the family to have an interest in PA - but it seems to be a common factor!]

IM003124 The lighting was quite dim, but here is my brother with his great bank of equipment.

Sorry, niece Lucy, I didn't get a good picture of you for the blog.


Meanwhile, Liz was still wrapped in a blanket, on the sofa in Leicestershire, whilst her Jon was performing at a couple of New Year's Gigs in Bristol - and Steph and Mark [after a 3 hour hold-up on the M6] eventually got to Northumberland for their Party.

Adrian had the PA connected to the BBC - so we were able to hear Big Ben at midnight. Party poppers, balloons and cheering everywhere, and outside, lots of fireworks.

The Norfolk party went really well, and there were 135 or so people of all ages enjoying themselves- but everything had to be cleared up afterwards. It was well into the early hours before we got to bed.

Up this morning [eventually], off to the next village [to buy milk] breakfast, swapping of family Christmas gifts, and then back home [this time we did not stop at the LC] It was good to find Liz making a definite recovery from the infection.

Bob and I do not usually attend New Year Parties- the last one we did was at the Millennium. But it was really generous of Adrian and Marion to invite us as their guests to this event, and I did appreciate catching up with so many old friends who have known me since my childhood, and making new friends too.

Like most people, I find myself wondering what lies in store in the coming year. 40 years ago, when Freda and her husband [another Bob] ran our church youth fellowship, one popular song was

I know who holds the future
And I know He holds my hand;
With God things don’t just happen
Everything by Him is planned.
So as I face tomorrow, with its
problems large and small
I’ll trust the God of miracles, give to him my all.

Happy New Year to all of you who are reading this - some are friends I have met personally, others only 'virtually' - but whoever you are, wherever you are, may God bless and guide you through 2009.

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