New Year's Eve tomorrow and yet our little market town was so very quiet today. The shops were almost empty - no queueing like Christmas Eve - and there was hardly any Market. (Friday is our Market Day).
It does seem as though the tradition of staying up to see in the New Year is fading. I still like to do it and usually have a little nap in the afternoon so that I can manage to stay awake until the clock strikes the Midnight hour.
My big parties (40 people with me cooking a whole salmon and half a ham) are over a few years ago. For a start many of the friends who came have passed away, some are disinclined to come out now they are older and I no longer feel like all the work involved. (sorry I have gone into italics - don't know how and certainly don't know how to correct it!)
So tomorrow evening it will just be the farmer and me, my son and his wife, my friend W and (I hope) friend A, although I am not sure whether or not he will be with us.
Today I have made a large shepherd's pie which we shall eat with red cabbage (cooked with apple and onion and brown sugar), sprouts and peas.
We shall follow this with a choice of Christmas pudding with ice cream or cream, Christmas cake with a selection of cheese or a pineapple pavlova which I made this afternoon. It has somewhat disintegrated on its removal from the oven, but I shall reconstruct it with cream and pineapple (hopefully).
We shall sit and chat until a couple of minutes before the start of the New Year and then have a drink to welcome it in. But of course (and this may well be another reason why no-one celebrates at parties any more) as they are all driving home then it will not be an intoxicating drink.
But the important thing to say is that I wish each and every one of you a happy and healthy New Year for 2017 and let us all hope for peace around the world and less suffering for the millions who have seen years of war.