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.
January 4, 2023: With gratitude to Rebecca Solnit / Reruns from January 30, 31 and February 1, 2, 3, 4, 2007: Mona Lisa and the Clown and the Cool Rain of the Law (1985), Woman Trying to Remember What She is Trying to Forget (1986), Painting in America (1986), Full Moon, Chair and Planter Rising (1986), Church of the Holy Contradiction, and Untitled Scene (1986)