Well into the New Year now

…so the usual seasonal wishes seem somehow inappropriate. There again, propriety has never been my strong suit – so here it is: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope everyone had an excellent time; even if you stayed indoors on New Year’s Eve with no company but a bottle and a bag of chips – so long as you enjoyed yourself! 🙂

Let’s face it: the usual celebrations leave me a tad cold, in more ways than one. So each year comes the quest to do something a little new and different – and this year was a doozy: a cottage in Normandy, with Fiona, bro Paul, mates Stu, John & Gwyn and godson Jake. Let the good times roll!

The expedition involved the seven of us in two cars (Stu’s Lancer and Fi’s Seicento), one journey by Le Shuttle from Folkestone and 200 miles the far side to a remote location between Vimoutiers and Gacé. Lovely place, with four bedrooms, bathroom upstairs (with HUGE tub!), shower downstairs, fully-equipped kitchen, dining room, living room with wood-burning stove, TV, DVD player, etc., etc. Of course, a hypermarket stop was involved, and we were laden with enough booze to sink a battleship (and yet we still ran out!) and provisions for the next few days’ culinary endeavours. We left a few days later very chilled – and very much in need of detox and healthy eating! John doesn’t spare the saturates when he’s cooking (that’s why it tastes so good!)… 🙂

So back home and back to the humdrum of the daily grind. But we made some good memories in France, and we’re threatening to do it (or something similar) again next New Year. I’ll keep you posted! In the meantime, we’re getting ourselves ready for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Cayman Islands, courtesy of LBC Radio – yes, Fiona won us a holiday, and not just any holiday either. We’ll be scuba diving, snorkelling, exploring, eating, drinking and soaking up the rays for a week, and yes, I know – you all hate me right now. Well, you know, Fiona won it, she asked me to come with her, I couldn’t say no, could I?! (not like I would, anyway!) For my part, I managed to win us a weekend break in the luxury resort paradise of…. Hastings. Random or what? Oh well, we can’t all be 5-star holiday winners! 😀

Rewinding slightly, Christmas was spent with the ex-Camden mob (none of them lives there anymore!), and it was a very fine event indeed. Lots of booze (yeah, I know – I’m checking in to detox any day now), a beautifully-cooked goose and lots of wonderfully silly party games. Then I had to get up on Boxing Day and head back from Surbiton to Dartford, as I had a dinner to cook and a brother to fetch from Stansted. Rest? Hah! Not in holiday season…

And of course, I managed to catch up with my man Benjy just before Christmas, and haven’t seen him since! He goes back to Oz on Thursday; hopefully we can catch up before that. In any case, he’s looking well, in good form and sickeningly tanned – oh, hang on, that’ll be me in a couple of weeks! 😀

New year’s resolutions abound and are discarded at a frightening rate – witness the log jam that is the local gym, and see how it all dissipates by early February. A cynic I am not, but I was once one of those seasonal gym joiners! And thanks to the taskmaster that is my girlfriend, I’m sticking at it. And getting fit… and healthy… and trim… Anyone for a pint? 😉

Enough for now – I really should be doing more constructive things, what with it being the New Year and all…