Good morning all well here we are at the end of 2016 and what a year it has been some big highs and an abundance of lows. I always think that the first christmas after a bereavement is going to be the most difficult. When friends found themselves in the same boat they came to stay with me for christmas on the condition I didn't push the boat out with all the christmas stuff. So mid winter feast it was, just good food and hopefully good company and no need to be on best behaviour or wear a posh frock. The house rule is eat when you are hungry and sleep when you are tired and throw the clock out of the window. If you fancy a bacon sandwich at 2am so be it, have one!!! I am not precious about my kitchen I am quite happy for people to help themselves to whatever they need or fancy. And if there is a pile of dirty dishes so what, nobody ever died of dirty dishes!!! Shiona always makes her own coffee in my house because she like playing with my machine and she and I work well together in the kitchen - which is probably just as well as we used to share an office. When I need a kick in the backside she is my go to person as she is a human dynamo and takes no prisoners. My friends in France have an uncanny knack for knowing when my chin has hit the floor and suddenly I get a phone call. Marjorie has had her share of tragedy and knows just what to say. They had a terrible Christmas with visitors who all had the winter vomiting virus over the holidays so everything went back into the freezer and guests were issued with buckets!!!! Nothing phases Marjorie. Henry and Angela are having a rough time with friends who all seem to be on the blink and they are going to come and use my B&B as they have a friend in St Thomas's following a stroke. I guess it is our age but people seem to be dropping like flies. I am going to see Sandy today she still sounds really poorly with her chest but she is one to push herself no matter what - I think I will read her the riot act!!! I have lost a few friends and gained a few I am now back in contact with my sister and thinking about it it is probably just as well we have had an interlude so we can both have time to grow a tougher hide and we are both older and wiser. I am also back in contact with a work colleague who lives in Hastings and is a handy crafts wizard spinning her own wool straight from the fleece. She is also dog crazy so that helps. Elaine, my surrogate daughter, has kept a close eye on me and not a day goes by without a phone call or a visit. Given that she has two horses and three children and a husband and now a puppy to care for I don't know where she finds the time.
Now don't think I have forgotten you my blog friends. I sit and write garbage each morning and you leave me helpful and uplifting comments and it only takes a few kind words to completely change my day. One of my Trieste blog friends is a restaurant critic by trade and she has sent me a whole list of places to eat with phone numbers opening times etc. My cousin in Trieste and an old American friend are awaiting my arrival in May.
I have cleared the decks in anticipation of the new year - the family heirloom tea set has been delivered back to the family where it might be appreciated and my shiny things are shiny. I love crystal but it does need to be washed from time to time to look its best however, much easier than polishing metals.
This morning I am carless as James car needed some work doing so it is still in the garage and Denzil has taken my car to get to work however, he will be back around 11am. Today I am plotting and planning a meal for Henry and Angela, I was going to do a steak and kidney pie but I am now wondering if that would be to heavy a meal especially as Henry has a stinking cold. I have the ingredients for a traditional Italian new year meal of cotechino and lentils which might be more appropriate. I saw a lovely recipe where you pipe mash potato nests which you then fill with the lentils. Plus a green salad I think....
Then I am in a quandary as to what to do for dessert. I could make an apple slice and cream or I could just do a nice cheese board and fruit or both. They will need to get away promptly on Monday morning to beat the traffic so breakfast will be tea/coffee, toast and eggs anyway you fancy. What a fabulous way to start the new year with the inauguration of the sofa bed.
My glass which was half empty is now half full, bring on 2017 I am ready and waiting........