30 Dec 2011

Hestia and Hogmanay

Please don't let them ever retire -
I won't know what to do at Hogmanay without them
I don't know about you, but the days between Christmas and New Year always leave me feeling a bit sad.  First of all, the excitement of Christmas is over for another 12 months and secondly, I realise that I've hardly seen any of the TV shows/movies that I carefully circled with my black biro in the TV Times on 17th of December.....

I also realise that I have have eaten more than my body weight in turkey and mince pies.

Sometimes on the same PLATE.

On the bright side, Sonshine and I have written all our thank you cards.  OK - so we might not actually have posted all of them, but I think getting them all written in December is a Good Thing.

We are the only family that we know that still writes thank you cards.  Please tell me that I'm not the only person in the world who still does this?


Tomorrow night is the night where we turn to face the incoming year with as much courage as we can drink....our little minds bursting with Good Intentions and Great Expectations.  Oh yes, along with Downton Abbey, Great Expectations was the only other thing I recall deliberately tuning in to see this Christmas....

I will be preparing a mince pie - with MINCE and ONIONS and ALLSPICE.  Which is ALMOST lasagna.  I am good at lasagna.  Less good at mince pies.

I will be serving the mince pie with piping hot butter beans.  I will be FORCING my guests to eat this traditional accompaniment, even though it means we will all be farting loudly and self-consciously on the sofa whilst waiting for The Bells.  Not the whisky.  The actual bells.  At midnight.

There will be a great deal of alcohol because We Are Scottish and we cannot, apparently enjoy ourselves without a bottle in one hand and, well, a bottle in the other hand.  Sadly, my powers of recovery are so much slower than they were when I was in my twenties.

In my twenties I could stay up all night dancing and drinking and snogging deeply inappropriate boys with leather jackets and old motorbikes and in my forties?  In my forties I just want to have a quiet game of Scrabble and go to bed.

What I will be doing instead is serving up a mince pie dinner at around 11pm, ensuring that my guests have a constantly full glass until about 1am.  We will watch TV, bemused by people in kilts playing tunes that we don't know on their accordions and fiddles and we will wonder who the hell chooses the dresses for Jackie Bird (BBC Scotland's answer to Tess Daly).  We will get sad and weepy (part of the Scottish psyche).

I will slip away quietly, only to be found face down on the duvet in Sonshine's room an hour later.  Probably fully-clothed and possibly with the bucket that we use to wash the cars secreted helpfully next to the bed. Just in case.

At around 3am I will waken, desperate for a cheese scone and wander around the darkened house wondering whether any of my facebook friends are awake in the US or Oz.......I will switch on the mac and I will tell them all that I love them.  REALLY LOVE THEM.  Then I will go upstairs to bed.  Possibly on all fours. And I will lie in bed feeling unwell.  And I will possibly get sad and weepy again.  Because I am Scottish.  Not because there is Anything Actually Wrong.

I will begin my New And Improved Life  (NAIL) with my Healthy Eating Regime at approximately 10am on 1 January and fall off the NAIL wagon secretly in the kitchen at approximately 10.33am as I eat the bacon and egg scraps off Sonshine's plate as it comes through to get washed.

It's been another lovely year in which my loved ones and myself have made it through unscathed.  And that's all I'm really hoping for for ALL of us in 2012 too.

.....see you back here at about 3am on 1 January, I suppose!

To your very good health!

Cheers!  *clinks glass on mac screen*


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Ah, I'll miss the Scottish ambience at Hogmanay.

    NOBODY does pissed and maudlin as well as we Scots, and although it would seem logical to have the effect amplified by the 13,000 miles of homesickness, it doesn't seem to happen.
    First footing doesn't really happen out here either, just parties.

    Enjoy your real mince pie.
    Enjoy your butter beans.
    Have a guid New Year, and I hope that all your troubles will be little ones.

    PS No Black Bun or Shortbread?
    PPS Sorry about the comment deletion, two bad typos.

  3. Have a Happy New Year! and see you at 3 am. What's that time here in Melbourne?

  4. Happy New Year!

    Hope your evening/night goes as predicted above - obvs without need for actually using the bucket, and definitely with the 3am facebook love-in. Am quite tame with my drinking these days - actually looking forward to cracking open some more bucks fizz tomorrow. Its a wimpish 4% for gawd's sake!

    Love the image of Sonshine's plate magically making its own way into the kitchen... I must have been watching too much Bedknobs & Broomsticks! x

  5. Trashsparkle - it doesn't materialise by magic, but by the Smoke and Mirrors that passes for Tartarus on Ne'erday morning. Mainly smoke. Smelly smoke.

    And you can never have too much Bedknobs and Broomsticks!

    Mystica - Probably when it is 3am here, you'll be sleeping it all off in sunny Oz!

    TSB - yes, we'll be singing about longing for mountains and valleys....whilst sitting in the same mountains and valleys bemoaning the fact that the broadband is crap! Shortie yes, black bun, no!

    Have a good one chaps!

    Ali x

  6. You could always add some porridge, shove it inside a balloon and pretend it's haggis :D

  7. Ania - ahahahahahahahahaha no ;-)

  8. happy new year, darling!

    i'll be walking around our apartment wondering why the hell i invited so many people and how the hell i can make them leave NOW. i love parties when they're a far off fancy, and the closer i get to the actual event, the more horrified i become. even now, i'm considering phoning them all and telling them we've all come down with a bad case of ebola...oh god!

  9. Hope the bucket is redundant (but put it there just in case!) Have a suitably emotional Hogmanay, and I look forward to following your adventures in 2012. xxxxx

  10. I am the same about that 'non-bit' between Christmas and New Year. There's a kind of anti-climax, especially when you get that bit older and get nothing to play with at Christmas.
    New Year can be so melancholy - all those old acquaintances being forgotten.
    Here's hoping you have a fabulous New Year/Hogmanay/(BOTH!!) xx

  11. And so, 2012 eases in with a glass of water and a couple of pain-killers....

    MLB - I have been playing with my ipad, but you're right, it's nothing like the joy of having a squillion toys to play with lol! Hope you had a lovely evening!

    Pastcaring - bucket was not needed, but I DID get the cheese scone munchies....but was too sleepy to get out of bed and go aaaaaaallllll the way to the kitchen to hunt one down! Hope that you had a great night - suitably dressed to the NINES!

    Polish Chick - ooooh can't wait to read how the party turned out!!! Hope you had a fab time - ebola outbreaks notwithstanding!

    Ancient Scottish Toast: (or perhaps just a quaint Glaswegianism): Here's to us, there's none like us!

    Ali x

  12. "Ancient Scottish Toast: (or perhaps just a quaint Glaswegianism): Here's to us, there's none like us!"
    The version we used in the Army was slightly different.

    "Here's tae us.
    Wha's like us,
    Damn few,
    an' their aw Deed"

  13. Here's to 2012 I too hope to begin the Healthy Eating regime soon.Yes very soon.
    *Clinks glass*

  14. YaH - thank you! You too!

    NS - yeah...about that healthy eating regime *sigh* when do we start?

    TSB - damn straight!


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