So we celebrated the New Year twice last night/this morning. Once at midnight, with the Germans, and then again, at 1am (through the lovely means of satellite television). We raised our glasses and clinked along with the Scots as the canon blew, the bells clanged and then we all sang along to Auld Lang Syne. Well, most of us did, Akasha informed me, mid song, that she was humming because she didn’t know the words. Then Joni and I attempted the Gay Gordons in a too-small-space and I got dizzy way before she did. I think that means I’m officially getting old.
Though to be honest, I’d already discovered that during the festive season. We’d purchased a cork board map of Europe and some little flag pins for Lori for Christmas. Despite her travel sickness she’s an ambitious traveller. She showed me where she’d stuck her pins and I got the shock of my life as I looked at her hung board and realised I couldn’t read a single name of a town anywhere in the whole of Europe! I zoomed in and out with my face but it was all blurry and only when I instinctively removed my glasses and placed them on the top of my head, then hovered in front of the board could Vienna and Rome and Lyon be easily deciphered.
2013 wasn’t my best year to date. And it wanted to make itself felt with it’s very last day. The morning had started with a notifying single bark from the dog as a piece of paper apparently fluttered down from its home on the whiteboard. I entered the hall to find the paper, amazingly, intact but the magnet, which had been holding it in place, missing. After an extensive search of the small hallway my son sobbed his poor wee heart out (believing that that would be the end of the dog) while I sped read the whole of the World Wide Web on the matter and then knowledgably informed him that it should be OK. The dog who was presently leaping around, full of madness and joviality would probably be fine. Just to be sure to help the magnet travel through in a more gliding fashion I then ran to the kitchen and prepared various vet-recommended recipes and nourished the delighted dog (she can barely contain herself when there’s boiled chicken on the hob).
I thought I’d leave 2013’s muck and grime behind, so I wandered upstairs to run a bath, only to discover that there was no hot water. As in, no water came out of the tap when it was turned to hot. Being a woman with no practical sense whatsoever I tried turning the tap on and off lots of times to see if that would make the water sploosh out again. Aden shook his head in despair at me and then looked around the house for a sensible man, i.e. Papa, and got, in my opinion, more than a little over-excited about the potential use of tools. Reini sweated in winter as he stared at the completely tiled-in bath. And I helpfully informed him that I had never thought a completely tiled-in bath was a good idea when we bought the house, although, it does, of course, look nice.
But Reini is our Mr Fix-It. So he managed to run me a bath through the shower and then, after many more beads of sweat, do a temporary fix on the tap, which according to him has some technical bit that will, at some point, no doubt in 2014, need to be replaced.
We started to prepare for the evening’s Raclette. It’s originally a Swiss dish that’s also eaten a lot in these parts. You need a special grill machine. There’s an element in the middle which warms the plate on the top so you can cook meat pieces etc and then simultaneously heats little individual pans underneath. Each participant has a pan and they fill it with whatever prepared ingredients they want, in our case: boiled potatoes and eggs, bread, tomatoes, pickled gherkins, onion, olives, ham, white asparagus, corn, and mushrooms were all part of the selection; then you place a piece of Raclette cheese on top and then grill it under the element. It’s a very sociable and fun meal but it takes a bit of preparation and at some point during those preparations I started to feel a little dizzy. Then I started to feel a lot dizzy. My husband sent me to the sofa to put my feet up and at that moment I started to see flashing lights. Black and white ones on the right side. It was a bit like a flashing kaleidoscope and, to be honest, it was rather annoying. To top that the rest of my vision seemed blurred by some sort of black smoke. Minutes ticked and the flashing continued at full bothersome force and as I didn’t seem to improve our visitor mentioned that perhaps I might be having a stroke. I laughed it off at first, telling myself that I’m just a slip of a girl but then I remembered.
I remembered the illegible cork map. And that grey hair I pulled out. And I looked down at my spreading belly and I realised that actually I’m 41. 41!
So, Reini sped read the World Wide Web and what do you know, I was actually suffering from a migraine. My body confirmed his diagnosis within a few short minutes with a great big stonking headache.
I do admit, it’s the very first time I’ve ever said, “Phew!” to a headache.
For some strange reason, right after this incident Reini moved the computer and discovered the dog had chewed through the network cable.
Let’s just say he wasn’t impressed.
And so we waved avidly goodbye to 2013 and warmly welcomed 2014.
After all, it’s a brand New Year. A brand New Start. A slate wiped clean.
And despite my migraine, I’ll raise a toast to that.
Happy New Year to each and every one of you. May 2014 be filled with health and happiness and adventures of a delightful nature!!!