No sooner do we wave a fond farewell to our Little Welsh Boys than we are packing for a trip to the Eldest of the Darling Daughters where we are to celebrate New Year's Eve with her and her family. Mr B says he is sure
that other people don't spend quite so much time travelling about between family members over the festive season.
Ah, yes, I concede - but if we want to wish every single member of our close family a Happy
Christmas in person then a certain amount of distance must be covered. It's a case of Have Family - Will Travel.
In fact this year was much easier than usual on the Travel Front, due to (i) a Boxing Day family
gathering at the Middle of the Darling Daughters' home and (ii) the fact that Our Boy and his family travelled to us, rather than us making the long journey to Wales and back. And we still managed to see everyone!
We did miss out on a Major Event, however. This was the first gathering of all ten grandchildren at the Youngest of the Darling Daughters' home. I am sad to have missed out on this but it would have been a lot of travelling for just an hour or two.
The family say, not to worry, it was absolute mayhem. Thing is, I quite like mayhem, particularly when it's family-related. Ah well, there will surely be another opportunity...
My daughters send me photographs
of the Special Occasion. There is a great photo of all five grand-daughters, all smiling away at the camera. At least I am sure Tala and Lilia would have been smiling as broadly as their cousins if they were a little mire than four weeks old. Apparently capturing
a similar shot of the five grandsons proved much more difficult as they were all bounding around like a pack of puppies. Excitement was obviously running far too high for a photo shoot.
Our New Year's Eve
celebrations were far more measured - in the best possible way. We drank champagne, opened presents and chatted about the eldest grand-daughter's career aspirations and her sister's wish to make a mark on the netball court, despite being a bit short to cut
the mustard in her favourite position of Goal Shooter. To prove her point she showed me a poster of the current England Squad - there is, indeed, a considerable height difference between the Goal Shooter at one end and the Centre at the, well, the centre of
the photo obviously.
After a pre-dinner drink at a pub called the Lobster Pot, we ordered a take-away curry and then settled down to watch The Life of Pi, before the fireworks display on TV marked the start
of a New Year. There's something very cosy about NOT going out partying on New Year's Eve though this opinion can doubtless be put down to what Faris would call my Great Age. So long as you are with those you love, I can't see it matters what you do and where
you do it.
In past years we have played a game called That Was The Year That Was. All you need is a sheet of wrapping paper and some sticky labels on which you write all the significant events of the expiring
year. It helps if you are of an artistic bent and so able to illustrate your labels with appropriate drawings. Even if, as in my case, they mostly consist of stick people. It is always surprising just how many events you remember, and how many memories each
Today, however, I read about an alternative game which sounds just as interesting and inspiring though it does involve a little more forethought. This game requires acquisition of a large jar
of some kind into which, over the course of the year, every family member drops notes about special times as they happen. They needn't be major events either, just times that have made you happy. So, for instance, this morning before Mr B and I headed off
home, we took our daughter and her daughters to the new coffee shop in the village where they live. It's housed in the refurbished historic tower which once controlled wartime operations on the West Malling Airfield - now the site of Kings Hill village.
I can't imagine that it would figure on the 2015 That Was The Year That Was poster come next December; if, on the other hand, I introduce a 2015 jar of happy memories then on December 31st we will empty the jar and find
a scribbled note reminding us of our cheery chat over the coffee cups on New Year's Day.
All I need to do now is to find a large enough jar to hold all the notes I shall doubtless be scribbling over the next
Happy Days ahead, I hope, for Mr B, for me and for all our ever-growing family - and also for you, my loyal blog readers.
Here's to 2015!