Jaqui's Daily Blog

A Quiet Night In

Time was when Mr B and I partied with the very best of them on New Year’s Eve. These days, we watch the fireworks on TV and slip off to bed as the last strains of Auld Lang Syne ring out. Sad or what?


While waiting for the clock to strike twelve, I message the rest of the family to see if they are having a more exciting time than I am. There is no response from the Middle of the Darling Daughters signalling that she probably tumbled into bed shortly after the Rascally Trio stopped Rampaging for the evening. They were doubtless, all of them, tucked up in their respective beds dreaming up fresh mischief for 2019. The Trio, that is - though I wouldn’t put it past the Middle of the Darling Daughters to come up with some notions for Merry Mayhem of her own. 


The Youngest of the Darling Daughters confesses that she, like her father and me, will probably head off up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire (as my dear Mum used to say - I didn’t understand this quaint saying for simply years) though her offspring are both out partying. The Eldest of the Darling Daughters says she is doing a jigsaw, all on her own, though she will probably fetch herself some Prosecco before the night is done. “Wow, we sure know how to celebrate!” comments my youngest daughter. I feel a warm sense of companionship with my family, based on nothing more than our shared lack of anywhere to go, this New Year’s Eve.


But, hey, Our Boy is “out out” with the Darling Daughter-in-Law, thus valiantly and single-handedly upholding the family’s reputation as ace party-goers. “Don’t worry, girls - I’m dancing the night away!” he informs us. Apparently to the Grease Megamix which has been the theme tune to many a family gathering in the past. Though not for me tonight, of course.  


When celebrating New Year’s Eve with the oldest of the Tremendous Ten grandchildren in years gone by, we used to play a game called That Was The Year That Was. All that was needed was a sheet of large and colourful wrapping paper and a roll of sticky labels on which all participants were required to record memorable moments from the past year, if possible with appropriate illustrations. 


The game usually started quite slowly, as I remember, with stickers simply commemorating all the birthdays celebrated during the year - but then gathered pace as the memories started to flood back, the funny, the sad, the trivial, the momentous. Bit by bit, every inch of the wrapping paper would be covered, while our illustrations developed from stick people to the equivalent of Banksy. Somewhere, in certain of my memory boxes (I have one for each year, dating back to the Millennium) you will find a That Was The Year That Was chart. 


I consult the four oldest grandchildren to see if they remember the game. Eleanor describes it as a  “brilliant game” while Katie makes me smile when she tells me that she always thinks about it every year. I wonder, somewhat whimsically, if she will play the game with her children and grandchildren one day. Possibly on a tablet, or its future incarnation rather than on a sheet of wrapping paper...


The best thing about a Quiet Night In on New Year’s Eve is waking up, fresh as the proverbial daisy, on the first day of the year. No tired eyes, pounding headache or overpowering desire to pull the duvet over one’s head and sleep till early afternoon. Up I rise, determined to start the New Year as I mean to go on. You must admit, I can put together a very convincing argument. Indeed I have almost convinced myself. Except that, to be honest, I am a bit like Eliza Doolittle. 


Given the chance, I could have danced all night...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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