New Year

Happy New Year everybody!

We had a great time. Visited Gill’s mum & Dad, very simple but lovely family evening. Sat outside around June’s new chiminea, eating pie and peas in the snow, then came inside and played party games.

I seem to have got very drunk. I think mainly because Gill kept asking me to hold her drink, and every time I would down it in one before giving it back to her (well, it was funny the first time).

While we were inside, a good couple of inches of snow fell on the ground. When we left, it was a winter wonderland. We skidded and skated back down the hill from Crosspool to Crookes. On the way, I got hopelessly carried away making snow angels – something I’ve never in my life done before. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of snow angels until Rowan got a book called The Snow Angel, or something similar (wow, it’s amazing how many books there are with Snow Angel in their title) about five years ago.

Down School Road, we passed several groups of students building snowmen in the middle of the street, and trying to direct the occasional slip-skating car around their snow-sculptures. I cried out “Happy New Year” to all of them. It was so much fun that, when we got home I didn’t want to stop being out in the snow. Neither did Rowan. So together the two of us went on the most beautiful, magical walk. Down to Barbour Road (via the Hallamshire pub, where I opened the door and shouted “Happy New Year” to the costumed super-heroes assembled inside. I tried to get Rowan to come in the pub, as I fancied another drink, but she was ever so sensible). We walked down to the Ponderosa, where we both made more angels in the huge field of virgin snow. Back up and across Weston Park, our conversation getting ever deeper. Before we arrived back home we’d covered drunkenness, shyness and self-confidence, talking to strangers, getting in fights, and… all sorts. It was so wonderful, discussing all these incredibly grown-up subjects, Rowan responding so maturely.

Back inside, I realised just how wet I was. Gill had made Rowan a hot chocolate, but it had gone cold – we must’ve been walking nearly an hour, rather than the ten minutes or so she’d expected. Made myself an armagnac hot chocolate (about one third armagnac – strong stuff), peeled off my water-and-snow-plastered clothes, and crashed out.

This morning my head hurt. But it didn’t last.

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