Year Abroad Diaries: 1 January 2013

I didn’t really feel excited about New Year, maybe because a week today I’ll be back in France. It’s not exactly excitement-inducing, is it? Last night however, C and I had a lovely evening just relaxing. We made risotto, but didn’t realise that the temperamental Aga had turned itself off, so that took us a good two hours…

By the time the arborio rice had absorbed the water and we’d soaked it up ourselves, it was 2230 (and our friends were sending us numerous texts demanding our whereabouts). So, regardless of our fatigue, we drove to the Hogmanay car-park party in the Highlands capital. It was strange returning there – as if the past year had been a bad dream – same people, same setting… so odd!

Rather nice nostalgia though. M was passing round a concoction of tequila, Southern Comfort, vodka, J2O and Cointreau. Safe to say not much of it was drunk. We watched Skerryvore (same band as last year!) and before I knew it, it was time to ring in the New Year. On a huge screen, they were showing ‘Local Time in Inverness’, and as it got to 2359:30 the crowd began counting down…

3, 2, 1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I turned to C first and the fireworks began. I hugged everyone else (even some randomers) then phoned Mum, Dad and Jonny as the light exploded in the background. 2013, yet another new year.

We stayed until Skerryvore had played their last few songs, jumping around in circles in the cold, and then we all parted. The rest of our crowd went north whilst C and I returned to the cottage where a cup of tea awaited us.

We woke after 11am this morning, in the white left-hand upstairs room. I am still very tired; these 4am sleep times do nothing for me. I went and sat in the corridor and painted the window view whilst C showered. I must have been delirious at the time, because it was freezing and I wasn’t even bothered. I looked out the window towards the garden, fields and hills and just appreciated the here and now; who I am with.

A bowl of cereal, the last of the white loaf, a soya yoghurt and a cup of tea later and it was almost 3pm. The whole day, nearly gone. We quickly shut the car doors and went to a nearby glen (where our group had walked in 2012) and strolled around the magical forest trail. Now, after a nosy in the garden and some further sketching, I’m watching my C attempt to make a fire. His fists snap sheets of newspaper together; he cracks twigs to cluelessly line the burning bed. Ah. Holidays.

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