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New Year’s Day Gluttony

For the past few years, in fact since Christopher died, it’s become a bit of a tradition that my neighbours over the road invite me round for lunch on New Year’s Day – a very enjoyable way of getting the year off to a good start. Last year, we varied the routine, as my neighbours also wanted to invite the young couple who had recently moved in to the cottage up the road. Since I’ve got the largest dining room and the most chairs, it made sense for me to host the event, with each household contributing a course so that no one person had to cook the whole meal.

That worked really well, and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves, so we decided to do the same thing again this year. I looked out my best crockery, cutlery, glasses and tablecloth (all wedding presents as it happens – it’s nice to get a chance to use them), and the neighbours all appeared bearing dishes of food. We had a thoroughly gluttonous lunch of vegetable soup, then nut roast, roasted ham, baked potatoes and mixed veg, all followed by lemon soufflé. I’m feeling absolutely stuffed now!

It was a very enjoyable mealtime, and I do feel lucky to have such good neighbours – we’re only a little hamlet up here on top of the hills, but we all get along very well. We were jokingly talking about augmenting the now-annual neighbourly get-together with a summer garden party. Though I’m not sure that any of us has a garden that’s flat enough to host it, what with being on the side of an extremely steep hill!