Saturday, 2 January 2016


(noun) (furst-foo t)

the first person to cross the threshold of a house on New Year’s Day

I love parties.

The dressing up, the make up, the fun, the fairy lights but most of all I love being surrounded by people that I care about.

So, when I found home at the end of last year, one of my first thoughts was to celebrate and if you’re going to do that you should pick the perfect day and what better than New Year’s Eve.

Then I got over excited and made a promise I shouldn’t have…

I promised to cook.

I decided on chili and stovies – not in the same dish - and albeit I am an old hat at the one pot wonder that it is chili.  I have never attempted stovies before.

There was a couple of road bumps; I bought the ingredients, got home then discovered I don’t own a potato masher and I didn’t realise a wee bit of water was needed until 10 minutes in, however, the end result looked awesome.

Unfortunately, my reputation in the kitchen proceeds me and all my relatives nodded and promised faithfully to give it a go with a smile on their face until my Uncle Brian walked into the kitchen and laughed and said, “yes, your Dad warned us you were cooking and to go for the party food.”

However, some shocked and surprised compliments later, it was a success.  The fact that the pan had to be discarded is just unfortunate.

Apart from the drama of cooking there were many moments of joviality and karaoke, I am very, very sorry Mr. Sinatra.  

Then there were the unexpected, special moments.

As a housewarming gift, I got lump of sea coal from my Auntie Margaret for luck in the coming year and given my love of ancestry I was delighted with another link to the past and my Great Granddad Bob.

“You know, he most likely mined that,” she said explaining that she had picked it up from the beach near ‘The Dubbie’ the Francis Colliery, where he was a miner for the best part of 49 years.

Then there were the stories about those who were not there, my Nana and Granddad, but the memories weren’t sad.  They were happy and funny and as we spoke, shared memories and laughed they were in the room with us.  I know they were.

And when I went to bed in the wee small hours of the New Year what I remembered most about the party was that I was surrounded by people who loved me and for that I am very grateful.  

So if I could leave you with one parting wish, I would like it to be this; count your blessings.  Because if in the great moments of life you are surrounded by the people that you love then you’re pretty damn lucky.

Be happy and appreciate all that you have.  I do.