A very hectic, but very enjoyable few days! After writing our last entry we headed off to Ian and Helens house in Moseley for two days of New Year fun starting, on Monday night (30th) with, what has become known as, Phils pre New Year Balti, at Diwans restaurant so, despite Jackie and I being there only three days before, we rendezvoused at the Old Moseley Arms for a beer before going on to Diwans.
|Phils Balti in Diwans, LtoR: Manu, Helen, Adam, Danielle, Henry, a blurred Ian, Phil, Sue. Neil, Brian, Jackie, Iain and Crystal|
|Daniella and Helen talking across Henry|
There was Jackie and me, Ian and Helen, Phil and Sue, Manu and Crystal, Iain (sadly Bev couldn’t make it, her ME getting the better of her), plus Phil’s son Henry, his other son Adam with his very good looking girlfriend, Danielle, and Sues son-in-law, Neil (Helen, Sues daughter, was at home babysitting their two young girls). Fabulous night out, taxi there and back, lots of beer drinking, lots of great Indian food, served by our perfect host, Jay and lots of laughs.
|Brian, Jackie and Iain|
Phil was being more of a dad in front of his two sons and when talking to Danielle, who he met for the first time, Ian was making his usual comments that, if we all didn’t know him well would be embarrassing, Helen was her usual sweet self, chatting to everyone and making sure everyone was OK and Manu, Crystal and Iain were, well, Manu, Crystal and Iain! Phil’s two boys are great fun, easy to talk to and a real credit to Phil, all in all, a great night!
|Danielle, Phil and Sue|
|Jay making sure everyone has enough to drink|
|The night goes on...|
|And on....What were Helen and Henry talking about?|
|Preparation in the kitchen|
New Year’s Eve started off with hangovers from me and several others but, after a great breakfast provided by Ian and Helen, we got ourselves together, Jackie and I going up into their loft to recover some of our kitchen stuff we have stored there, ready to take to France, Phil and Sue went round to see their kids staying in Kings Heath, Iain went back to Bristol and we helped prepare the huge buffet Ian and Helen had organised for the NYE party. Plenty to do, but good fun, until Jackie’s cold got the better of her and she had to rest, after making her macaroni cheese and the pesto sauce ready for the bruschetta. I made a Tiramisu using lots of Kahlua, a coffee liqueur, making it very alcoholic and then lots of Italian dishes (the theme of the evening).
|Dr Phils special Italian sausage rolls!|
Phil arrived back and made his special sausage rolls, using pimped sausage meat with added spices and onion (that Phil sold as 'Dr Phils Italian sausage meat'!) and, before we knew it, people were arriving and the night was away, Must have been at least thirty people (plus 7 teenage girls in very short skirts, one of whom was the daughter of a neighbour of Ian and Helens, had a dinner party next door and were then thinking of going into Moseley until they were invited round to join us – the blokes seemed quite interested in this development!).
|Helen fixes Ians false moustache (I don't know why!)|
|Phil had one (as did I, but no photos!)|
The air hockey game was set up again and the blokes had plenty of testosterone fuelled games, Phil and I having several hectic games, but Helens sisters son, thirteen year Callum is still air hockey king (although I did beat him once!). The food was fabulous, the company was great and then it was midnight and outside for fireworks, then back in for a three hour session of ‘dads dancing’ in the lounge. Loud music, plenty of drunk folk with no inhibitions and we were away. Nothing was broken, the carpet survived with only a few stains and everyone who overbalanced was caught or hugged by someone – how fantastic is that!
|Very nice Ian!|
|Waiting for the midnight chimes|
|And then into the garden for champagne and fireworks...|
|I'm quite sure they were all sober!|
|Dads dancing at its best!|
|First BBQ of 2014 - in the rain!|
New Year’s Day was…late! Breakfast, at midday, was cooked in the traditional way, Ian outside cooking bacon and sausage on the barbeque, in the rain. He was not to be deterred, despite Phil trying to dissuade him, but we all know Phil wanted to have the first barbeque in Poole (where apparently it’s always sunny), wearing his shorts, so Ian was not to be put off and able to claim the first BBQ!
In no time we had to leave to pack our car ready for our trip to France, after several goes it all went in, just, and we even had time for a cake and to watch most of the Sound of Music (great film for New Year’s Day), before going round to Jackie’s mums (Pauline), out for dinner (her treat) at a pub in Barnt Green, me by this time feeling pretty crap, having got Jackie’s cold (she’s now nearly back to normal) and then to bed with a Lemsip, ready for the ‘big off’.
|First dinner in France!|
We’re now writing in a hotel room in Reims, France, where we arrived a couple of hours ago. My ‘man-flu’ is in full force so, not wanting to go to the restaurant, spends lots of money and sneeze over everyone, we dropped at a supermarket and got a baguette with some pate and cheese (French pate and cheese is fabulous), so that was our dinner along with an Australian bottle of red, some crisps from Sainsburys, a box of Swiss chocolates and a piece of Stephs Christmas cake, all laid out on our bed. All TV channels are in French, so I’m glad to be able to write this!
Looking forward to getting to the ski resort tomorrow, although Ash has phoned to say it’s raining in the village, but apparently it is fresh snow up high, so hopefully it will be OK. It doesn’t matter anyway, we’re there for long enough to see some good snow at all levels.