The World from my Window is quiet at the moment, after the shenanigans of the past few days. The odd car pulls up and parks, French-style in the middle of the road, to grab something from the shop. Villagers cough 'good morning' to each other in the queue for the milk and papers. With dry mouths and bleary eyes.
Our house became the venue for a New Year's Eve party, with 35 people bringing either sweet or savoury and plenty of wine and beer. The theme was 'posh'. There were plenty of twinsets, pearls and shooting breeches. I tried on two outfits before I remembered my late aunt's original 1920s flapper dress. With purple Primark tights and an appropriate pair of Jones' shoes I found in a hospice shop last year, I almost looked the part. But something was missing. I needed a band around my head. Inspiration came when I looked through the sock drawer. I found a pair of silvery tights and with these knotted around my forehead, a long set of pearls and a lovely lapis lazuli string of beads bought from a village fair around my neck, I looked the part. I still felt poorly, mind, and resolved to chuck everyone out just after midnight.
Just before the clock struck twelve, we all decamped to the Square. In freezing temperatures,scores of villagers were already doing the hokey-kokey. As the bells sounded, there were lots of hugs, shakes of hands and then we all piled in the pub - or tried to. A man in his 30s, his toothless wife and their whippet were at the door, swearing at anyone who passed. As I almost tripped over the piece of string to which the dog was tied, the woman glared at me and snarled: 'Some f***er has already kicked it, what you gonna do?' I smiled politely, as you would do dressed as a flapper posh person, and then Mr Grigg was dispatched by the landlady to try to get the pair to leave. 'No-one's gonna make me go,' the man slurred. ' If you want me to go, get the f***ing police.' So that's what happened. The patrol car knows the way by now.
By this time, half our party was in the pub, oblivious of the gatekeepers mouthing obscenities at innocent passers-by. The rest had turned tail, heading for our home. I decided this was the best option. I did not fancy a broken nose for New Year. I went back with them. There were mutterings in our hall about going home and what a shame and all that so, forgetting my Cinderella vow about getting them to leave after midnight, I sped to the CD player to turn up my iPod selection of party tunes. As the Temptations gave way to Madness, one guest who had come armed with her own selection of Cheese CDs kept mouthing 'Mamma Mia?' In the end, I succumbed and the iPod was switched off while the Mamma Mia CD was reloaded, prompting another guest to say 'Snow Patrol?' The party went on until quarter to four, with the Snow Patrol lady flicking the hem of her long red skirt and a feather boa over another guest's face as he lay on the floor. Mamma Mia, by this time, was doing a Dancing Queen down the road and up the hill to Bedfordshire.
We awoke to the sound of clashing swords and bodies in the Square. It was not a rerun of the Wild West show that took place in the pub on Christmas Eve. It was the renegade Mummers, with blacked-out faces, women morris dancers and a female taking the part of the doctor. Whatever next? Those of us not still in bed turned out to watch.
And as I struggled to tidy up the bits of feather boa on the carpet, the Dyson packed up.
Happy New Year!
That's about it
Love Maddie x
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