In the village square, the party poppers and streamers lie on the tarmac, like the tresses of an abandoned lover. Up in the bedroom, Mr Grigg is snoring. Behind the closed curtains of The Enchanted Village streets, people are sleeping with smiles on their faces.
Last night, the clock struck twelve (it could have been thirteen) as the cast of this blog snaked down from the hall past the play equipment to the square. Earlier, Mr Grigg had spent rather too long in a clinch with a couple of balloons and a pretty maid as Manual shouted instructions from the stage, dressed in a sequinned suit and a ginger wig.
He managed to break away in time for the big New Year's Eve countdown, and my high heels spiked the grass in the village green as I tried to make it to the square before the clock stopped chiming.
Down in the square, revellers spilled out from the pub. There were two lines. Us and them. The Greeks and the Trojans, ready to fight. Super Mario and Princess Peach, as Hector and Andromache, looked across at us all in our village hall finery. When Hawkeye came out from the pub, shouting 'Happy New Year' in his John Wayne drawl, I thought there might be a shoot-out.
And then someone started singing Auld Lang Syne. We linked arms, all of us, a huge great circle in the square. We sang, we slowly stomped towards each other, our hands intertwined. A taxi pulled up and had to wait as the Enchanted Village came together in a spirit of one-ness. We got faster and faster, meeting in the middle until the end of the song when there were kisses and hugs all round.
I saw Bellows Packman embracing Mrs Champagne-Charlie, Darling Loggins cuddling Nobby Odd-Job, Pelly Sheepwash cosying up to Randy Munchkin and Mrs Bancroft hugging the fragrant Mrs Putter.
And then there was Mr Grigg, a huddle of ladies all queueing up for a New Year's kiss.
I looked around at the village, the Christmas lights on our tree above our front door flashing like they were going out of fashion, the Union Jack over the shop fluttering and the taxi driver waiting patiently while we danced all around him.
This is a good place to be right now, I thought.
That's about it.
Oh, and yes, Happy New Year.
Love Maddie x
The Beetle’s trundled more than eighteen hundred miles across Italy and France, with cars and lorries tooting both in frustration (it takes...
The mist swirls down from Dorset's highest point as I drive along dark country lanes into town. It is appropriate weather for the B...
Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was a child in a meadow with a woodland circle of beech trees around me. And there was clover growing i...
Just before 11 o'clock, I'll get up out of my chair and stare out at our village square. It's rainy now, the tarmac is drenched ...
Once upon a time, when I was fit, I cycled up to the most wonderful place on earth. It's in West Dorset and, when you get to the to...