The radio counted down to midnight. I shot the champagne cork into oblivion, poured everyone a glass, and wished everybody a happy new year; a wish that, of course, went accompanied by three kisses on the cheek. A very normal New Year celebration, in short! Until I looked around and realised that nobody else was kissing anyone. Oh well. Strange Brits!
Wednesday in the pub a plan for New Year’s Eve was concocted. Jon was willing to act as a host for all geographers that hadn’t left town. Marvellous! So with a bicycle bag full of booze of various natures (on specific request) I biked south again, and soon all seven celebratory scholars were gathered.
Jon had prepared a veritable feast. By the time we were done with it there was only two hours left of the year. We decided to fill that time in a most homely and traditional way: with trivial pursuit. How many vuxenpoäng would that be? But then soon the year really drew to an end, and there was champagne, wishes, firework, messages to friends; the works! And I would like to take the opportunity to say to all those who care to read this: happy new year! May 2011 bring all sorts of good things, of both the expected and unexpected kind!
The cold night air chased us back in. On my way in I picked up the first victim of the new year: my glasses, which had fallen out of my pocket when I took out my phone. I evidently had not failed to put my full weight on them. Ah well.
Within an hour the wiser among us decided to leave. There was a clear schism there: the couples walked briskly and sober to their cars and vanished into the night, while the single population sank into the comfortable couch and explored whisky, aquavit, and whatnot. And the result was that by half past one the level of articulation had somehow diminished, and at that early hour the company wisely dispersed.
The next morning I opened my eyes, and what I saw was “A social history of English cricket”, so even if I would have managed to forget where I was, now there could be no doubt. I crawled out of Jon’s bed, and went down to give the gentleman himself a hand in tidying up the post-party mess. He had, in an unarticulated attack of chivalry, insisted on sleeping on the couch. By the time it was tidy again and I had downed my second coffee Simon, the other remaining guest, hesitantly descended from the guest room. And after a breakfast of toast I decided to return north, and start the more serious part of the year.
This year will be an exciting one. We’ll finish the project. I am supposed to acquire another contract. With Roland? In the UK? Who knows! And what else will happen! One way to find out. Bring it on!