December was the coldest since records began in 1910 and snow and illnesses covered the country. Louisa had pneumonia but everyone succumbed to some sort of chest infection that was hard to shake off. Our pre-Xmas break with the Crockers, Burkes and Foreman-Pecks was in a fabulous barn near Smarden that Pete had organised but I had contracted my bug a week earlier and never got outside the barn door till it was home time.
Still, we had a good time at Christmas celebrating Heilige Abend at Louisa and Julian’s house, Christmas day with Danae and Nathan and post-Christmas with Thom and Tara. Esme, Rocco and Tove were the prism through which we focused and got greatest enjoyment though the devilled eggs, capon, roast potatoes, gazpacho and ham in coke were very memorable.
Other highlights were getting the results of Julian’s quiz for our predictions for the year 2010 – Thom was first with the most accurate forecast, but I came second. Julian has admonished us not to be so competitive next time and Esme pointed out that it wasn’t winning but taking part that mattered.
One of my rare forays out of the house was with Sheila, Julian and Thom to the ICA to see Tarkovsky‘s Stalker. We had a meal at the Wolseley first and enjoyed the luxury of silver service but didn’t spot any celebs other than a David Frost look-alike. Ray says he stopped going when the other diners kept staring at him thinking he was Vincent Price.
Nathan didn’t fancy Stalker, although he also has the computer game, because he once shared a flat with a Tarkovsky devotee who played his films endlessly. Sheila, who had baulked once she realised what she had let herself in for, didn’t sleep through too much of the film which was, for me, haunting and mesmerising.