I'm not a big fan of New Year's Eve. It rates far too highly as the night of the year when one has to have fun with a capital F. I have like most people I guess, far too many dodgy memories of New Year's Eve parties that have ended in tears (though I have certain fondness for New Year's Eve 1983 - which was the first time I properly got drunk and had an evening where all sorts of mayhem ensued. It ended with me dancing round a lamppost and declaring undying love for someone who had better remain nameless, though I've no doubt if he remembers the events of the rest of that evening he probably knows who he is). So now I am settling down well into middle age, the allure of a night on the tiles is long gone. And actually I quite like the fact that the two big ones have joined us at midnight for the last couple of years. Who better to celebrate a new year with then your offspring?
So last night we decided to stay in. But then Spouse in totally mindblowingly out of character style romantic hero type behaviour decided to cook me a candlelit dinner. He insisted we dress up, so I donned a slinky black number and he donned a tux. Are we having a party? asked no 4. You're not, we are, was Spouse's response. What you're having a party without US??? she said. Too right we are...
As a mother of four I frequently feel like Mrs Large in Jill Murphy's hilarious books about the Large Family, and never more so then last night. One of her books is entitled A Quiet Night In - and Mrs Large cooks Mr Large a special birthday meal only for them both to be so exhausted they both fall asleep and the children eat their dinner.
That didn't quite happen, but it was a hoot chasing unwanted offspring to bed. We let the big ones stay up watching Life of Brian - I think their education in subversion should begin young - and drank champagne and ate steak together with the kitchen door firmly shut. It was great. All the advantages of going out, staying in.
At midnight we joined the children in the lounge, let off party poppers, drank more champagne, and watched the outrageously brilliant fireworks on tv, while the sprogs jumped into the New Year by leaping off the sofa (a German tradition they got off their granny).
It was absolutely brilliant. And reminded me yet again, why after so many years together (we celebrate a quarter of a century next year... gulp. How did that happen?) Spouse remains All That.
I think I shall be going out by staying in a lot more in 2008....