So, 2012. Here you are, wholeheartedly so. Aware that we are well into the New Year, that once again the photos are stacking up on my hard drive, the words tumbling over each in my head. But posting about things chronologically maintains some sort of order, so here you go.
New Year's Eve. What was meant to be a quiet dinner for stragglers turned into a party of sorts as numbers snowballed. There are always more stragglers than you anticipate at New Year. Always. We drank bubbly with rose petals, punch from the latest Bompas and Parr. Ate the food I had spent most of the day cooking, homemade hummus, baba ganoush, beetroot and walnut dip. Spanakopita. Ottolenghi's winter vegetable cous cous. Nigella's gleaming maple cheesecake.
At half past eleven, bundled on coats and scarves, sensible shoes, headed up to Primrose Hill for the stroke of midnight and the fireworks. Always my favourite moment. Not for me the the overcrowded London club on New Year's Eve, but rather this open space high above it all, city below, sky vast, horizon erratically lit up by fireworks, not just those on the river, but elsewhere too, people all over the city celebrating. Champagne from plastic cups, sparklers distributed to gloved hands, mud underfoot and grass slick with earlier rain.
In the morning, New Year's Day, just M and I, blueberry muffins, bagels. A long, long walk up to Hampstead Heath, spying a woodpecker in the trees and later, some of London's parakeets. Back down past Parliament Hill, Kentish Town, Camden, discarded Christmas trees looking sorrowful. Getting caught in the rain, running for the bus, holing up in the flat with soup and toast and television.