As my blog entries for 2010 ended with a cake, it seems only fitting to kick off 2011 with something cakey too. This was our first breakfast of 2011 – a delicious, soft and fragrant panettone from Carluccio’s. I love panettone, and mean to have a go at making one, but as mine won’t come in a shiny red box with silver lettering I wonder whether it’s worth it.
I’ve never really had the nerve not to do anything at all on New Year’s Eve. I don’t know why, because I hate New Years Eve – too many memories of being stuck in the wrong bit London (either on a smelly night bus, or waiting for one), in a desperate bid to make it to what would usually turn out to be a rubbish party, in time to sing a traditional song that no one knows the words to. But this year we decided to duck out of New Year’s Eve, and instead of organising a party, or heading out to one, we had a delicious meal with the children and let them stay up to watch the Bristol skyline light up at midnight. This didn’t go entirely to plan as we had forgotten Bea’s aversion to fireworks, but the other two sat with their noses pressed against the window oohing and aaahing.
A matinee performance of Swallows & Amazons, at the Bristol Old Vic, more than made up for the lack of partying that night. The children were completely entranced by the show which involved lots of incredibly inventive props, unexpected tricks and the most fabulous music by Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy). We all came away wanting to be Amazons, and the girls are still squabbling over which one of them is Nancy Blackett. I booked our tickets online and, by some fluke, secured front-row seats. These are not the seats I would have chosen, and I probably wouldn’t choose them again for anything else, but for this particular production they ensured that we were totally involved in the show: Roger ended up on Martha’s seat with her coat over his head whilst hiding from the Amazons; we helped in a fight with Captain Flint, were sprayed with water, retrieved a dropped prop and, at the end, assisted in sending a model of the Swallow out across the auditorium. The girls tumbled out of the theatre declaring it the best thing they had ever seen.