Another New Year…

One day, Ming extravagance, and the epic achievements of Gutenberg and Luther, the next shove ha’penny (which can be highly competitive, but no history of fights as far as I am aware) and singing Auld Lang Syne outside a country pub. Yes, it’s New Year. And I wake to greet a murky and windswept morning with, no, not a hangover, but a stonking cold. (Origins of ‘stonking’?)

England can get no greyer than this, which lunch at another, lesser country pub hardly alleviated. The sin of serving no real ales was cardinal and all but unforgivable. And yet there was something appealing about the desolation of the Cotswold landscape, and braver, healthier souls than us were walking the country paths and straggling along the roads, and leaving muddy boots in pub porches.

Dustin Hoffman and Judy Dench falling in love on TV surprised us, less so Miranda marrying Gary. Hot toddies and we were both of us off to bed, early bed. With the ‘Blue Danube’ lightening a heavy step: we’d watched the New Year’s Day concert from Vienna in the morning, almost an indulgence, a perfect world, perfectly happy, music and ballet and gilded Baroque a bright concoction that always serves to erase the old year and set us out with optimism into the new…

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