My mother always says that the people you end up being friends with are the parents of your children’s friends. So this year we spent New Year’s Eve at the house of people whose daughters are friends of our children from school.
The mother is from South Africa which led to the following mortifying exchange.
Her: Last year, Sam and Phoebe played Chase until 1 in the morning.
Me [suspecting some new video game]: What the hell is Chase?
Everyone else: Chess.
Accent difficulties notwithstanding we had a lovely time. We had lots in common with the other guests as our children mostly attend the same school. Other advantages included being able to actually bring the children who had a great time until Michael became too tired to take any more and his siblings wanted to stay. As we had only driven up from Cork that morning and it was about 11 we just went home. The children fell into their beds. I went in to say good night and happy new year to each of them. The last words my daughter said to me in 2014 were, “There is NO WAY I am going on a walk tomorrow. Close the door after you.” How well she knows me. The weather conspired in her favour as it has been lashing all day and we haven’t left the house.
Also I have new year’s resolutions. Firstly, we intend to entertain more. I have decided that we will have people to dinner the third Saturday of every month. Let’s see how that goes. That was about it until the other day. My mother and I had the following exchange:
Her: Your brother Daniel is a good dresser, isn’t he?
Me: He is, particularly for an Irish person where the competition is so limited.
Her: And your sister has really smartened up and dresses quite nicely now.
Her: It’s a pity you don’t dress yourself up a bit more. There was a time there when you lived in Brussels that you were quite smart but it seems to have gone downhill.
Frank confession, my entire wardrobe including work and casual clothes includes: 1 suit, 5 skirts, 4 long sleeved tops [+1 my sister gave me for Christmas because she felt I was desperate], 1 short sleeved top, 4 pairs of trousers, 2 cardigans, 1 jumper [Christmas present from sister, see above] 2 jackets, 3 dresses, one fleece and two pairs of holey track suit bottoms. Laid out like that it doesn’t look too bad but it really is. This is not a capsule wardrobe with each piece carefully chosen, immaculately cut and working flawlessly with everything else. It’s what hasn’t worn out [and frankly that is arguable for at least two of the tops]. I’m not sure why but I’ve just lost interest in buying clothes. I bought a nice winter coat in September and a pair of cotton trousers in France in the summer but that’s it for clothes purchases in 2014. It’s not like I sublimate my purchasing needs by buying things for the children. My brother and sister are always buying them clothes so that I don’t have to.
So my second new year’s resolution is to try to improve my wardrobe. My parents gave me a large cheque for Christmas and I intend to begin my labours tomorrow by spending it in the sales. More tops are a priority; perhaps some that need to be ironed. I polished my boots today as well. I am going to pin things to wear on pinterest. Or maybe not. I understand small steps are essential.
Tell me, what are your own new year’s resolutions?