It’s 2012! Marvellous. I’m staggered to be here. Not to be alive, I don’t take my living and breathingness lightly, but just staggeringly discombobulated to be in 2012 already. 2011 was pacy wasn’t it? Then I had a nice slow time from the eve of the 22nd until New Year’s Eve, a sedate affair in Wales apart from the whisky, and the moany teenager; and now it’s full-tilt again. It’s like the running game my two-year-old and I play in the park – run like the wind and then stop, run, stop and so on. The stop for me began on the eve of the 22nd, which was, as far as I was concerned, my official birthday. I downed my writing pen and prepared to down a glass or two with the lady from the flat upstairs. This merry making came to a stop when the lady from upstairs fell asleep after a few glasses. This was fine, as I was exhausted and during her wake times she was highly amusing, rather like my speedy two-year-old. On the 23rd, my actual birthday, my fifteen-year-old was dutiful and kind and not at all argumentative, he indulged me by looking at ‘dream homes’ with me on the internet and did not mock me once! We had quite a laugh. Later, some exhausted and even quite fraught friends came by for cocktails and canapés. I nearly burnt down the kitchen, setting fire to the popcorn and the show off cashews in turn. Everyone laughed. I wore a lurid pink Stetson given by my friend. My daughter laughed. Previously, my husband made me a splendid birthday dinner and was courtly and charming. On the 24th I drank too much champagne at my sister-in-laws and went to bed with a headache. My husband laughed – probably at my hypocrisy to do with his ‘office’ party. I forgave him instantly because he was very funny with it. On the 25th – as I was having it small (it was just us five), I made the dinner in my own sweet time – roast beef and fancy accompaniments made up as I went along – followed by meringues with cream and blackberries in rum (my mum gifted those a few days before and hey presto they became the dessert!) I did chocolate mousse for the kids, made with the cooking chocolate I found in the back of the fridge and the egg yolks left over from the meringues plus more egg whites; and I didn’t get in a fluff once. In fact I laughed at my own culinary show-offiness. I then tortured my husband by listening to Neil Diamond (husband said he should be entertaining the elderly in Blackpool or ruder words to that effect) and others sing Christmas carols via You Tube. Johnny Cash singing ‘The Little Drummer Boy,’ was sublime. Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum.