I celebrated the shortest day here by going for a very brief swim in the harbour. It lasted two minutes. You can get very cold in two minutes and even a flask of hot chocolate wasn’t enough to bring the blood back to my fingers for a good hour.
The other thing we did to banish the winter blues was to have a sparkly soirée. 39 people plus a dog fitted into our little house and it was tremendous fun. It’s the biggest party Duncan and I have had and we learned a few things from it.
1. Brighten up the house with candles and lots of fairy lights (bought secondhand or borrowed from friends), but make sure your ancient electrics can handle all the lights being turned on at once.
2. Solar powered outside lights are great for decorating the front of the house unless the sun hardly comes out because it has rained all week and the batteries run out of power before the party has started. I had to charge them up inside.
3. Make a note of what food people bring so that you can thank them when you eat it later. I have no idea who made the little caramel tarts but they were delicious.
4. Hide the remote for the smart TV.If it took you weeks to make the perfect Spotify playlist, you don’t want to give control to your friends when they’re drunk.
5. Leave tea, coffee, mugs, sugar, etc out by the kettle before the party starts. You’ll be in no state to make people tea and coffee towards the end and guests will try to do it themselves.
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