Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Year's Day...

Today, New Year's Day, we had organised to go to Marmalade Annie's for a meal.  For a number of reasons Annie had found herself on her own this Christmas and needing an injection of cash so she had offered to host a New Year's day lunch at her house for a select number and a small fee and I thought it might be nice for the four of us to go.  She had done the same on Christmas Day and 10 people and 5 dogs had enjoyed her hospitality - Prodromi Pam said it was one of the best Christmas Days she had had.  We think she could make a go of a private dining club - she is a good cook and a lovely person.

Anyway as we had to be there for 1.00 and she lives past the Fly Again we had to get ready in our finery in the morning so here are Mum and Dad fully suited and booted and on their best behaviour before going out.  It was yet another beautiful day but it is never easy to gauge what it is going to be like in someone else's house although we knew that Annie had a wood burner so we were hopeful that it would be warm plus she is down on the coast and Argaka always seems to have a little weather system of its own because we can often look down along the coast and it might be miserable everywhere else but the sun is shining at Argaka so as always layers were the order of the day.

Having showered we had a little time to kill before setting off so Dad and John decided to tackle a particularly tricky cryptic crossword.  You can see a bit of Chivers in the picture.  We had thought that he looked a little perkier today but he is still not eating and only drinking with encouragement.  Minnie seems to realise that he is unwell as she has taken to cleaning him and we are concerned that if whatever he has is catching then she will have been close enough to catch it.  She has been picky with her food too.  We have made a decision that they will go to the vets tomorrow - better to be safe than sorry and having spoken to Irene we now that the vets will be open.

Dad and John managed to finish the crossword just in time for us collect together the I-Pod with the special playlist I had put together for the afternoon, the cheeseboard we were taking as we had a glut leftover from Christmas and the bottles of wine we were planning to consume with our meal.  We had no idea how long we would be out - how long does a lunch last??  I suppose so much would depend on the company, the meal and the temperature!!

You will never believe it but we were going to arrive too early - who would have thought it!!!!  Anyway to kill a few minutes we stopped on the coast at the Fly Again and took a look along the coastline back towards Polis.  The coastline is wilder up here, wild and beautiful and on a sunny day in winter the colours are stunning.

We arrived at Annie's just before 1.00pm and she had the table beautifully set for the diners.  There would be six others plus Annie - none of whom we had met before so it was going to be a chance to meet some new people.  As place settings Annie had decorated a pebble for each of us with our name and a sprig of holly - simple but effective.

John soon made himself at home and was busy helping Annie in the kitchen.  We were to start proceedings with either a Kir Royale or a Bellini - this was to be followed by either a carrot and orange soup or chicken liver pate, lemon sorbet, pork fillet with madeira sauce, vegetables etc, then either poached pears or Christmas pudding ice-cream, cheese and biscuits, coffee and petit fours! Yum Yum.

Wilfie, Annie's dog was bagging his spot on the sofa before the rest of the guests arrived and there was no room for him!!!  He looks so different having been shaved and behaved perfectly all day.  He has one of those Walt Disney faces which means that it is hard to deny him anything!

The meal was lovely and Annie had got the company dead right as conversation was flowing - although it does look a bit like Dad has fallen asleep in this photograph!!!  Time flew by and as the sun disappeared and we had a smattering of rain Annie lit the woodburner, let it go out and John managed to get it lit again and going for the rest of the afternoon.

We think we finally got home somewhere between 7.00 and 8.00 having had yet another great day.  Mum and Dad have certainly had a varied stay up here with us!

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