Well here we are, eleven hours into 2016 and I am flying out of Prague and back to England to drop off daughter two back at boarding school and daughter one will return to Oxford and continue her studies. We shared New Years Eve together with the husband and friends.
When I initially mentioned to daughter one and daughter two that we were going to Prague as the husband had to work and it would not be right to leave him on his lonesome at such a festive time of year, they complained. They wanted to stay in Lambourn, especially when they realised that big brother was having a dinner party with friends. It took some persuasion and they came round to reluctantly coming along, after faking illness and emergency revision classes.
On New Year’s Eve, daughter one and two were getting ready: not really looking forward to spending the party night of the year with Mum, Dad and their friends, even though we had told them similar aged big kids would be there. However on arriving at the party, it became immediately clear that they were in for a fun time, when five handsome young men greeted them at the door to our friend’s house. The boys were all friends, one was the son of our hosts, the others his mates from school days back in Rome. They were a mix of Italian, Iranian, German and Chinese, they either had an Italian parent or had lived in Rome a considerable amount of time. Daughter one and two had very big smiles! Things were definitely looking up…
The charming, Italian, fun personalities immediately won them over, whilst the parents were chatting amongst themselves they big kids were all getting on famously. Our wonderful hosts had returned the night before from a holiday to Vietnam. Mr Host cooked up a delicious feast of Asian food, a Vietnamese salad that was particularly good, it was all washed down with beer or Prosecco. As dinner ended the big kids left in two Uber taxis for Charles Bridge with a couple of bottles of champagne to share amongst the seven of them. As parents of children of a certain, we had to wait for the social media to kick-off in order to find out what they were really up to, waiting for snapchats and Facebook updates.
Us oldies – we went out on to the terrace to watch fireworks and see in the New Year! It was amazing, our Irish friend kept saying ‘This is mighty!’ and he was right, it was mighty spectacular. The exploding colours of fireworks filled every bit of the night sky but made all the more magical when it actually started to snow. None of us could believe it, as the snow had not been forecast. Standing there, glass of champagne in hand, the husband next to me watching the midnight fiesta of fireworks in gently falling snow – what a magical start to 2016.
On the way home, we were amazed to discover all the usual busses and trams in operation, as if it was 1 o’clock in the afternoon, not in the morning. We hopped on a tram at 1.30am to find ourselves next to our 79 year Priest from our local church. He too had been having a splendid time but had been caught out by the snow, with smart shoes on, he was finding it all a bit slippy. I had with me an old lady style shopping trolley, it had the platters and other bits we had taken with us to our friends. We got off at the same tram stop as the Priest and the Husband took the Priest by the arm. The Husband was in his dinner suit, he did look very James Bond, assisting the elderly gentleman back home, in the snow and amongst the old historic buildings of Mala Strana. I looked vaguely homeless, in a long coat dragging the trolley behind me, to the sound of clanking empty bottles from inside the trolley, following the Holyman and the smart man. The magic from earlier was added to!
This morning daughter one and two are full of funny stories from their night. It was certainly a fabulous start to the new year, may it continue to be filled with fun times and good deeds!