Last night we hung fairy lights around the kitchen and lit the Christmas candles. We gathered round the table and Andrew lit the small meths burner under the fondue. We sunk smoked sausage, crisp pickles and good bread into a criminally large amount of cheese and brought in the new year quietly.
Andrew made dessert: a triumph of confection, situated somewhere between trifle and cake. Rounds of golden pannettone doused in madeira, layered up with a sweet alchemy of egg yokes, castor sugar and double cream. This almost set cake would stand slicing, but only just. There it stood resplendent in the centre of our family meal studded with ruby red pomegranate seed, shards of green pistachio and the tiniest pricks of chocolate chips. A glorious monument to a very happy year just past.
Later we watched Julie&Julia, which turned out to be about three of my favourite things: blogs, cooking and happy marriages. As the credits rolled I wept. I don’t know why but it reminded me of the tears I shed on long car journeys as a child when I reached the end of my library books and there was nothing new left for me to read.
I was in bed before midnight, vaguely aware of those in the street outside choosing to welcome their new year with fireworks and the singing of Auld Lang Syne.
Resolutions are not always a nice thing. They are like those annoying people who speak several foreign languages, make their own clothes, run every morning and have paid employment finding a cure for Alzheimer’s . Most of us can’t stand too much time in their presence.
My advice is go easy on the resolutions. They can be cruel masters. They follow you around all through January laughing at your failures and inadequacies when all you really need is a hug and a little gentle encouragement.
Are you tired? Worn out? burned out on religion? Come to me, get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or I’ll-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11.28 The Message
Happy new year, go lightly, be encouraged and take it easy on the resolutions!
(Cake courtesy of Nigellissima, photo my own)