All you need for a great New Year - fondue, two fiddles and some raspberry spritzer
31.12.2008 -10 °C
Wednesday 31st, New Year's Eve
After another standard day in the Kimberley office, we arrived home to find a note had been slipped under our door by the Jacson 8. They had invited us over for curry the following night. However, we are planning on leading a snowshoe tour that night, and so popped up to let them down gently.
Paul was the only grown up in, with Liam and Sarah staying home, whilst the others were at a Kootenay Ice hockey match in Cranbrook. In the usual way of the Jacson 8, we were promptly invited in and offered alcoholic beverages. After a good chat and a pack of rather out of date, but none the less edible chips (that's crisps to you UK folks) Paul decided to take the initiative and offer us dinner tonight. We eagerly took up the offer and enjoyed playing with the kids until the others returned.
Little Sarah in her reindeer horns
Christian with an even smaller Sarah than usual
It looked like the ladies were going to be late home and so with few ingredients and even less knowledge we started to make cheese fondue. Luckily Susan arrived just in time to stop us ruining dinner and quickly set about making things right. There was loads of meat and veg to be dipped into the two yummy cheese dips, one of which had curry in it. It was good to try snap peas and smoked sausage and some other more unusal dipping things than just bread.
David preparing the fondue
Christian showing that some of the Hood family can eat fondue without a visit to hospital
We had a very pleasant meal together and then headed off to Jackie's to meet up with the others. There were already a handful of people at Jackies, including her boyfriend, Chris, Naomi and her siblings (who are over on holiday) and Adrian. We did a whole bunch of crazy party things like, eat m&ms, watch youtube videos and look at photos. It was definitely time for us to go out!
We headed off to the real party at 11pm and were serenaded on our arrival by a pair of (slightly half cut) fiddlers. Beers were handed round and as designated driver, Ally kindly dug out for me a yummy non-alcoholic, organic, additives-free raspberry spritzer and despite the sound of it, it was really delicious. We checked out their house, complete with freshly smashed lampshade (thanks to an overenthusiastic game of Wii tennis) and all chatted with fiddles playing away in the background.
Arriving at the party at Steve and Ally's place
An impressive welcome at the door
As midnight came, champagne bottles were opened and all available vessels used to distribute it. Toasts were made and then the fiddles came out again for a rendition of Auld Lang Syne. The merriment continued and we were all entertained by the guest that every good party has, that was wavering about with red wine lips and punctuating our conversations with colourful nonsense.
Christian and Sarah's first appearance in 2009
Jackie and Sarah celebrating
Chris and Chris putting the world to rights over a beer
Off to another party to finish the night. The entire crowd at Ally and Steve's uprooted and headed down the road to our last venue of the night. Us ski school crowd were starting to get a bit sleepy now, so after meeting a few new faces, I drove most people home to their beds and then pointed Troy up Gerry Sorensen Way and to our cosy home for sleeps.
Thursday 1st January 2009! New Years Day
Surprisingly, we again found that we got a lie in, this time for new years day and so didn't get in until the 11:30 bell. Most of the day was just the usual lessons on the hill, but in the evening we were taking our own snowshoeing tour.
Christian was going solo in the kitchen and Adrian and I were taking them on the walk. We got a cheerful bunch of about a dozen Brits, all from Bracknell, and though I didn't think my accent had changed much being here, I could feel myself getting Englisher as I chatted to them. Less"sweet", "awesome" and "bummed", more "innit", "nice one" and "knackered". The tour set off, and apart from Adrian taking us on a momentary detour as he got his bearings, it all went very nicely. I brought up the rear, picking up the various individuals who had not quite got the hang of the deep powder and ended up rolling about in the snow.
The Chocolate Fondue
Heading back at the end of the tour
Whilst we were having fun in the white stuff, Christian was under the kosh in the kitchen trying to prepare all the food for everyone by himself. But it all worked out fine and everyone was very happy with the food and munched it all up. So much so that we got a $20 buck tip between the 3 of us. Rather than worry over splitting it up, we took it straight to the Stemwinder and bought a jug of Kokanee Gold. Over beers we chatted with the folk at the bar, including a Brummie guy and his girlfriend who are moving to Kimberley. He used to work at the Tamworth indoor ski hill and be a pro snowboarder and so could tell us a few good tales.