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Mystery Bruises and other NY Things

Actually, the reason for the massive bruising - and indeed skin scraping - on my knee is because I managed to slip on the way down the hill from the Hourglass inn to the Quay on NYE, breaking my fall with a slide down on one knee. Thankfully the brand new brown pinstripe trousers I was wearing survived the fall. Hurrah for the New Year Sales.

(Tangenting madly - Victoriana/Edwardiana clothing fans might want to get themselves along to Warehouse concessions in House of Fraser, btw, which has some long sleeve black blouses with about twenty round buttons from neck to bust, a high collar with black broderie Anglaise edging, a five petal cutout design down the front and sleeves, some flat pleating detail and a side zip to make it fit snugly - a snip at UKP22.75. Actually, if you're London-based, you should take a trip to Dickens & Jones anyway, before it closes on 14th January to be converted from a grand 1920s department store into yet another mall selling over-priced trainers.)

It was one of those really good NYEs. We stayed at the Hourglass from 7.30pm till, subsequent discussion has decided, 3am. At 11.55 they kicked us out into the street where we sang one of the worst versions of Auld Lang Syne I've ever heard, accompanied by kazoo, and made ooooh and aaaah noises at fireworks across the river. A couple of people walked me back as far as the Bridges, carefully circumventing the fight that was nearly kicking off at the Quay. Across the river, I was hailed with a Happy New Year from a total stranger who turned out to live around the corner from me and who was walking back with her friend and two Polish guys they had picked up at a club. People who know Exeter, especially my part, will be imagining heels, short skirts and over-straightened hair at this point but they weren't at all. Hopefully, I'll run into them again in Ali's shop one day. Just as I got back, my neighbour's house disgorged him, his wife and their families and I was invited in for a drink. If people ever wonder why I live in this part of town and walk home at night, it's partially because you get all these strange chance encounters and snippets of others' stories.

Rather than do New Year Resolutions (as the geek foo resolution generator points out, you may as well use some random script generation to decide on one), I have Plans and Lists. The already named How to Cook Like a Grown Up plan, for example, should improve diet and health without going for the vague sounding Get Fit and Healthy Resolution which everyone knows lasts until your first lunch break at the office. The House Plan does not involve watching every episode of House or doing architectural drawings, but does involve making sure that I do the little things that area always put off and arrange for the big things which require me to Get a Man In. And the Write Short Stories Plan is self-explanatory.

I have already done one thing on my House Plan: Three years back I replaced my old front door with a rather better one, with brass fittings. Except for the house numbers because I couldn't find any house numbers I liked. They were all too angular, too bland and uniform. So I've just spent three years with no house number displayed. To add to the confusion of pizza deliverers, our street is number consecutively up my side and then down the other side instead of the usual British zigzag system. Back in November I finally found some brass numbers I liked, just Art Nouveau enough to suit the cod-nouveau rose in the door window but not over-designed in any way, in an antique/junk shop on Portebello Road. Today I finally got around to screwing them onto the door. So a mere three years on that tiny little House can see why I've decided I need a plan.

Posted @ 1:45 pm on Monday, January 02, 2006
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