Usually we are visiting Northumbrian grandparents at New Year, but this year we had returned in time.
This meant that our children were at last able to escape into the wilds of youthful New Year’s Eve parties.
Pascoe left us on Friday returning to Edinburgh for a New Year with fellow grad students from around the globe. They had decided on a meat fondue and apparently ostrich and water buffalo were on offer. They may have eschewed the humble haggis, but still all trooped out to see the Edinburgh fireworks.
Carenza and Perran both headed in to parties in London with me fretting openly about the risk posed by terrorists and questioning them in detail about their movements.
I am truly grateful to our brilliant police, who were apparently out in numbers, that nothing went wrong in our country.
And in retrospect, perhaps I should have been more worried about the risk posed by alcohol. But I think that everybody has now managed successfully to reconstruct their evening and fill in the gaps.
As for us, we were at last able to do something which our children had expressly forbidden before. We have a DVD of the amazing Spencer Tunick Art Event where hundreds of naked people walked round the Quayside area of Newcastle and Gateshead and formed patterns with their bodies.
When our friends came round for New Year, we set the DVD to play with a notice saying “Can you spot Clare and Nigel?”
But however attentively you watch the DVD, you will not see us. Because we were not there.