I realise that the title of this post starts with a rhyme so it would have been perfect for a poem. But I’m feeling the anecdotes at the moment. I think it might be because I’m reading an autobiography at the moment, and so my mind is in that mode, as it were.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about the way that I celebrate New Year’s Eve and how it has changed recently. I started my adult life by getting really drunk with friends and often having to be put to bed by 11pm.
But then when Noah came along I had to tone it down a little bit. I do say a little bit, because it still involved an extraordinary amount of alcohol.
We were living with my parents for much of the time that Noah was growing up and so we used to go around to our next door neighbours’ house to eat posh cheese and stuffed olives and drink several bottles of Champagne. The neighbours were called Linda and Steve and they were my parents’ best friends, although they were about twenty years their senior.
Steve got throat cancer three years ago and within four months he was dead. My dad took the death quite hard and it was only as the dust settled, I realised that mum had been a bit scared of Steve. He had apparently shouted at her once and she had learnt to ‘behave’ around him.
Once Steve was dead, the crazy came out by the bucket load. Mum was chucking us all out, locking us out, taking the front door or its hinges and calling us all devil worshippers.
It was the reason that Noah and I had to move into the flat and life changed and I think that my dad and I blamed Steve a bit (very self-indulgently, I do realise).
I just wanted to write this post because most of my memories of New Year’s Eve come from our time next door, and listening to Steve’s (sometimes a little bit unbelievable) stories from his time in the Navy. I can’t say that I think of him all that often, but that night is the one where I can genuinely say that I miss him.
We used to call their house the ‘black hole’ because you would never come back sober. You could go over there to drop off something like a bag of sugar and you wouldn’t leave for six hours. Dad once got lost coming home, he was so drunk. Somewhere between their house and ours, he took a wrong turn and slept in a field. It was foggy when he woke and he thought he had died and was in Heaven.
I hope that you guys all have a brilliant New Year and you have an awesome party in your living room in a very responsible manner. My dad will be coming over and the three of us (four if you include the cat) will be drinking non-alcoholic fizz and raising a glass to the inimitable Steve, who I am sure was the reason we all stayed together for as long as we did.
Thank you Steve,