Quite the Party Animal

New Year’s Eve, and all is quiet chez Isobel and Cat. The party goers are either in a different neighbourhood, or haven’t got started yet. I’m not sorry to miss them. It’s been a few years now since I have seen the New Year in. Friends have given up inviting me to join them watching fireworks. I used to like small supper parties that ended shortly after we drained the obligatory glasses of champagne as Big Ben tolled the end of the old year. But even that palled. Maybe one of these years I shall be seized with a longing to be in the midst of a crowd of revellers singing Auld Langs Syne, but not tonight. It’s questionable whether I shall still be awake at midnight, let alone revelling. No, I’m perfectly happy sitting here with the boy, writing a post, and with the promise of the new Kate Atkinson novel to read later.

I was out working today and tonight made a mean bowl of fresh tomato soup, then settled down to catch up with episode one of Les Misérables as adapted by Andrew Davies, the man who put Darcy into a pond and turned Colin Firth into an unlikely sex symbol. Tonight I got a view of Dominic West’s buttocks. Others will have enjoyed that view last night, but I was watching on catch up. I’d read a review in the Guardian online over breakfast. You can read it too if you like, just click here for the link.

The opening shot featured no buttocks at all, but instead Adeel Akthar cheerfully robbing the dead bodies on the battlefield the day after Waterloo.I felt a vicarious thrill of fame, Akthar’s parents-in-law are in our book group. One of the bodies wasn’t dead, he introduced himself as Colonel Pontmercy before once more losing consciousness, and although I have never read Les Mis, seen the film or the musical, I’m willing to bet a fairly hefty sum that the two will meet up again.

The reason I didn’t watch it last night wasn’t because I was enjoying a Sunday evening meal with Octavia, though that is likely to be the reason I shall probably watch the whole series on catch up. Octavia is away in Yorkshire, Celia and Charlie, having made the briefest of returns to London, are now in Wales. But I think I have mentioned before that this is a friendly neighbourhood, so last night I was enjoying the company of as many of those friendly neighbours as my sitting room could comfortably accommodate. I loved it. Why don’t I ask people round more often? The conversations flowed, the food was eaten, the wine was drunk. But marvel of marvels, MasterB joined in.

When Michèle arrived he left the bed where he had been sleeping on top of my jumper and came to say hello. That wasn’t terribly surprising as he made friends with her some time ago. I expected him to vanish into a drawer under the bed when more people came. But he didn’t. He did retreat to the bedroom, then sat in the hall watching us like a child watching through the banisters as their parents and friends party. This was already big stuff, but when he came into the sitting room and sat under Michèle’s chair I was astonished. I’m not sure everyone realised he was there, so he was able to observe us at close quarters almost clandestinely, and presumably came to the conclusion that the company was non-threatening, because he then made sorties into the room, checking out those nearest Michèle first, returning to his safe spot to watch some more, but eventually going up to everyone there and remaining with us.

Is this the new MasterB? Do I now expect a cat comfortable in all social situations? Will he be passing round the olives, and filling the glasses the next time I have guests here? Could this new confidence translate into a polite assertiveness outside and result in him reclaiming his garden from Hartley, Romeo and Mr Manx? That would be wonderful indeed.

But I think I am going too far too fast. The fact that MasterB has mysteriously become a party animal is an unexpected delight. I’ll probably never know the reason why, maybe it was just claiming his right to be in his sitting room, but I am as proud as can be of him, this is a major development, better than any firework display. Well done that cat.

Happy New Year.

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15 thoughts on “Quite the Party Animal

  1. Your “vicarious thrill of fame” is one I share! Adeel Akhtar (or The Ideal Actor as we call him) lodged with us for a week nine years ago , while appearing in ‘Wuthering Heights’ here in Harrogate. He’s a thoroughly lovely chap, I’m glad to report! Happy New Year to you and Master B.

    • Well that is a coincidence. Next thing we’ll know is you’ll be coming to book group and after the first introductions are over we shall realise we know each other via this page.
      A very happy new year to your and yours Graham.

  2. For a couple of years we had a group of six people over and the eight or nine of us sat around the table eating assorted finger foods people had brought. All of us being of a more mature age resulted in the party being over about 10:30 and that was just fine with me. On the evening news tonight I saw the new year being celebrated in Athens and China, while the time was getting close in Paris and London. I vicariously welcomed in the new year so I can be in bed by 11:00 tonight. We are leaving the house tomorrow morning for our flight south and I need good spirits if I am going to fly with a smile and a modem of grace.

  3. I send a Happy New Year to you even though at this exact moment you are likely sound asleep.

    Bravo to MasterB for his strides into sociability. Have to asked about this though, “sat in the hall watching us like a child watching through the banisters as their parents” — was he upside down at the time? We’ve thoroughly enjoyed Mr. December 2018 gazing placidly upside-down at us all month. Looking forward to revealing Mr January 2019 in the morning.

    • And a very happy New Year to you both too.
      He was the right way up, sitting in the dark. I too must turn to the new calendar. I don’ Remember what photo I chose for January, but maybe the relaxed, laid back picture for December in some wise influenced my boy, and allowed him to let go of some of his fears.

  4. I also managed til 11.00pm ,which would be 9.00 in your part of the world. So I sent my greeting to all and turned off my phone! We greet the new year with blustering gales carrying sleet. So glad I spent so long carrying a big store of logs yesterday. Now enjoying a glowing fire with a warm apple tea and kourabiedes which are light,crumbly almond biscuits sprinkled with rose water and a mountain of icing sugar. A good start to the new year. Wish I knew how to send a picture.xx

    • I was still awake at midnight (it would have been hard to sleep through the barrage of noise from the fireworks), but only just. Earlier in the day I had received NY greetings from Lyn and Malcolm in Z, and so had been thinking how the year had already ended and the new one begun on the other side of the world.
      Today is dull and quiet. I have enjoyed my breakfast in bed and see no reason why I should be getting up just yet.
      Have a very happy new year Sally. Do post your pictures on your blog page.then we can all enjoy them. xx

  5. Happy New Year to you and Master B…have you thought he may have a secret camera and was filming you all having fun…check out you tube he’s probably posted them on there! You could have gone viral,😉😺

  6. Happy New Year to you and MasterB! MasterB is just a sweetie! We had a quiet New Year’s Eve, just the two of us as usual and that works for us. Had a teeny bit of creamed herring on a cracker for good luck in the new year which is a tradition for us handed down by my parents. I do think it would have been a delight to have been at your gathering!

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