New Year with the In-Laws
I love my In-laws, and I gladly celebrate every second New Year with them – but it’s nothing like the drunken, raucous affairs I remember from my own background! Not that I particularly wish to be drunken and raucous any more, but to me a New Year’s Eve isn’t a real celebration without dancing to good music! And we never sing “Auld Lang’s Ein” (on account of them being German, I guess); and I don’t remember having done the locomotion to Lulu since I was a sixth former in Liverpool. I may have done it since then, but just don’t remember! Anyway, if we did the locomotion down El Salse, I’m sure they’d be horrified!
When we stay here in Andorra, we stay in. We sit and read or watch random snippets of German TV until 5 minutes to midnight; at which stage my father-in-law (FIL) opens a bottle of champagne and pours it into the correct glasses. At one minute to midnight, we all take a glass, at midnight we say Happy New Year, and hug everyone else. Then we have a conversation about how the fireworks don’t happen any more, and that degenerates into politics (when Marc will criticize Obama, regardless of which country’s politics we are discussing); and then we go to bed.
This year the routine was slightly different. We played Liar Dice (based on Poker Dice), as usual, but this year only with a few of us. Marc, his brother Ryan, myself and grandpa taught 9 year old Christiana the art of lying. Which she took to quite naturally. Then she got bored and the game disintegrated!
Her 6 year old sister wanted to play too, so we taught her Poker Dice, which is the same pincipal, but with no lying. With Liar Dice, the box gets handed round, and you have to call higher than the previous player did. Easy if you know the combos, (ie, 1 pair, 2 pairs, full house, 4 of a kind, streets, 5 of a kind) – but for a six year old to be able to call two pairs “A full house” whilst knowing that Jacks and nines is higher than tens and Aces…. not gonna happen (see, even you’re confused!), so I told her I didn’t think she’d be able to lie properly. “I can lie really well!” was the response, which brought the house down!! I must say, though, Daniella is a very good Poker Dice player (she already knew how to play YAHTZEE!) – and she rocks at Pest!
Now, I am quite sure Nilla would like to see her photo here (wouldn’t we all!), but you might have noticed she is missing from the New Year photo at the top. That’s because she fell asleep. We did try to wake her – we even brought in a dancing elephant who blew his trumpet in her ear – but nope, she wasn’t waking up. But fortunately, I managed to grab a shot of her just on the couch! This is when the elephant was sitting on her feet – just before he went rumpeta rumpeta, back down the street. The elephant didn’t allow photos, sadly.
Another change to the routine was that I went online and read some of my course materials, and made some contributions to the OU forum. I believe that is the first time I have ever studied on New Year’s Eve. Ever. I’m not even sure if that’s legal in the town where I come from!
The next variation was that I taught Nany (Christiana) how to play online Quickfire Nineball. I’m not sure the grandparents approved of this, but online Quickfire Nineball is a great way of teaching kids about angles of reflection (I just made that term up, but it sounds OK to me!) and anticipating where the white ball will go. And all without the hassle of having to make a cue hit the ball straight – which is a bit of a problem on my in-law’s 12foot table.
Anyway, here we are, on New Year’s Day, the best skiing day of the year, sat in the in-laws’ lounge on the internet. Marc is sick still. So far, we have used two days of our six day ski pass. Maybe we’ll get a third day on the last day of our stay here tomorrow, but I’m not holding my hopes up too high. Perhaps next year, when I say “Let’s just buy half day passes as we go along, in case we don’t get out every day”, Marc will listen to me. But then, perhaps, pigs will fly.