Town Mouse

The year ahead

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

AS a cel­e­bra­tion, I in­creas­ingly find New Year’s Eve slightly un­sat­is­fac­tory. It’s not just that I be­gin to feel less un­crit­i­cally op­ti­mistic about what the next year might of­fer (although that’s prob­a­bly true). Rather, it’s be­cause it falls in the midst of hol­i­days and feels su­per­flu­ous to their en­joy­ment.

In­stead, there­fore, I like to fo­cus on Twelfth Night as the mo­ment of tran­si­tion from one year to the next. It’s an evening on which there’s no obli­ga­tion to so­cialise and, as is the case this year, falls just after the re­turn to work. As such, it si­mul­ta­ne­ously soft­ens the blow of the hol­i­day’s end and gives op­por­tu­nity for one last, homely hur­rah be­fore Christ­mas is fi­nally over.

At the end of dinner, we strip the whole house of all its Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions. Look­ing over the bare sur­faces and clear walls, it’s then pos­si­ble to savour the re­turn to nor­mal­ity and fo­cus the mind on the year ahead. To help the prospect, in our house, there is al­ways a Galettes de Rois. In this gift, Cas­par, Balt­hazar and Mel­chior— whether you re­gard them as Kings, Wise Men or mer­est fan­tasy—of­fer a much more en­joy­able way of squar­ing up to the fu­ture than wait­ing for the chimes of Big Ben. JG

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