Went with Sis to the New Year’s Eve event at the FCC. They have unlimited food & drink from 7pm, so we got there early and found our table. Luckily it’s in the quiet room. The FCC is a narrow building so guests were seated in all the different restaurants and bars. The food was also spread out: cold buffet at the bistro on the ground floor, hot food in the main restaurant upstairs, dessert downstairs at the bar. The wait staff kept the prosecco and wine coming.
The food was a bit hit and miss. The cold seafood was great. Sashimi cut fresh and oysters shucked fresh too. It meant a long queue, but no one seemed to mind. Other seafood included prawns, crab legs and lobster. All very good. The hot food consisted of roast (a dry-looking beef, another dry-looking ham and lamb rack that was really rare), an entire row of deep fried food, an Indian station and pasta. There was no hot veg. Seriously, I got the lamb and was looking around for something simple like carrots but nope. I ended up snagging some sag paneer. Dessert was nothing to write home about either. But again, no one seemed to mind. Free flow alcohol and a good atmosphere made up for the mediocre food.
There was a band upstairs and a DJ on the ground floor. At close to midnight, everyone congregated in the main areas and there was a big cheer during the countdown.
True to tradition (it is the FCC after all), a real bagpiper played Auld Lang Syne.
We left around 12.30am. Sis got a taxi and I walked a mile uphill back home. I think I had 4 proseccos, 3 (or 4?) red wine, 1 whisky (glenfarclas 12) and a mint tea. Sounds like a lot but it was over 6 hours with food.
The obligatory CNY greeting. Year of the sheep this year. Woke up, hugged parents, got red packet from them, sent greetings to sis and mm, spent the day reading and watching tv. Had a chuckle to see the previews of the Great British Sewing Bee; I don’t think it’ll be as popular as Bake-off. Yes we had the non-vegetarian version of the traditional vegetarian dish 齋 for lunch accompanied by abalone and turnip cake but that was it.
Met with my FA, and remember why I’m so glad I don’t need to brave the traffic jam and huge crowds every day to go to and from work. The flipside of not working is, of course, the need for money to pay the bills. I don’t spend a lot, so it’s an easy request for her to make a small withdrawal from the account. Hopefully by the time I need the next withdrawal, the portfolio will have regained that amount…and more. We’re switching out of Europe into UK, and exiting Latin America. There’s some in Energy that has gone down, but we’re not panic selling.
The CNY decorations are up. The Landmark mall has a display with clouds and sheep and a big tree in the atrium. Not sure why clouds, but they look quite cute.
I was watching Ramsay when I heard plop-plop sounds outside. I can hear fireworks in my apartment, although all I can see is the sky turning bright and some smoke. Switched over to the tv channel and caught a bit of the new year’s fireworks.
Here’s a fun snack for new year’s eve: smoked salmon, vegetarian caviar, samphire. Strange, that the most common ingredient on this plate is the salmon (ignoring the lemon wedge!). I got the vegetarian caviar from a food show a while ago, I can’t find anything about it online and I’m wondering if it’s fake or what. Samphire is now available quite widely at the larger and better supermarkets, I got this packet at Waitrose. You’re supposed to steam or sautée it, but I had the oven on, so I just heated it up in the oven with a small knob of butter. Very nice, tastes a lot of the sea.
Went walking around covent garden in the afternoon, then home for dinner — chicken wings, mushroom pâté and pork chops. As a little celebration we went to the pub down the road. When I was living at the old temp apartment I kept seeing a sign outside this place asking us to support our local independent pub, so that was what we did. It’s a nice little place, not pricey at all. And they didn’t raise prices or add a cover charge for New Year’s Eve. We’ll go back there again.
We had plans for today. May be go watch a film, or get a massage, or go to the fair. But we ended up staying home all day. I made a lot of food though.
For lunch I made grilled chicken with carrot & sweet potato mash. It was the first time I tried making this mash — 3 carrots, 3 small purple skinned sweet potato. Peel, chop and simmer in boiling water till soft. I added a few cubes of vegetable stock for extra flavour. When soft, mash with a knob of butter and seasoning. It was good, no wonder it’s a popular baby food. The chicken I had marinated with sliced lemon, honey, mustard and a little soy sauce overnight.
We finally drank the half bottle of pink Moët I’d saved up for a special occasion. In the afternoon we watched TV and took a nap. Relaxed.
For dinner I made squid ink pasta with garlic, ham julienne, cherry tomatoes and brie. Similar to what I make quite often for lunch except I used squid ink spaghetti and added the ham (from the ham on the bone over Christmas). Squid ink pasta is stickier than usual pasta, I must remember to add olive oil to it when it’s cooking.
Too full even for dessert. So, yeah. An eating and drinking New Year’s Day.
I’m thinking, I should be writing some year end stuff, like how 2006 was for me, what did I do, where did I travel to, what huge epiphany I had … but nah, I don’t have anything overly interesting to say. I think back to 2006 and my feelings are — boring, happy, bitter, interesting, and different.
I left the office at 3pm already, although no official announcement. No one was around to say otherwise, so I thought, sod it.
Got home and picked up all the stuff I need to get then got a taxi to her place — too many bags. Had the luck to find a driver who thought tailgating was the normal way to drive. Just great.
Anyway we were having friends over at her place, she was feeling really terrible, headache and beginnings of flu. So I did most of the cooking. Made nachos, toasted french bread with mushroom topping, grilled some steak and ordered KFC chicken wings. Made apple crumble and custard too, not too shabby.
Friends brought wine and conversation. These are people we’ve known for more than 10 years now, since college. Everyone’s moved on, changed, gotten married, had kids, achieved different degrees of success. But they’re the same people we knew when we were young, and the history means we’ll always have something in common and be interested in each others’ lives.
Cheered in the New Year. Didn’t make any resolutions. The funniest scene for me was just after midnight, when everyone was standing around in her living room, with their cellphones either calling people, or texting, or sending ringtones to each other. Sign of the times.
It’s the last day of the year. We’re supposed to reflect back on the past 365 days and come up with succinct deep thoughts about 2003 while at the same time looking forward to 2004. Man, it’s just another day. Nothing ever changes. Nothing will change between today and tomorrow. Why is everything such a big sentimental deal?