On New Year's Eve we went to Darren and Andrea's for silly games and awful cocktails. Darren actually had a cocktail making kit this year but for some reason decided not to use it, so none of them were mixed properly. He made me a Manhattan, which was horrendous, but I finished it out of sheer determination even though Darren and Noel both gave up on it. :P Paul and Dom (Andrea's nephew, so Paul's nephew-in-law - he has done X-Factor a couple of times - got through to judges' houses one year and boot camp the year after that) pwned charades and were accused of cheating by being psychic. :)
I think we left there about 2.00am, which wasn't too bad, and both of us were also relatively sober despite the ridiculous cocktails.
The next few days were spent being lazy. Sunday (1st Jan) was obviously Paul's birthday. He got a new coat, two tops and a DVD box-set of Green Wing off his mum, and then I'd bought him a Noel Fielding book, Books of Albion (Pete Docherty's journal scribblings), a Seasick Steve album and a Banksy calendar. My mum and David renewed his Empire subscription for another year. :)
I cooked him a two-course Indian dinner which comprised prawn toasts (these were amazing, definitely making them again although will do the prep in advance next time, as it took about an hour from start to finish - and they didn't reheat very well in the microwave, so we couldn't finish them the day after) and a lamb curry. Both were full of ginger and garlic because we were still full of sinus goop.
Monday and Tuesday were both quite lazy. Wednesday we intended to get up early to see one of the morning showings of the new Sherlock Holmes film, but tiredness put a damper on that. We headed into Birmingham around 11.00am (I think) and did a bit of shopping. I have now finally retired my old turquoise embroidered coat, after ten years of service, and bought myself a new one from Anna Bee in Oasis. (This one by Nomads, although I didn't pay that much for it...) Paul then spent the same value on clothing from Disorder Boutique (including two very funky belts, which we're going to share, which the bloke gave us for a tenner each instead of £15. I think it actually pays to be a regular customer in there; he remembered us from when we were last there in April!)
We had a bit of a look for Wii games in
Oh, and I also went back to Oasis after we'd done all this to get my ears re-pierced, as I'd gotten sick of having to do it myself with earrings or a needle every time I wanted to wear jewellery. Much quicker and less painful just to get them re-done, and since the holes were already there, hopefully they'll heal quickly. I'll leave the studs in until the end of February, anyway.
On Thursday we set about sorting the spare room. This involved throwing quite a bit of stuff away (Paul makes me be more ruthless than I would be ordinarily - although admittedly, the last time I sorted in there I filled two carrier bags) and reassembling the day bed. I always forget how big it actually is once assesmbled, and we had to put it somewhere other than intended. At some later point we need to take down the shelves, move them, and move the TV unit (ex-wardrobe), but that can wait. We have sorted out a sizeable pile of things to go into storage, at least, and once I've bought a single duvet and some more single sheets we can actually use it as a spare room and give people An Actual Bed to sleep in when they stay over. :)
On Friday we took down the tree and reorganised the cupboard under the stairs, and I finally managed to clean the downstairs floors (kitchen, bathroom and living room), which had previously only seen a broom since moving in. I haven't seen water that colour since the disgusting kitchen at uni in third year. ;)
On Saturday morning Paul was out at his business course (run by Andrea's company) so I basically went online all morning. Lisa popped over in the afternoon to drop off our post from the old flat (several back issues of Empire and stuff from before we changed our address with the bank, etc) and her receipts, for Paul to work his Excel magic on. In the evening I made us an experimental tea of Thai-style salmon with new potatoes. (Baked it in some foil with white wine, LOADS of ginger, garlic, chopped shallot and chilli, which I then added to some vegetable stock and milk to make a very interesting spicy fishy gravy...)
On Sunday I was actually productive (see previous entry re: embroidery) - put in two loads of washing (pre-Christmas tiredness meant I'd fallen behind on laundry), and in addition to the embroidery also fixed both mine and Paul's leather coats by sewing buttons back on, and stitched some amusing piratical buttons (birthday present off my mum's cat!) to my pink velvet jacket, which has become a receptacle for badges and pins. :)
I also made Paul a cake to take to work (for his birthday). It was supposed to be two batches of cupcakes, except then I realised I had no cases. So then it was supposed to be two different cakes (one vanilla, one chocolate), but I ran out of sugar (and butter), so it ended up being one vanilla cake with apricot jam and butter icing filling/topping. After all that bloody hassle, obviously he forgot it this morning. :P
Back to the daily grind today. I wore my new coat this morning. Its long black floatiness makes me feel EMPOWERED. I'd forgotten that feeling of new-coat-joy. :)