As is traditional at the beginning of a year, friends and family come together and celebrate, this year we attended a party at a friend’s house in the town. It turned out to be a comfortable, relaxed and laid-back affair. Unfortunately, guests were a little thin on the ground as winter Flu had taken its toll and six couples had rung to confess being too ill to attend. The virus was rampaging through the population and Harborough was not exempt. Thankfully, enough people were well enough to contribute to a pleasant evening, with the added advantage of there being plenty of snacks to go around, I only had a light lunch and no tea so the extra savouries on offer proved to be most welcome.
Charlotte and Lucas left after New Year’s Day and although sad as it marked the end of a family get-together, life at Willow Bank became much quieter and less hectic. That evening we invited Roger Woolnough around to watch Quantum of Solace on the big screen. However, annoyingly when connecting the projector to our brand-new television, we could only get a picture and no sound (served me right for not checking first). After forty frustrating minutes of fiddling with cables, I gave up and we watched the film on the TV. Exasperatingly, the following morning when I took time to read the instructions in the TV manual, I discovered that all I had to do was press a button on the remote!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nevertheless, the film was surprisingly quite good (though on a smaller screen than planned) and for once it was a fairly believable Bond film.
Later that week, we invited Jim and Brigitte Hankers around for a glass of wine and to look at their holiday snaps from their Christmas in Gran Canaria. They had brought their camera and as I had done in the past with our old TV, I connected it up to play a slide show of the photos. Again, it didn’t work!!!!!!! After many reconnections of cables and pressing buttons it was eventually agreed we try again another night after I had thoroughly re-read the TV instructions. Does anybody take time to read instructions when acquiring new technology? In an amusing distraction from cable fiddling, Jamie arrived halfway through the evening with a new girlfriend. Sue embarrassingly welcomed her with, “Oh hello, Harriet, it is nice to see you again.” At the time, I was in the study and had been introduced to her a few moments before as Harley, I had to stifle a titter when I heard Sue’s faux pas. I couldn’t help smiling when I entered the lounge and pointed out that it wasn’t Harriet, but a different girl. I discovered later that I had taught her. In Sue’s defence, she did have the same hair colour as Harriet, but I think a trip to Specsavers would be in order.