Last night, Kelley and I settled down in front of the fire for our ritual New Year’s Eve champagne and conversation. As usual, the conversation went rambling delightfully down many lanes, so we opened more than one bottle. The first, above, was a 2002 Marc Hebrart, a most elegant, serious wine. We drank it thoughtfully, while we talked about 2008, the highs and lows, and munched a fabulous duck paté. For the next part of our conversation, the setting of goals for 2009, we realised we were in risk-taking mode, so we opened our last bottle of non-vintage Jose Michel, a racier, slightly outré bottle, a much friskier little biscuit:

It’s very much an ‘Oh, what the fuck, let’s do it!’ wine, and damn the hangovers, and it looks as though that’s how our 2009 is shaping up. Woo-hoo! When we’d drunk it to the last drop and marvelled over, y’know, everything, we had an enormous plate of spaghetti bolognese and a baguette of garlic bread. Instead of Armagnac or port we sensibly settled on tea in bed where we kept talking about why and how much we love the world, our lives, and each other.

And here we are in 2009 at last. It’s cold, grey, and wet. Miraculously, I don’t have a smidge of a hangover. Miraculously, I’m getting a massage this afternoon. Miraculously, Hild and Goldberry are waiting. May your year be as fine as ours is promising to be, full of just the right amount of peace and excitement.