David and I had a lovely, quiet, New Years Eve (a quick poll at work shows that a quiet evening in was the trend of the year). I got off work early and we spent the afternoon relaxing before ordering pizzas and settling in to watch Lord of the Rings, extended version. Last week we discovered that ordering pan crust (instead of italian) from Pizza Hut yields a pizza close to what we are accustomed to in North America and thus we were able to really enjoy our delivered pizza, instead of lamenting the lack of good pizza on this side of the pond. It is a serious problem. One can get good pizza in Cambridge, but it requires going downtown and ordering from Gardi's or stopping at The Cow (where the pizza is of a very thin European nature, but quite delicious). We had also laid in a supply of beer, although we had to venture out to get a bit more (fortunately we made it to the Co-op before they closed).
Near midnight we tuned in to the BBC to watch the countdown in London. As the fireworks exploded over the London Eye and Big Ben chimed the twelve strokes of midnight we popped a bottle of champagne and cheered in the New Year. Then followed calls to family and friends, and an epic quest to empty the bottle of champagne. Contrary to popular, ie: my brother's, opinion, I was not tipsy from the beer. It was only when the four, or five?, glasses of champagne hit my system that I discovered my speech & balance faculties were lacking. Fortunately I did not have to go far to find my bed.
|a very deserted downtown|
Following breakfast we wandered through town, stopping at bookstores and acquiring some good finds (good luck for the new year). We went home on a slightly different route to normal and, as luck would have it, the gate to Jesus College was open so we snuck past the Porter's Lodge and took a ramble around. The grounds are beautiful; my favorite thus far out of all the colleges (aside from the gardens at Clare). We have been reading a series of ghost stories set at Jesus College and it was certainly spooky to wander past all the places where strange events have occured. We got a bit lost and it was an encounter with the uncanny to take a turn that brought us to the courtyard of the chapel, knowing what harrowing events had taken place in the chapel during the years around the Reformation. I was getting quite nervous that we would not find our way out and be doomed to wander the grounds of Jesus forever, but David managed to lead us through various portals and porticos until we emerged once again at the open gate.
|the open gate|
We are entering a new decade, and when I look back on the first ten years of this century I cannot believe how much I have done. There is much that I hope for in the next decade. I hope that our wandering can slow down, that we can one day settle down and have our own place. I hope that by the time this decade closes our family has expanded. I hope to see more of Europe, both east and west, and hope that I may even see Africa or India. I hope for many chances to see family and friends. The past ten years have been crammed full of events, and I feel that this river we call life has sent me through the rapids and over the waterfall—perhaps now there is a gently meandering stretch before me. But the thing is that we can never tell what the future will bring. If I have learned anything to take with me into this future it is that every happy moment must be seized and enjoyed, because we never know how long we can have that moment for. Life must be lived to the fullest, for God is gracious enough to bestow His blessings and we simply need to reach out and take what is offered.