Happy New Year

Things have been very hectic leading up to the New Year, with two exhibitions to oversee and Christmas to organise but we are on the last lap now. Manchester finished last week-end and London finishes this week-end. Then it’s packing up all the unsold work and returning it to the designers. Both exhibitions have been very hard going this year with not only the recession to cope with, but also appalling weather, postal problems and student protests, which impacted on our Manchester opening times! We can only hope that things will improve in 2011, but we’re not overly optimistic.

On a more cheery note, we spent a very merry Hogmanay  in Edinburgh with good friends. The gods smiled on us and arranged good weather for the long drive up from Kent and we arrived in time to go to the torchlight procession through the city up to Carlton Hill. There were thousands of people on the hill- apparently a record turn out-and it was quite a sight, with a huge Viking boat set alight and fireworks and of course the inevitable pipes. The smell of the flame torches was amazing and there were more than a few near misses with torches very near to hair and clothes  in the crowds.

I will draw a veil over the New Years Eve celebrations and move on to New Years Day, when we experienced yet another quaint Scottish custom, the Loony Dook, at South Queensferry. Apparently it is customary for some Scottish people to celebrate the New Year by dressing up in funny costumes and jumping in the Firth of Forth at South Queensferry. Rather them than me, but they do make a lot of money for charity and I’m sure it is a great hangover cure! We thoroughly enjoyed spectating and then retreating to the pub afterwards. The Scots certainly know how to enjoy New Year and it’s well worth the trek to join in.

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