We arrived at Val’s parkover at Earnscleugh at about 6.30pm on New Year’s Eve. We were quick to join the tail-end of a happy hour. Then it was time for a quick tea with Les and Suzanne. Finally the four of us headed off to the Clyde street party, taking our car with Les designated driver. Things were going well by the time we got there but the crush at the bar was manageable at that stage. There was a DJ with dance music and a good family atmosphere. There wasn’t too much drinking because drinks had to be bought from the hotel where the queue was about half an hour by 11pm. There was a count-down to midnight and it was a nice way to see in the new decade. It seemed to me that nobody was making much of the new year also being a new decade. Maybe after all the hype of the new millennium last decade end everyone is over new decades for a while.
We headed back to Val’s not long after midnight. The motorhomers there were just breaking up after their get-together and we managed to encourage them into one last song – the name of which I don’t seem to remember. What I do remember is not long after that I discovered that the key to Suzi in my pocket didn’t seem to be in my pocket. Despite numerous searches of the few pockets I had, I was finally forced to concede that I’d lost it. We searched the car and the area where I’d got out – to no avail. We tried to think of ways to get into Suzi but there are remarkably few ways of getting into a motorhome that don’t involve breaking something. The best plan seemed to be to bunk down in Les and Suzanne’s bus and go find Alistair the locksmith in the morning who was up at Lake Dunstan. It was a disastrous end to a lovely evening. Les suggested we go back to Clyde to see if the key had been handed in, which I went along with as a way of avoiding the fact that I’d stuffed up. We checked the street where we’d parked without any luck. The security woman was still on the end of the street and I asked her if anyone had handed in any keys. She said something like “that woman over there has got it” which all seemed a bit too hopeful. I couldn’t see which woman she was meaning but a bit more conversation indicated that a key had been handed in and it was a single key on a purple tag. I refused to believe that this might be my single key on a purple tag – not wanting to tempt fate. We soon established which woman I needed to find and I zoomed over to see her. I prayed before her and she answered my prayers with our single key on a purple tag. I’m not sure if I kissed her or hugged her or both or neither. It all seemed too good to be true. Somebody had spotted the key in the street in the middle of a street party, picked it up and made the effort to hand it in to someone who might do something with it. We live in a lovely society. I texted Wyn straight away and we zoomed back and all was well. I am a very lucky lucky bloke. With hot chocolates all round we celebrated our good fortune and retired to Suzi.
Les and Suzanne headed off early the next morning – like about 10am. It seemed early anyway. It was a windy day and motorhomes started turning up to escape the wind elsewhere. I got started on the washing early – like about 10am – it seemed early anyway. At lest with the wind the stuff dried soon enough. We finally left at about 4pm and headed back to the orchard via the dump station and the supermarket in Alexandra. We had an early tea and retired early – it was going to be a big day tomorrow.