Shaking the snow off our eleven pairs of boots and eleven coats as we came back indoors for the rest of our meal (a medley of small desserts and chocolates, mandarin oranges, hot drinks and champagne) left every so many puddles on our tiles on the warm side of our front door. Chris made us work on his Predictions for 2017 quiz. Jill (now living in Victoria) had sent in the largest number of correct predictions for 2016, and our son-in-law's mother Gilly was runner-up, but they weren't here to receive the prize that Chris usually gift-wraps for the winner, so Carol, who came third, got one. My predictions had been the least realistic of all, so my name went onto the Roll of Dishonour to be displayed at next year's NYE party, if we have one.
Maha made us each come out with one word to describe 2016, but that made us think about world politics, which started to feel depressing (my one word was disappointing), so we changed the subject. In such good company one can't be downhearted for long. The company set off to dig their cars out of the snowdrifts shortly after 11pm so we toasted the New Year a little ahead of time. The timing of its arrival is fairly meaningless in a country with so many time zones and with our relatives abroad well into New Year's Day by the time we get around to celebrating. Our son George, for instance, was already picnicking with Sha and Eddie on a Sydney beach by the time we reached Zero Hour in Ontario.
Chuck later took some superb photos of the midnight fireworks in Ottawa, pointing his camera from his apartment windows towards Landsdowne Park. Chris and I were still up at midnight but didn't venture outside a second time. We saw the countdown on my laptop screen and heard the bangs from our house. Happy New Year!