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New Years Shenanigans

Chris Colclough
Chris Colclough

Lets start with wishing all readers a Happy New Year, and I hope you had as much fun as what we all did down in Wales.

December 31st 2009
Yes the weather held off and we made it to my friend Rob's place without incident. In fact we made it in record time, 4 hours for 240 miles, and there are alot of lanes at the Welsh end where you have to be careful as a bus/tractor/other vehicle could be coming the oposite way.

Rob_4When I arrived at Rob's he was the only person there, his wonderful partner Jane was at work and Ant and his family had not arrived. So a quick brew and a catch up with Rob before the fun and games. The weather was also being kind with glorious sunshine and but with a cold wind. Rob had just started his lambing season off and had 5 new arrivals up to new years eve.

Not long after Jane arrived and again it was a brew and a catch up (for those who don't know what a brew is it is a mug of tea - the drink to have socially anywhere). The plans were discussed as to what was happening that night and we got on preparing the meal and food for the rest of the guests to arrive.

Ant (MW0JZE), his wife Laura and Eleri, their daughter, arrived and again giving us even more to chat about and catch up on. This was all the team members now on scene and we sat chatting whilst the food was cooking. Rob and Jane had also invited 2 of their friends along for the meal, Rob's mate Phil and Janes friend Kath both arrived just in time for the food to be dished up. Again Jane had excelled herself with another The_gangdelicious meal.

The wine flowed freely as did the conversation, but as we were preparing to have dessert there was a phone call from Janes elderly father that their dog had escaped and could not be found. Jane and Kath went round there to see if they could help out and were soon back, the dog was in the fields adjoining the house and came back wagging its tail as if nothing was wrong. Crisis over we set about the Sherry Trifle - again all home made and absolutely delicious - especially the sherry bit!

That was just the start of the evening's fun. We had planned to go up into Fishguard and see Jane's son Peter and his friend - collectively known as Neon - play in the town square where the main celebrations for new year were taking place. Ant and Family, myself, Jane and Rob all jumped into Rob's Landrover for the short trip to the town, where I must admit it is not the comfiest of rides. But it was worth it, the town square was full Neon_4of revellers all ready to celebrate the New Year. Neon were on stage when we got there and they played a fantastic set, getting every one dancing and enjoying the event.

From what was said Fishguard's new year celebrations are in the top 5 places to celebrate within the UK, and from my experience I can see why. Everyone was friendly and there were no silly iddiots pushing and shoving being drunken louts. Just people having fun, dancing and singing along to the band. Revelers_in_the_square_1

We decided to leave before midnight and return to the farm. A good move as this meant we could all have a drink and celebrate the midnight hour in our own way. The warmth of the farmhouse was most welcoming, and we soon got settled in for the night.

Firework_9Rob let off some fireworks in the field and we then sat and chatted. The girls and Rob went off to bed leaving Ant and I chatting about the plans for Ramsey Island in the summer, and maybe CQWW from the farm in October. The next thing we knew Rob was getting up for a cup of tea at 4am - his farmers clock where he wakes early - and we were still sat there chatting. Ant went to bed and soon after I followed to my room.

January 1st 2010
When I got up I was expecting to be the last as it was late morning, but it turned out I was the first one up, apart from Rob who still had to tend to his sheep and animals on the farm. The good news was that one of his sheep had had her lamb overnight and both were doing well. The weather was glorious, bright sunshine and quite warm. We sat on the small patio area at the rear of the farm house to have a cuppa and it was quite pleasant, but this was to change.Sunset_1

Mid afternoon and it started to snow, and boy did it come down. By 4pm it was about 50cm thick, and this is unusual for down in this part of the UK. As night fell it carried on snowing and the conditions got worse and worse. We had our evening meal and watched TV, with one eye on the weather.

January 2nd 2010
The next morning it was again bright sunshine and this started to melt some of the snow. Ant looked on the internet to check the roads and driving conditions. The main roads were clear of the snow and looked Ok to drive on, butthe lanes would be bad.

As I needed to get back on the Saturday for another new years do we decided to chance it. Loaded the cars and away we went, leaving Rob and Jane once more. I followed Ant out to the main roads, and the lanes were bad. A few times I had the rear end of the BMW stepping out - rear wheel drive - but managed to control it and keep the car the correct side up!

By the time we got to Llanelli the snow had virtually gone, and by Swansea on the M4 not a thing. But in the hills and valleys it looked like a Christmas card. Lots of snow and very picturesque. All the way back to the midlands it was sunny and warm, then when I got to Birmingham it rained, which does go to show that Jasper carrot was right all those years ago when he said "Where it always rains!"

So that was my new year. Lots of fun and great company. I would like to thank Rob and Jane for putting us all up and once more to Jane for her fantastic cooking and meals. To Ant, Laura and Eleri for their wonderful company. And to all of them for the fantastic New Year fun. Lots of laughs had bya all. And just as a warning Rob, I am planning to come down again next year (If that's OK?)....Rob_and_Jane