It's been brilliant. I cooked the roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and so on that I would have cooked for Christmas if we'd all been together then and we've had a very entertaining evening. Everyone loves the new dining room, and it's great to have so much space. It's a big room, 24 feet by 18, so the 8 foot-something table looks quite small in there. Another table is added to make it long enough for all of us to eat at, and there's still plenty of room. It's really warm as a bonus.
Afterwards, Al and Dilly produced a pack of indoor fireworks. I was thrilled! We used to love them when Weeza and Al were little, they were hilarious, especially the one that expanded like a snake across the table, giving off noxious sulphurous fumes. They still have that one, but overall they don't seem quite as smelly and smoky as we remember - although members of the family who left the room for one reason or another during the display didn't return. In the end, it was just Al, Dilly, Wink, me and the children who stayed, loving every minute until the end. Everyone else said that it was too smelly and smoky. Hah! They don't know what's good. I've requested some for my birthday celebrations.
Al and co live next door so they went home, of course, but everyone else is staying over, so that's brilliant too. No rush home to put children to bed, everyone can have as much as they want to drink - not that it's been much, actually. We all seem to have been quite abstemious. We ate early because of the children, so no pre-dinner drinks. And I got a big enough joint of meat for Sunday lunch for everyone, in case they could stay, so it seems that we'll do it all again tomorrow. Excellent. Nothing I like better than cooking for lots of people.