I woke up on New Year's day in the early hours, sharing a bed with my daughter, in the cosiest room in the attic at a friends' house. A pack of dogs were running through the house, barking madly, and it made me laugh. Some poor soul had to wrench themselves from their bed to shove the naughty hounds outside. Later on, I reluctantly got dressed, and was stung by a wasp who had made its way into one of my trainers. Please can that not be a bad omen for 2017. If new year's day started with questionable luck, new year's eve could not have been luckier. In a house with friends, who really know how to party; lots of children, 100's of dogs, varying ages of guests. The most delicious supper of which the host didn't even eat a morsel of, handing it to his guests, he said he felt like he had been cooking for weeks and lit up a cigarette instead. It was all very jolly, and a template for how parties should be, I think. I'd been watching the dogs the night before; 2 newfoundlands, who are like black bears in size, 2 loo brush like terriers, a lurcher, a staffordshire bull terrier. One peed on the floor as she was put out about something, possibly finding it difficult to get enough attention in a group of that size. One was rather difficult and leapt onto the sofa between me and another lady, sniffed us, paused, and then leapt off again. We weren't what she wanted. I love a pack like that of anything, and always find it gripping the different characters. The next pack I see will be human ones, heading here on Friday for my birthday supper. A group of local friends who I love. It's such a terrible time of year, I always like to do something on my birthday. Just enough time for people's healthy new year's resolutions to be raised and then squashed in one go. I plan on some strong cocktails and a curry. We will be crammed in to the kitchen on benches, eating poppadoms and naan bread from the local Indian, with the curry being made by me. I feel a little nervous about the pressure, as it won't be a 10 Minute Supper, but fingers crossed it works. Otherwise I might take a tip out of my new year's eve host, and just forget about eating myself and concentrate on more important aspects of the evening, like the music.