Ah, New Year's Day. Across Britain, people are waking to one of two trains of thought: a/ did I really drink that much, who are you, and where are my shoes, or b/ who on earth was the crazy lady on with Jools Holland, has Kylie put on a bit of weight, and thank God for Plan B. I myself fall in to the second camp - I am not a fan of going out on New Year's Eve. I object immensly to pubs and bars you have patronised all year suddenly charging you to get in just because it's NYE; I dislike crowded places where I can't have a nice sit down and actually hear the people I'm with; and I also appear to live in an area where taxis become as rare as rocking horse waste product after midnight. Although, fair play to The Didsbury, who refused to charge and were therefore, quite rightly, apparently packed out before 9pm.
Thus, I am as fresh as a daisy today, on one of my favourite days of the year - New Year's Day. I have read a terribly high-brow, mind-improving book (oh, OK then, Jo Nesbo's The Snowman - at least it's seasonal), spent a happy hour writing important dates onto the enticingly virginal pages of my new Moleskine diary (to my horror, the Spring Term appears to be MASSIVE, almost as big as China), and remarked with pleasure that a new series of Primeval has begun. Primeval is proper Saturday night telly, although my husband likes to knock it on the grounds that it's terribly unrealistic that all the anomalies appear within a very small area of central London. He has also just remarked to me now, as we watch it off the hard drive, that Andrew-Lee Potts would have more facial hair after a year in the wilderness. I try to resist the urge to point out to him that these quibbles really are pointless - THEY ARE INVESTIGATING ANOMALIES! BREACHES IN TIME AND SPACE! WITH DINOSAURS RUNNING ABOUT IN THEM!
Anyway, we have also been out this evening, to the mighty Khandoker curry house in East Didsbury. The number of customers suggested that many are catching on to our way of thinking - stay in on NYE and go out on NYD - and went some way to proving the theory that people fed on nothing but turkey, sprouts and roast potatoes for a week will pretty much sell their soul for a curry. The food was as good as ever: we had pappadums (obviously), tandoori chicken for me and chicken puri for him, and chicken shabji style and chicken tikka massalla (husband clearly in post-Christmas ironic mode) for mains. The food here is simply delicious and the service friendly and charming; just the job to see in 2011 and trump in the face of any dreary New Year resolutions. So raise a glass with me, and herald the dawn of a new year in which I shall, no doubt, repeat exactly the same patterns of ill behaviour as last year. Oh well.
- Khandoker is at 812 Kingsway, East Didsbury, Manchester M20 5WY, tel 0161 434 3596 or visit the website at http://www.khandokerrestaurant.co.uk.