Happy New Year!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrated it and had an even better New Year. Here on the island it has been non-stop for weeks between preparing the island for Christmas and then New Year and then preparing for a full house!
I have to say, Christmas feels like it was a month ago! I can’t even remember what I did – a big part of which was that between Christmas and New Year I had an awful cold and spent a whole lot of it asleep, but I do remember having fun and having something akin to a Christmas dinner on Christmas Day, which was lovely.
There was the rare appearance of pesto pasta and every host from Europe got a bit too excited, the catch phrase being ‘Oh my god, I forgot how good pesto pasta was!’
Christmas Eve we had out Sandbank event which had three rounds of Christmas carols which we laughed through more and more as each round came about. By the end, we were just in hysterics and the guests probably thought we were mad, but it was very enjoyable!
Everyone worked Christmas Day, but it was fine – a surprisingly busy day for the store! I didn’t expect much, but people were grabbing some last-minute items. And I still got to be part of my family tradition of opening gifts because thankfully I get good signal at my store! (I personally think the dog did the best out of everyone this year, but then he can be very easy to shop for and he was very happy with his little hoard, especially the squeaky owl.)
Also, Santa visited on Christmas morning for the kids here at Soneva Fusshi! He arrived via tuktuk (the sleigh was parked elsewhere of course) and all the children sat in the main area, ready to receive their presents. It was a lot of fun – and very funny because we were convinced Santa’s ‘belly’ was going to fall out from under his shirt, the beard was lost within ten minutes and he was bald again five minutes later.
Then there was the mad dash across the island to switch everything out from Christmas to New Year preparations, which had a lot of elements to get into place. From musicians to circus performers, to little games to entertain people as they came back from sandbank before they settled into dinner!
Everything for the game route was set and ready to go. And then it POURED with rain! Some stations made it through, but some fell by the wayside. Mine was one of them. We had books and a book tower game and – surprise surprise! – books and rainstorms do not match! So, there was a rush to get them packed away and I closed my evening early to get ready for the countdown.
A group of us spent a few hours at the host bar before moving over to the main area to join the other hosts andguests for some dancing. Then we were out to the beach for the main event!
The countdown confused us to no end when it started. Because it didn’t start from ten and count down. It started from one and counted up. And it didn’t stop at ten. Or fifteen. Or twenty. By the time it was twenty-five, the crowd was so confused and then it was announced that we had closed the year on Soneva Fushi’s 25 anniversary! Happy 25th, Soneva! And THEN the real countdown began. With music, glowing dolphins and a fountain and lights display. No fireworks to be found on Soneva Fushi because they’re not sustainable so we had something much more natural.
If you don’t know, Soneva Fushi works at an hour ahead of Male time – which puts us six hours ahead of the UK. So, we had the Soneva New year. And then an hour later it was time for the Male New Year. And then later on it was waking up the following morning to the UK New Year. So many New Years in such a short space of time!
New Year’s Day was wet. SO wet. We started the year with a full-blown thunderstorm – apparently it literally cut off some of the villas over at Soneva Jani – but it was actually really nice. The island was quiet and sleepy as everyone recovered from the night before, and the heavy rain felt in some way cleansing of the year that was 2020.
Overall, it was a good way to end a very stressful, difficult year for people. And clearly the guests agreed because so many families have decided to extend their stays here! With people deciding to stay and new guests arriving every day, today we hit 100% capacity. We thought things might calm down a little after 2020 ended but nope, here comes the Russian New Year and a new wave of guests along with it.
Wish myself and Alice in SJR all the best of luck for a brilliant 2021!