There’s a sense of organised bedlam in the kitchen. The smoke stampedes out of the oven and heads for the fire alarm. I pull out the tray to access the sizzling fare. A teenager laughs from across the room, comments ‘Wow! Look at that row of sausages!’ It’s pretty impressive, actually – thirty-four sausages plus bacon plus … I’m smiling through the chaos, doing well, catering for an unexpected extra four hungry kids for New Year’s Day brunch. Brunch for 10. It’s served up, everything’s cooked, everything’s hot, tastes great and the kids are loving it, piling in for third and fourth helpings. I pat myself quietly on the back, revelling in their delight – and in the words of a great friend who long ago reminded me that once in a while I need to give myself permission to be good at things. Today, I’m giving myself permission to have done a good job. Nine smiling faces around me are solid enough proof – and an extra beam in the eyes of a proud daughter … A good start to the year. It’s OK to be proud … sometimes.