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Friday, 2 January 2009

Here's to the new year!

Well! I have had the best New Year! I had no thought of going out when I went to work for the evening of 31st December, but before the shop closed - early, for Auld Year's Night - one of my friends called in to buy some wine and invited me to join her and a few others at her place later in the evening.

Bottle of wine in hand - and no b..... camera - I presented myself at Cath's house along with Julia and Ian who I met en route around 9.30. There was talk of a band playing at the Old Courthouse, so after a "couple of bevvies" we trotted off up the road to see what was happening! It was a great night. The band was good, though the poor girl singer had a cold and was struggling a bit. We all danced to blues, boogie, old stuff, new stuff.... till "the bells" at midnight. We counted down the last few seconds of 2008 and cheered the first seconds of 2009, shaking hands, kissing (mwa, mwa), hugging... old friends and new (like that night!), and of course as everyone else would be doing at the same time around the country, if not the English speaking world - and elsewhere perhaps - joined hands to sing Auld Lang Syne, a good old Scottish song of friendship and unity.

Here's a haun' ma trusty fiere, and gie's a haun' o' thine.
We'll tak a richt guid-willie waught for auld lang syne.

Here's my hand my trusted friend, and give me your hand.
We'll have a real goodwill drink to the past (and all it means to us) - to old long ago!

That's my perception of auld lang syne! The tune most people sing these days is not the original tune and song that Burns "collected" and added his words to. There are several versions of the old tune - this beautiful one is to be heard in the most unlikely film, Sex and the City!

So the band played on and we danced on and downed a few bottles of wine, lost Cath (to a man) then all tottered down the road and up the hill to Julia's. Finally, Cath phoned and we all tottered back down the hill again to end the night listening to Spanish gypsy type music and polishing off another bottle of the red stuff amid much laughter!

I reckon I got home about 3.30, and was most put out a few hours later to be wakened by my alarm clock. Time to get up for work again - on New Year's Day too! It's a crime! It was a busy day, being as we were the only shop open for miles around! There was a queue waiting for the morning newspapers before we opened, and it went like a fair for the rest of the day - well, till we closed at 4.00.

On with the partying. David had invited me to a "late lunch" after work so I duly drove off down the road to his place. His sister and her husband and various other friends including John from Ireland, and Wilma, an old school friend of David's, were there also, still waiting for lunch! David is a great cook, but even great cooks have their problems and his was the larger of his two ovens, which went on the blink just as he put the ham in to bake! The smaller one then had to cope with the ham and a chicken! At last we all sat up to the table, pulled crackers, donned our paper hats and read the silly jokes from the crackers. Q. Why didn't the skeleton go to the dance? A. Because he had NoBody to go with! Groan! Q. How does a snail keep its shell shiny? A. It uses snail varnish! Groan again! Can't remember the others! Some of us traded our cracker gifts - come to think of it, I left mine on the dining table! Initially I got a tiny roll of sticky tape on the smallest dispenser you ever saw, but traded it for baubles to tie up long hair into a ponytail, that Alex tried to pass off as Thai Love Beads! Silly man!

After a delicious meal, Karen herded us out into the garden for a firework display, which was quite fun, even though I'm not generally too keen on the explosive concept! We all got sparklers to hold and wave about too, like we did as kids - and guess what? I didn't have my camera again! Then we all sat around the fire and chatted about things sublime to things ridiculous, till gradually folk began to drift off home, or in John's case, to sleep, then eventually after being plied with more Christmas cake, and, in my case, apple juice - I was driving - I taxied Wilma home and continued back up to Peebles! 2.30 a.m.!!!!!

Guess what! The alarm woke me a few hours later. Time to go to work again! I did some different shifts this week, including some mornings - though thankfully not from 7.00a.m. Today was 11.00 till 7.00, yesterday 10.00 till 4.00, but after we closed tonight I bought a Chinese carry-out from Wendy and Tim, took that home to demolish, and crashed out on the sofa in front of the fire and the TV, intending to go to bed early! Huh! It's now well after 3.00a.m and here I am, blogging! I could have waited till tomorrow! It's my day off after all, but no, the night owl is still up! Well, there will be no alarm clock tomorrow morning - but I bet the phone will ring early! It usually does when I want to sleep in!

Anyway, talk again soon.

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