Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Happy New Year?

As it is the 30th of December, it’s no surprise that I woke up thinking about New Year’s Eve, and the year to come.

I have a mixed relationship with the 31st. As a child, I usually slept through it. The 1st of January was not traditionally a public holiday in England. It didn’t become one until 1974, by which time I was already 22 years old, and working. So any celebrations of New Year’s Eve were overshadowed by the knowledge of having to get up for work the next morning.

Once we got that day off, going out on the 31st became the norm. Special parties in restaurants or other venues, often going on until the early hours, sometimes travelling home in daylight. The newly-acquired rest day spent recovering from hangovers, and getting used to everything being closed.

Then I got married, and we chose the 31st as our day to wed. Something different, a day that few people ever got married on. It was so unusual, many of our friends and family suspected my first wife might be pregnant. But she wasn’t, and we just wanted to break with the tradition of a summer wedding. Our brief honeymoon in a Sussex town was notable for a party in the hotel that kept us awake most of the night. So New Year’s Eve took on an additional significance, as it became our wedding anniversary. We celebrated that for the next few years, combining the two with renewed vigour. Then I joined the London Ambulance Service.

That night is the busiest of the year for London’s emergency services. Non-stop calls from early evening, right through to the next day. If you are scheduled to work on that shift, getting it off is almost impossible. I had to forego my anniversary celebrations, instead spending my time struggling with aggressive drunks, unconscious party girls, and the outcome of traffic accidents fuelled by alcohol. For the majority of the next twenty-two years, New Year’s Eve became something to dread, rather than celebrate. And after eight of those years, my marriage ended, so anniversary celebrations were no longer on the agenda.

A few notable exceptions can be recalled. Watching the fireworks over London from Primrose Hill, standing in deep mud. An enjoyable and very drunken party, at the nearby flat of a close friend. But generally, I was either working, or doing very little to celebrate the arrival of a new year. That continues now, when we just relax after dinner, and watch the same fireworks on TV, from the comfort of our sofa 120 miles away from where they are exploding.

And as you get older, celebrating another year is not what it used to be. Anticipating being one year closer to the age of 65, 70, or 75 does not have the same allure, I assure you.

For all you younger people who are anticipating a wonderful celebration tomorrow, I wish you well, and hope that you have a great time. And for those older people who still enjoy such things, you too, of course. I will be lucky if I am still awake at midnight. 🙂


59 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

  1. I have never been a fan of New Year’s Eve. I think any night where you are told HAVE THE BEST TIME EVER is guaranteed to be a let down and most of the years where I have bothered to go out have been just that. I think the one exception was a house party hosted at my own house.

    Coincidentally the last time I went out on New Year’s Eve was my friend’s wedding three years ago. It was a beautiful wedding but I was pregnant and exhausted and so ready to go to bed long before midnight. Ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year, Pete! I usually don’t do much to mark the date, either, but the local radio station I’m volunteering at help organise a bit of an event for the neighbourhood, so I might go to help, handing out cava and coca… ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Of course, Las Vegas celebrates New Year’s with a fireworks and entertainment extravaganza, but I tend to avoid large crowds. So I’ll probably just play on my computer at home, and keep an eye on the task bar countdown. As for 2018, it wasn’t very productive for me. So I’m hoping I can kick myself into action in 2019.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Not something I celebrate either Pete. Like you I worked on NYD and then I had children so partying was out of the question. Now I might watch the fireworks over the Thames if Jools can keep me awake. But another year is just another year older and more creaky joints. I had hoped to be doing more travelling now, but even that seems to have fizzled out. I really need to get my energy back and start dancing in the rain before it is too late!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jools will have to do it for me too, Jude. As for that energy, mine seems to have almost vanished. I have just got back from over two hours trudging around with Ollie, and I could happily just go to bed with no dinner. 😦
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michael Bublé, Jess Glynne, George Ezra.
        Nile Rodgers & Chic,Marc Almond, Rudimental, Yola, The Record Company, Junior Giscombe, Hot 8 Brass Band, Ruby Turner and The Pipes and Drums of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards.
        Must be someone there!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Marina. I had a ‘Stay Positive’ year in 2017, if you remember. That worked very well indeed, but events in 2018 caused that to crumble. I will see how I do next year. Fingers crossed.
      Ευτυχισμένο το νέο έτος to you, and your family.
      Best wishes, Pete.


          1. My issues with 2018 were some domestic problems that I can’t really talk about, Sue. I was just answering your weather question with something related to that. Sorry if that’s confusing. 🙂


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