The Morning After the Night Before

So, here’s what 2007 looks like so far:




Top- bottom: Our garden, the garden of the house behind us. Also pictured: weird silver metal thing that looks like it maybe fell from a passing spaceship, spotted in the garden of the man next door. (Note: much more enormous in real life. The silver thing, that is, not the man next door)

Wow, 2007, nice work! Nothing like announcing your arrival, eh? I mean, I know I’m all about the drama, but when you showed up at the party, 2007, everyone stopped to look. It’s a good job we’re not superstitious, in a "the year will totally continue the way it started, with death and destruction a-plenty" kinda way, no?

After spending the first part of our evening watching our garden be comprehensively ripped apart, we repaired to Terry’s mum’s house for what we in Scotland call "The Bells" ("The Bells! The Bells!") and what you in the rest of the world probably call (just as accurately, but slightly less dramatically) "midnight". Five minutes before these bells (Bells! Bells!), Jackie Bird, who the BBC roll out every New Year to guide us through the "celebrations", beamingly informed us that now was "the moment we had all been waiting for!" We all dutifully gathered around the TV in no small excitement, but it turned out to be just more of that stupid-ass fiddle music we always get lumbered with on New Year’s Eve (enlivened for us this year by an energetic display of some ballet/jazz/Irish dance fusion by our little niece Maria. This will come in handy should things start to flag at the wedding, methinks).

As the bells (The bells! The bells!) tolled, we were treated to the usual display of fireworks from Edinburgh Castle, although as the street party was cancelled this year it turned out that what we were actually seeing was the fireworks display from last year, in a bizarre kind of "here’s some we prepared earlier" moment. (Or, who knows, it could have been the fireworks display from 1992 for all we know – I mean, they’re basically all the same, aren’t they? Maybe they’ve been showing us old footage for years now, as part of some cost-cutting exercise?) We switched the TV off soon after that because it got too depressing, but what we did manage to catch seemed to be the usual "fey looking young woman singing some Celtic-sounding dirge" thing that the BBC foist on us every year in the misguided belief that we’d all prefer to bring in the New Year in abject misery, thanks very much. (One year a visitor from England asked my parents in astonishment why they were playing "modern music" at their New Year’s Eve celebration, and not gathering round the hearth to play the bagpipes and sing "guid auld songs" about the Battle of Culloden and all that. My parents, of course, smacked the visitor up the side of the head* and pointed out that time marches on just as relentlessly in Scotland as it does in the rest of the world, and also: we’re not mad, you know. Why, we’ve had horseless carriages for years now, years I tells ya. It’s just a shame that the BBC has so far failed to realise this.)

Anyway. Terry is now busy giving Rubin his New Year’s bath (we do actually bath him more than once a year, though, before you report us to the RSPCA or something): once I have been similarly bathed (although not that similarly, obviously. I mean, Terry won’t be doing the honours, for instance) we’ll be heading to my parents’ house to make sure it’s still standing have dinner and also: drink wine. And thus will end a total of four days of non-stop** partying for us, for yes, folks, we have attended four parties in four days now, which makes us sound very busy and popular, but actually, we’re just mad.

* Not strictly true
** Actually, we did stop fairly often

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books by Amber Eve