Happy New Year!
By Parson Thru
So, then, what's all this?
I’m sitting here, having had a productive day, still wearing two pairs of socks and outside the rain is lashing onto the windows straight off the Severn Estuary. Somewhere, someone (!) will be in Zambia at some backpacker New Year’s Eve party. Someone else is heading down to the local estate pub in search of something – maybe a pub band, a count-down to some arbitrary point on the clock / calendar. Somewhere else, someone is watching TV in the hope that just for once something different will happen. I’m comparing bourbons and flitting between reading, playing and writing, with the most comfortable feet I’ve had in years. And the phone keeps on buzzing with people wishing Happy New Year. Why? What’s changed?
Have we been drawn by tradition and genetic inheritance into some pagan ritual? Should we really have been wassailing the apple trees or attending Harvest Home? Or maybe it’s a great excuse to drink more than usual and drag ourselves down to the pub, when we would have otherwise had a night in front of the telly. Maybe if we drink sufficient at the party, we’ll wake up tomorrow with the hangover from hell in a strange bed, with a strange person snoring beside us and no idea where our pants have disappeared to? That would surely ring in the new. “Where did you go to last night and where are the knickers I bought you for Christmas?”
New Year’s Resolutions. What tosh. Give up heroin, fatty food, whinging, masturbating and writing. The latter has the least chance of success. You might as well get religion – join a holy order or become one who submits to Allah. More chance of changing your life there than swinging on some stranger’s hand and mouthing the words to Auld Lang Syne, pissed out of your brain. Give up on giving up. That would be a start.
In the northern hemisphere, this week of celebration was initiated long before anyone thought of increasing Christmas Card sales by claiming to donate a paltry sum to charity, long before some German bloke brought a tree in the house and long before anyone paid a tired anchor-man to spend hours going through the year’s news archive rather than just binning it.
Shortest, wettest, darkest days of the long year – leading into the coldest. Who wouldn’t want to down tools and have a knees-up? Any other reason is just an excuse. The days are beginning to lengthen – leetle by leetle. The sun is trying to find somewhere to turn around and head back north. Maybe that’s sufficient.
But don’t expect anything to happen. Nothing is going to happen. Apart from we’ll have to get used to writing a different number for the year.
Watch those expectations. Or maybe just drink till it comes out of your ears and your nostrils (nasty) and wake up in a strange bed with your pants lost in a crumpled duvet. Maybe that will bring the change you’re looking for.
Auld lang syne, my arse.