As a young single, New Years pissups were mandatory and often spent travelling, camping, going to the local less-than-savoury country club and party pashes with randoms. Later it became a regular couples camping holiday with friends which was fantastic. Again, often the Yamba Bowling Club or the Gerringong RSL but we were friends together and it didn't matter where New Year's Eve was celebrated.
We've had parties at home, parties at other homes. We've been out to dinner - which is not very satisfactory because after 12 and all the hoopla, free beads and silly whistles, the bar is closed and the tables cleared and that's the end of that. Since children came along, it's been a more low key affair with celebrations at home with family and what friends could attend.
Now that my children are grown, they go their own way on New Year's Eve. DrummerBoy was last seen in Dungog sitting in a spa and drinking a beer wearing his new Christmas pork pie hat (he will be berated if he got it wet!). Clare is at a beach side Eco Lodge in Bermagui on the south coast with friends probably drinking someone else's booze given her current lack of resources. I think her words were "The house is pimpin' " - that's a good thing!
I'm not sure what the rest of the family are up to.
Me? Well I'm home, my house is clean and for the short term immaculate. It's quiet, warm, breezy . . I've read kj's book and had a little cry (not 'cos I'm sad but the book is.) I am feeling very relaxed, and in a way, glad that another year has ended. Fortunately, it has been an uneventful year for me . . not a bad thing considering the trials some people have had to deal with.
- Kate things can only get better in 2009 there are many in your position thanks to this awful economic downturn. You have a wonderful husband and two great kids . . things will sort themselves out.
- Commiserations to Jay who had to put one of her precious dogs down today. I thought about you when I took my Princess to have her annual jabs today.
- Hearts out to Kahlerisms who's dad is not well but hanging on. You know I love you and Brethred very much so chin up and come and see me sometime
- Cheers to my darling 'virtual son' who is working night shift on New Year's Eve before catching a plane to on New Year's Day to stay with us in Australia - he will be virtual no more - brave effort paduan - I can't wait.
- Congratulations to Stan who has a new baby and will be having a 'quiet' night in with Natalie, his new bundle of joy and his lovely family.
- Big hugs to Ces who's had some emotional trials but is now right on track, determined as ever and has become a cool friend despite our political differences
- Massive thank you to kj for sending me a signed copy of her book.
- Cheers and bottoms up to Miladysa who was the first to wish me happy new year. According to my clock drinking Bacardi and Coke at 9:30 am!
- Thank you Melissa for sharing your wonderful words, family, surroundings . . I can't tell you how much I like your blog
- Massive hugs for Thrifty who's supplied me with hilarious emails throughout the year and a couple of 'back from the pub' cheerios!
- Big congrats to K8 who is finally in a new home, has broadband and is now able to chat more - give that Laughing Boy and Puppy Child a hug for me
- Huge thank you to Babysis and the Plumber for taking care of my horses for the past 4 years. I forgot to thank them in the frey that was moving them from one location to another.
- Much love and apologies to Thommo for dogging her on Boxing Day, don't be mad at me baby. . I've only just learned how to do things for me instead of others.Have a blast in Japan.
- Hearts out to Gaye . . maybe in 2009 we'll share a drink in the garden
- Buckets of encouragement to Gledwood who's fighting heroin addiction but trying hardto stick to his Methodone program
- Greetings and happy new year to Bimbimbi my fellow Aussie who's helping to champion the cause and emails me regularly
- Thank you Lehners in France, I can't wait for the adventures of Lehners in England
- Wishing you luck with completing the renno's in France Ernest and thanks for actually making me Rub 2 Neurons - I actually didn't think I had two to spare
- Wuffa . . maybe you'll be motivated to write something more personal on your blog? But thank you for being such a regular and contributing to the Wonder Wall - be afraid, your part of the world is on my travel agenda.
- Grannymar you're a champ and I enjoy our Skype chats and your wordly wisdom - wishing you a steady ticker and warm feet this winter.
- Steph, I loved the video and the Skype chat . . .let's resolve to do it again in the new year and maintain the rage against the Irish Health System
- Thanks Miley for taking an interest in my blog when yours is a work of linguistic art (except for the paragraph thing)
- Annie and Megan (you know you come as a pair) . .great getting to know you and love that we chat on Facebook
- Moon and EM (almost a pair) . . life wouldn't be the same without, travel, dogs and Limoncello, you are both so down to earth, please stay that way in 2009
- JD hoping you get to realise the dream - you can do it - only you
- Grandad, I have to say, I like "The Other Fella's" blog . .lovely getting a window into your world. I live vicariously as you know . . .
- TCL, lovely getting to know you too and best of luck with your travels to Argentina, you stay in touch now and give me the 'dirt' on Quickie and the Mrs.
- IBeati, you're an inspiration, truly . . wishing you a year of good health - I now count my blessings too
- Bear . . keep your beary bright wisdom coming
- AV I've just been on your Flickr site and must admit you need no luck with your photographic skills so here's hoping for the book . . thanks for the funnies, and the emails, and the friendship . .you're a champ and a great mum to Bo.
- Conortje, party hard dude or go home . . someone told me you're a lightfoot on the dance floor. I wish for you no more leaky ceilings . . .and a big hunk of handsomeness
- Maxi and JellyMonster . . .keep the laughs coming . . I learn something every day . . not always something I want to learn . . but I learn.You're the only site I have to warn people about in advance!
- Rev, enjoy your ski trip. You are inspirational if not a little serious but you too make me think about life the universe, and everything (including cricket) and the answer is much, much more than 42. Thank you for your emails.
- Plugger, you're a cack and the only person I know who is paid to eat chocolate. All the best with the Melbourne move and the Adelaide sale. I do know exactly how frustrating it can be. 2009 for you will be a new adventure.
- Jack McMadd . . nice to see you back in the frey even if your posts are few and far between. Thank you also for your research on South American 'safety' when Clare was about to embark on her journey, you gave me peace of mind.
- Terrence, you are hilarious. Nominations for the Irish Blog Awards are on but I'm ineligible to vote. Doh! I hope you find love in the new year, someone else to trial that non stick pan
- Quickie may there be more Argentinian bottoms and less strike strife, thanks for the journey through Buenos Aires
- Christopher . .remain my human thesaurus . . will you start a new word of the week?
- Ropi - keep disagreeing with me and comparing notes . . I love your challenges and wish you luck in your final year in high school. And you did look like a General! And you can dance!
- Wordnerd - Gaux Tigers (whatever that means)
- Paddy - only a short cooling off period and you have your new house, now that's a dream come true!
- Susan, as one leaves home . . hey the other two stay! Absence really does make the heart grow fonder- I know!
- Carole, I hope one day you have the courage to say hello . . I see you on Skype . .I know you're there!
- Nick, I hope you manage to get a good vantage point to watch the fireworks tonight because they are spectacular! Next time you visit, you're invited to mine!
- David, your photos never cease to amaze. You are my online photographic mentor whether you like it or not.I love that you have time to email when I comment. Very gracious considering the size of your blogroll (no pun intended)
- Ashleigh . .nice that you dump over here now and then. I hope you'll be more frequent in your posts during 2009
- RyanIam, keep challenging my political views and all the very best with the new job thing (oh and you know that 'leaving' stuff at someone's house means that you want an excuse to come back . .you're welcome any time)
I'm not linking you all . . you're all either in the blog roll or know who you are or know each other and you are all special . . it's true, some of my best friends are in my computer but feel free to come out whenever you like! And to my physical friends, few of whom even know I blog let alone read it. Thank you for being there for me, Kaz, Avril, Jayne, Annie, Tina, Ruth, Judy, Damian . .
My daughter may be right . .perhaps I do have an 'obsession' with blogging but I believe it's allowed me to meet personally and virtually the most amazing bunch of diverse people of all ages and persuasions. Thank you for your comments this year, thank you for sharing snippets of your lives, thank you for emailing and becoming more than words on a page
To those of you who have had a good year . . I wish you the same for the next. For those who have had tumultuous times . . I wish for you plain sailing . . . For those who have had some insurmountable obstacles . . I hope you learn to fly. And for those who know that times ahead are going to be tough . . .reach out to your support system . .we/they are there. For those of us who have just travelled along . . I wish us excitement and a few surprises. My new year's eve is contemplative and introspective and that's the way I want it.
Not a Celebration song, not a new year song but one of warmth and love and hope and affection. Sort of explains how I feel about you lot sometimes. (Metaphorically speaking).
You can take a breath now:
Happy, happy New Year! w00t!