Times Past: New Year’s Eve

In the absence of a topic from Irene Waters on the theme of Times Past, I’m choosing my own and since New Year’s Eve has just passed that seems relevant.

I’m a Baby Boomer who grew up in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia.

Our family wasn’t into socialising and New Year’s Eve wasn’t something we celebrated but when I was a teenager I felt envious of those who did. One year I went walking about our suburb checking out what was happening, there wasn’t really much going on.

In 1971 I arrived in Scotland and had my first experience of a full-on New Year’s Eve or Hogmanay.  It was eye opening. I was in a group with friends from work and we went to total strangers’ houses, all that was expected was that you’d have alcohol. Ever since that night if I smell whisky it reminds me of Hogmanay. I’ve never acquired a taste for it. Since that first experience I’ve always felt the New Year was cause for celebration, a time to let the hassles of the previous year go and start afresh. I always try to have my ironing basket empty so I don’t drag that job into the new year!

My husband grew up in Scotland so Hogmanay was an annual event. One particular year a bottle of whisky was broken. Newspaper was used to soak up the spilt spirit and the paper was put in the woodbox to be used to light the fire in the morning. On New Year’s morning a very grumpy Hector, the cat, staggered out from the woodbox where he’d spent the night.  He was always a grumpy cat so there was no way of knowing if he was an ugly drunk or it was just his usual nature showing.

Although we left Scotland in the mid 80s we always “see in the New Year”, not with whisky but with a nice glass of wine instead.

5 thoughts on “Times Past: New Year’s Eve

  1. I have never really celebrated new year.. apart from the year we looked after my mum who was behaving badly. After she went to sleep we snuck into victoria square to see the fireworks. it was the millenium year. Afterwards we walked home across the parklands worried she may have woken up and found the wine. but she was asleep and we felt like naughty teenagers. this year it was me onnthe deck listening to the sea. no fireworks or even cars. a very quiet town.

  2. I’m so sorry I didn’t give you a prompt for January but you did very well without me. Loved reading about your drunken cat. You were lucky experiencing a Scottish hogmonay. I have Scottish heritage but no-one out here carried on the tradition. St Andrews Day though we always had haggis.

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