31 December 2013

The last afternoon of 2013. I follow a blog by Victoria Elizabeth Barnes:


And on her most recent post she tossed out the info she's not especially keen on New Years celebrations, saying "I'm not finished with this year." I know just what she means.

But soon it will be 2014 here in NE Scotland and I've taken a few minutes to reflect on not only 2013 but past New Years celebrations. For example when 1999 became 2000 and we all held our breath hoping all those IT wonders managed to pull off the biggest IT scramble ever - and of course they did, God bless them! I very clearly recall standing on Westmont Drive at the stroke of midnight with my son and several of his friends watching the street lights flicker several times then return to a steady yellow glow.

For some reason whenever I pause to reflect on New Years of my past I am stuck for a few (mercifully brief) moments on the events of 31 Dec 1973 that saw me walking home from a party after the Big Date became the Big Dud. I was 17 and it was my first ever big date for NYE. As I vaguely recall I spent some of my hard earned part time job money on a special outfit for the evening - those stupid shoes were tossed into the shrubbery because really, walking five miles (with around ten to go, I gave up after five and forked out for a cab) in those ridiculous shoes was, well, ridiculous.

I confess my shoe stoopid continued for many years - yes, I have a bunion on my right foot from many more years of ridiculous shoes. Sigh. I always wear sensible shoes now. Back then I did learn something though - from then on I made a point of having a spare pair of sensible shoes with me no matter where I was going. Because ya just never know what's going to happen, do you?

Yes, 1974 was the year I started hauling around a big tote (and you thought it was some fashion queen who made big totes so popular, ha!) so I could have a spare pair of sensible shoes and a pair of jeans too, just in case I'd grown up to be a big magnet for big dud dates and was stranded again. And again.

Over the years the tote progressed to home sewn diaper bags that progressed to rucksacks because really, have you ever tried chasing a toddler through an amusement park whilst simultaneously trying to keep a fully packed diaper bag slung over your shoulder? Well I have and trust me it's really a no-brainer to use a rucksack. Hands-free, gotta love it.

I mean, I'm a shoe and bag nut - 3" heels are soooooooooooo fab, and OMFGsh I LOVE little beaded bags! I mean stoopid love, I really cannot resist at least looking at stoopid shoes and bags.

But "Prepared Practicality!" has been my secret mantra since that NYE in Southern California so many years ago. Over the years the rucksack carried a spare set of clothes, 1st aid essentials, and a toothbrush. Heh, Doomers think they invented the BugOutBag but I started it on 1 Jan 1974. So there!

LOL, I think that's the most thought I've given 31 Dec 1974 in decades! I wonder whatever happened to that Bel-Air pinhead who threw me out of his rag-top on a dirt road in old Cerritos that night because I said "Not without a ring we don't!"

Another 'winner' NYE was the ultra fail of 31 Dec 1998 when my soon-to-be ex-husband begged me to spend the evening with him in hopes of working things out. He got drunk, passed out, and I ended up stuck on his couch 150 miles from home, yeah, that was a swell night too. Our son was doing a teen NYE sleep-over with school friends and DAMN I still wish I'd agreed to be a chaparone for that rather than spend yet another dreary NYE with Crusty.

But there have been good NYEs of course. The most recent have been the best ones, Paul and I share our fireworks with the neighbours and then go in the house and fall asleep watching the Americans on telly, partying like it's still 1999. Very peaceful. I like that.

Tonight God willing we'll do the same. We need to make a fireworks run but other than that we're set for another peaceful NYE.

So how was 2013 for us? Busy alternating with not so busy. A few more DIY projects done, sigh - a few more stone added. A health scare for Paul (whew, he's fine, no cancer reoccurrence and no diabetes either); the realisation that I need to 'move it or lose it' forever and really, at 57 I'm too young to lose it, lol! So of course we've made some very firm NY resolutions.

And since we didn't do so badly at all on the ones we made 31 Dec 2012 I have high hopes for the ones we'll be making tonight. I'm really impressed with Paul and I for the past years work - we did quit smoking and that's made a large difference for us both.

2014. Bring it!

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