Here’s the bench a bit closer. The river must have been at least 2.5 metres higher than it usually is!
Well, this is Hogmanay, the last day of the year, a day to make sure all your outstanding debts are paid, and that your house is spick and span – basically a day of finishing off the old year ready to start afresh with the new one. I’m afraid I’m falling short on all accounts. My house is still as disorganised as usual, and I’ve forgotten to pay the parking fine from when I “lost” my car. If you don’t know what that’s all about you can read about it here!
I’m not going out to celebrate the New Year, but will just follow my own wee traditions at midnight, when I open the back door – balcony doors in my case – to let the old year out, then open the front door to let the New Year in, welcoming it with a glass of whisky! That was one of the traditions I learned when I used to go to friends in the highlands of Scotland in the late 1960s. They were very big on their traditions. They cleaned out the coal fire and laid it ready to be lit again after midnight with an ember of the old fire, and were just about frantic when their red-headed neighbour first-footed them one year. Normally another tall dark-haired neighbour called first at their house with coal and whisky (a wish for prosperity) just after the bells struck twelve, but he having been held up, red-haired Peter, not knowing, thought it would be OK to call. Everyone just walked in, no ringing or knocking at the door! Poor Peter! I don’t think he ever lived it down! I have to say I am normally my own first foot sometime during the day of 1st January, as I wouldn’t expect anyone to walk all the way down the passage and the steps from the main road in the dark! I found this website about New Year just now and it says just the things I learned up north! Here’s another one with more information, like where the word Hogmanay comes from and more traditions.
So if you are going out celebrating tonight, have a great time of fun and laughter! Look forward to 2014 and all it has to bring you. There may be bad times and sad times but there will surely be many happy times too! Make the most of them! and if you are singing Auld Lang Syne tonight, make sure you sing the proper words and only cross your arms in the last verse – Noo here’s a haun’ my trusty fiere and gie’s a haun’ o’ thine (Now here’s my hand, my trusted friend, and give me your hand)
"Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o kindness yet, for auld lang syne."
Happy New Year to you all!
Talk again soon.