Almost a month ago I wrote a post about one memorable Hogmanay. Yesterday I got thinking about more of them, and started planning this post*. And then today I listened to reports of quieter celebrations around the world, and the cancellation of Edinburgh’s “traditional” Hogamanay festival. Now I’m no spring chicken but I’m not *that* old either. And I can remember when that “traditional” Hogmanay started. Heck, it’s even within MasterS’s lifetime and he’s definitely not old**. So here’s my trip down memory lane.
New Year at home in Wales was usually quite low key. We knew there was place where it was very important and something called “First Footing” took place, sometimes even bundling dad outside just before midnight while knowing that wasn’t “quite right”. Even after moved to Scotland I went back to Wales for holidays, so it wasn’t until I was married and working that I finally got to experience Hogmanay. And then. Well to be honest it never quite lived up to expectations. Yes there were always stories about great parties, the craic, the visiting around houses. But it always seemed just out of reach. I never really enjoyed the bar hopping, and they all shut early in any case; and I can’t honestly remember whether I ever did get to taste my friend’s Mum’s amazing stovies. Did we really walk miles to the edge of the city for that? Or did we simply hear lots of stories about it? Either way the perfect Hogmanay was an elusive creature.***
Later (the early 90s) I lived on the Royal Mile and saw the last days of the Tron being the epicentre for Hogmanay. That was something to behold, the mass of people, and their buzz, words indistinguishable, but too loud to do anything but listen to it, holding MasterS up to wave to the adoring crowds.
Then came the big party “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay”. Our flat was within the official party zone, so we had to wear wristbands to get in and out, and order extras for our guests on party years.
Ah yes, the party years.
The almost inedibly “high” venison year****, the champagne decanted into a plastic bottle year*****, the climbing onto the roof year. The surrounded by people but feeling so alone millennial year.
A new decade, new house, MrS, another new house. the years waiting up to hear if MasterS had come home. Trips to Wales, celebrating with family, with friends, with both, and none, dancing in the pub, sparklers in the garden . At home(s) and abroad. Starting new traditions, sharing others.
Last year, drinks and starters for twelve (fourteen if you counted the tots), then mains and puds for eight when the younger generation took the youngest home to bed.
This year, celebrating 2021 as we had 2001 with a dinner for two.
This post has broken my rule of being text short and picture heavy. But even a camera enthusiast like me didn’t catalogue my daily life way back when.
So here are the photos, pretty much all post 2014 when I got my first smartphone.
And here’s to 2021 I hope it’s a happy one for you.
*I only got as far as looking out the photos before champagne and supper distracted me
**to be fair he probably can’t remember, he was a toddler at the time.
***MrS has identified a successor to this, “the quest for the perfect teashop”
****I didn’t enjoy it but was too pretentious to admit it was bad, actually it may well have been so far beyond “high” that it was actually bad. The wine was good though.
*****You couldn’t take glass bottles into the controlled area which our guest had to pass into to reach our flat.