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Life Day By Day

New Year’s Eve

The 2020 New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to reminisce about all our past New Year Eve’s. Due to our COVID-19 normal world our New Year’s Eve celebrations will be different tonight. Some of us will celebrate more of the same tonight, while others will be disappointed to wind back their plans as they have to stay at home.

Yet, could my situation and yours be better this year in our COVID-19 world? Even in a world without fire works in many capital cities in Australia?

This year we have lowered our expectations. The dinner-dance you booked has changed. You can still have the dinner, but you cannot dance. If you are dining at home there are even fewer expectations to place on ourselves. We do not need to look our fabulous best self. There is no reason to ‘dress up’ for the backyard BBQ. Just be your best casual self. That is my aim for this evening. However, I will add new earrings (from my son), and my new Jimmy Choo perfume from my O&O.

In a non-COVID-19 New Year’s Eve world women are busy. There is the hairdresser, facials, nails and shopping for a new outfit. All of these must happen in the days before New Year’s Eve. But for me I am not a high maintenance girl. On New Year Eve’s I like to look after myself. Do my own hair, do my own nails, a facial at home and look in the wardrobe for the dress that is longing for me to take it out!

Then for men, there is a haircut, beard trim (if you have one) and a new casual shirt. The latter is because he feels more comfortable going casual. His rationale is why would anyone get dressed up when the lights are turned down so low. No one at the party will see what he is wearing.

As you get older you do not feel you have to be the one in the office or supermarket check-out sharing your ‘high end’ plans for New Year’s Eve – you go to bed early. In 2020 if you tell your friends and family you are going to bed early you will be celebrated. You can feel proud of yourself when you tell everyone ‘I am being COVID-19 responsible this year.’ You are now one of the community’s most responsible, respected and self-sacrificing person on the planet.

One of the upsides of going to bed early on New Year’s Eve is that you wake up feeling refreshed. You can look around, the sun is shining, it is a New Year and you feel great. Even better put on those sneakers and go for a walk. You will run into all those other people who went to bed early, who feel great about themselves. You get rewarded with ‘hello’s’ and ‘smiles’ wherever you go. Only fit and happy people walk early in the morning. What a great way to start 2021.

Let’s face it 2021 will be a better year than 2020.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

But back to reminiscing. When we lived in Brisbane, close to the city, we would book dinner at a restaurant and see in the New Year. That was until one New Year’s Eve when it took us hours to get a cab home. After that event our New Year’s Eve plans changed.

After a great night out waiting for a cab does not top off the night. It was not the ‘icing on the cake’ experience you want after a great New Year’s Eve celebration dinner with friends. After that, our modus operandi was to book into a hotel, a short walking distance to our room and wake up the next morning to find someone else cooking our breakfast.

We spent several New Year’s Eve’s at the Ridge Hotel on Leichhardt Street. It has since been converted into apartments. But ‘back in the days’ the rooftop restaurant had a great view with a themed event. One year I even got my O&O, a non-dancer, to dance with me.

My O&O is Irish born and spent the first 14 years of his life growing up in Ireland. His parents were Methodists and they never danced. The only role model he had for dancing was the Irish dancing whereby you step up and down on the spot with your hands still at your side. No one should do this type of dancing in public. Unless you are performing or part of the dance line in Riverdance. He understood this as he got older and therefore the dance floor for him was taboo.

Then there was the year we went to Michael’s river front Restaurant in Brisbane. I remember the evening well, due to two things that happened. One was I ordered quail as an entrée and immediately this became one of my favourite foods. Secondly, the mood of the diners was so merry that everyone was blowing their whistles and celebrating at 10pm. Two hours early! The sounds were deafening and definitely not as enjoyable as everything else on the menu. By midnight all we could think of was to move on outside and go to the quietness and safety of our hotel.  

After we moved to the country (Maleny) our New Year’s Eve celebrations changed once more. Life moved slower. There were no street or traffic lights, Frew’s Food Store closed at 12pm on Saturday. Everyone went to bed early. Farmer’s still had to get up at dawn on the 1st of January and milk the cows. Yet there were a couple of occasions when we spent the evening with others. We enjoyed a great dinner with wine, music, and laughter. But there was no dancing.

woman in white dress standing on plant field
Dance at home, in a field or in your dreams. Dancing makes you happy.
Photo by Flora Westbrook on Pexels.com

Is it any wonder sometimes I drift off to sleep at night imagining I am dancing? I have on a fabulous new dress which floats as I twirl. Tonight, I think I will do the same and by morning I will have twirled into 2021. How about you? What are your favourite or not so favourite New Year’s Eve reminisces?

Happy New Year!


  • wukaigebigpondcom

    Happy New Year Kathryn! I remember suffering a similar fate one New Year’s Eve in Sydney after a cruise on the Harbour. Took us three hours to get home (10k from the city). The following year, we too booked into a city hotel for the night. New Year’s Eve in 2009 was very memorable – Hogmanay in Peebles, Scotland. Now we live in the bush. The year, we are enjoying the sound of thunder and rain.

  • bobwords2014

    Happy New Year Kathryn (and OAO). My Scottish Methodist folks made a big deal of Hogmanay although as you write, no dancing! We made it through this year.

  • kjblogstraws

    Yes we made it through 2020! Happy New Year to you and Laurel. It is interesting to know about, and experience when we can, the different customs of other countries, such as Hogmanay. Hopefully the borders across Australia and to other countries will open before the end of 2021. It will be great for life to get back to where it was before COVID-19.

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