Once again it is New Years Eve, a time which doesn’t fill me with a huge amount of enthusiasm.
Why? you might ask, well, personally I am rather glad that I am at home and not out somewhere enduring people who have had a wee bit too much to drink, loudspeakers living up the their name and beyond by being audible with clarity for multiple kilometres (and using that capability to eminate noises which do not fit my definition of music), and fireworks.
Sure fireworks are pretty, but I would much rather be at a distance of many kilometres where I can hear them without gaining hearing damage. I do have to wonder how many people will be walking around tomorrow virtually unable to hear the world around them. I shudder to think how loud those speakers must be.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy New Years Eve or that I want the old year to repeat itself ad nauseam, it is just that I think we go a bit too far with the celebrations. Lately it would seem that Sydney have to have a larger display of fireworks every year, in fact last year (or possibly the year before) television channels were yelling at each other over the rights to broadcast the event.
Tonight I had the misfortune of having to wait until after 9PM to take Nattie for her evening walk due to the excessive heat (it reached 38.3°C at 4:12PM and 5PM, with 9% and 10% relative humidity respectively and did not drop below 28°C until 9PM, by which time the relative humidty had risen to 24%) and a late dinner. It was probably close to 9:15 when Nattie and I went for our walk, just as the 9PM fireworks were finishing. Normally I wouldn’t mind taking Nattie for a walk in summer at this time as there is still light, however tonight is an exception. Everywhere we went there seemed to be people slightly overwhelmed by the event, be it from alcohol consumption or otherwise, some of whom were making a concerted effort to make the roads particularly unsafe, either by driving recklessly or staggering across roads.
It was quite clear that the majority of these people were heading in the general direction of the overly loud loudspeakers. I was probably 1-2 kilometres away from the loudspeakers and could hear, with perfect clarity, everything which was happening. These distractions, along with the semi-shouted conversations of passing groups about the amount of alcohol they were going to consume, greatly detracted from the enjoyment of the walk.
As I said earlier, it’s not that I don’t enjoy New Years Eve or that I want the old year to repeat itself ad nauseam, it is just that I think we go a bit too far with the celebrations. Personally I am quite happy with being at home, in the company of my family, possibly watching the Sydney fireworks on television whilst having a cup of coffee, and generally making sure that Nattie is not made uneasy during the fireworks. Nattie is usually fine, as long as someone is there with her. If she is alone, then she becomes anxious. I clearly recall the 2001 Canberra fireworks. I had gone to bed at about 11pm and was awoken by the fireworks at midnight, which went on for 15 minutes. Nattie was alone downstairs in her bed, and managed to jump over an obstruction we had placed in front of the stairs to help teach her to sleep downstairs, this obstruction was previously impossible for her to even get close to jumping over, but she was that scared and anxious that she managed to do the near-impossible to be with someone who could make her feel better.
I have nothing against the new year fireworks, but I am glad that I am not near them, with all the loud noise, the people who make it seem like a new year occurs only once in every 5000 years, and the drinking in large groups. Personally, I would much rather have a cup of coffee or tea, and be able to go to bed. I prefer quiet celebrations, however I will have to wait until about 1am to go to bed as the drunk, near drunk, and over excited, have “happy new year” screaming sessions up and down my surrounding streets, effectively preventing me from sleeping.
I do intend on making use of that hour by ringing George Gibson on his new radio station and congratulating him on his new job. It is unfortunate the way 2UE treated him, but it was to 2GB’s benefit (And in some ways George’s benefit as he got to have a break from microwaved pizza for breakfast for a while) I suppose.
I will end this by saying Happy New Year, and whatever you happen to be doing, stay safe, and be considerate of those around you, especially if you are in or near a residential area…some people might not want to be awake at 3am, especially to the sounds of alcohol induced excessive enthusiasm, and most especially, if they were awoken from their sleep to such.
Happy New Year!