What does your New Year’s look like every year? Does it involve wild rooftop partying the night away, or flopping into bed by 9.30pm, too happy that the crappiest year of your life is about to end?
I reckon mine was just about the most normal New Year’s Eve ever. In fact, it would probably be used as the official Oxford English definition of New Year’s Eve if needed.
My brother was snoring by 8.52 and my dad was rooting through the fridge for appropriate snacks with which to while the night away as my sister, her kids and I strolled off to friends down the road to play some of the most hilarious board games ever invented.
The plan was to head down to the beach just before midnight to see in the new year with champagne and smooching under the stars. The games were indeed raucous and helped speed the time towards 2017, where the beach welcomed us at 11.46 with a howling wind and screaming sand that could lick paint off walls. But we were not deterred. We found a nook behind a dune where we were soon all coated in a fine layer of sand, our glasses of champagne decidedly gritty. The 14-minute count-down to 2017 was interminable, the smooches were brief, before we beat a hasty retreat home. A few of the friends vowed to return to watch the sunrise a few hours later. The niece and her boyfriend did stay. We will probably go back at first light to dig them out of the sand bank forged around them.
But back to my story. We sauntered home at 12.22 where we were met by my old father flinging sea shells at us from his upstairs window to welcome us home. I’d never heard of that custom but he seemed genuinely thrilled to share it with us. People plopped into bed by 12.31 and that was the end of that. Except, it wasn’t.
Having so many friends abroad, I shot off a few messages and was ready for sleep by 1am, when I turned off my light, only to hear my dad clattering about in the fridge upstairs, replenishing his snacks. As I drifted off to sleep after that ruckus I was startled awake by a thump and mysterious twittering. Twenty minutes of investigating, with my ear pressed up against the wall, the ceiling and the staircase, revealed a pint-sized mouse hiding between the nick-nacks on the top of my clothes closet. It looked at me, I looked back at it, it ran behind an ornamental lighthouse and observed me, I perched on the edge of my bed and observed it some more, drowsily devising a plan to eradicate it. The last thing I wanted was to wake up on the first morning of 2017 to find a mouse’s nest
in my hair on my head. It only took me another half an hour to carefully create a maze to lead the little shrew into a box beside my bed, and then fling it outside. I don’t like killing things. Even in 2017.
After all that excitement, the rest of the evening was pretty uneventful. My 11-year-old niece staggered over my bed to the bathroom at 3.28am, my brother was up at 5.30 bumping about the house like a surreptitious santa, and my dad continued his search for snacks at just after 6.
What can I say? Just another New Year’s Eve navigated in our own little la-la land without event. Good riddance 2016; you’re most welcome 2017.