It’s a funny old thing, isn’t it? For me anyway. I really can’t remember the last time that I did the whole, head-to-toe, two day preparation ‘out out‘, New Year’s Eve. Not since my siblings and I went to the ‘Living Room’ (not ‘a‘ living room. That would be weird. A family coming home from a food shop in preparation for the NYE celebration, to discover the PANK family making themselves at home, feet up, watching the telly, reading the papers). No, no, *The Living Room in Liverpool, where my sister convinced the ‘one inclusive glass of fizz per guest‘ waiter; to bring us trays of the stuff. All night.
Now, bearing in mind I’ve been in Barcelona six years, three months and 25 days (but who’s counting), and before that I lived with the Mexican for two years and the time we went to the Living Room, was like a gazillion years even before that. Basically, it’s been a while. I have had a NYE out in Barcelona, a couple of years ago with friends; but there were no hair rollers/heels that increased my height two fold/false eyelashes or nails/push-up bras/fake tan/Aquaban/week long liquid diet and levers and pulleys under-garments involved. Safe to say, it’s very much more relaxed here.
So, apart from that, for many years now, I have always spent Christmas holiday week with my family and friends, but also made my way home in time for the 31st December. One of my favourite New Year’s Evenings was only a couple of years ago, when in the old cave flat I decided that I would invent
some magic ritual, and use a mini portable barbecue I had, to light a small fire to throw the past year’s negativity into. That negativity being notes I’d written on paper. Which burns. SURPRISE! Oh the japes. This in turn creates a lot, like a lot of smoke. I did this inside the flat ~tuts and rolls eyes to the heavens~ I thanked the Gods for two balconies I could open onto that night, let me tell you! And a room small enough, and doors big enough to find by only the power of touch, because of all the smoke and my newly acquired temporary blindness. But thankfully there were no smoke alarms fitted in the rental building, haha! So no-one was alerted to my stupidity. Wine may or may not have been consumed.
So now, I don’t like to burn things so much. But I do like to get something nice for dinner, a good wine, read, write, watch Hootenanny, think, reflect; a strange calm seems to fall over me. I feel at peace with myself. Which is really quite a lovely thing, when I spend the most part of the rest of the year waking in the middle of the night to worry about a twenty-year old comment, that may or may not have upset someone. Or feeling stressed that I will be discovered as a fraud at any moment. Or trying to untie the knot that has inhabited my gut for weeks. And now after so many years, it feels like if I break the habit, the earth will shift on its axis, the gates of Hell will finally be opened, the hounds will be unleashed and the world as we know it, will end.
Or, like, maybe I’ll just feel a bit weird.
Maybe in the (not too distant) future, I’ll like to book a fancy restaurant, followed by cocktails or something. But for tonight, I’m going to relish my first New Year’s Eve in my new place, wrap up to sit out on the balcony for the stroke of midnight; watch the fireworks, listen to the cheers of the people in the street, and encourage strength and positivity into 2018, for myself and all those I love and care for dearly.
Have a wonderful evening and a new year filled with love and luck, for you and yours.
A million hugs
*The Living Room was a fancy bar/restaurant where girls would go to pick up wealthy business men, and wealthy business men would happily go to get picked up. It’s now closed.