|ABC News: Photo by Brant Cumming|
This year I played the NYE equivalent of Scrooge by staying at home and inviting nobody. It can feel selfish not to invite friends to share this comfortable way of enjoying the event. There are no crowds to battle, no need for milk crates to stand on for a shaky glimpse of the festivities, no fee charged for the 'exclusive' viewing location and I provide comfortable furniture for guests to sit on between displays. To top off, even my 'cooking' would be marginally better than fast food options at harbourside fast food outlets.
But I invited nobody. I didn't feel guilty about it; just a bit weary. Weary from a hard year of volunteer work four days a week. Weary from a commitment to play bridge two nights a week, a commitment now given up. Weary from an enjoyable overseas trip that involved huge amounts of walking plus the stressful, if eventually satisfying, experience of driving on scary mountainous, hairpin roads in Sicily.
My immediate neighbours, a youngish upwardly mobile couple, showed off their fancy view to a full balcony load of guests. I'm not certain exactly what form their party took. It was slightly odd. Their apartment was packed with oggling guests for the 9pm 'Family fireworks' display but fifteen minutes afterwards all the guests had departed. The apartment was packed again for the main display at midnight. What happened in between? Did everyone adjourn somewhere else for dinner? Was the second group a different group from the early guests? Did the couple offer two fireworks 'sittings', so to speak?
I'm curious but I won't ask. They might think I am stalking!