01 January 2006

Pass The Muscle Rub

Apparently 78% of people opt to stay indoors to see in the New Year, and those that go out are predominantly in their twenties.

For us, with kids, its not so much a matter of opting, however we did reach a sort of watershed. This year, instead of rushing off to bed early to be able to wake again at 11pm, the kids elected to stay awake all night. They managed; admirably.

Our pre-midnight entertainment, then, was Herbie Goes Bananas on one of the children's channels. The film ended in time for us to turn over to BBC1 just three minutes before Big Ben chimed, by which time a clock was already running down on screen, so we had three choruses of 59,58,57 etc.

We saw in the chimes with a bottle of fizzy Liebfraumilch, (yuck), horrible stuff, but mild enough to let the sprogs have a glass each and feel very grown up, what with the (plastic) cork making a very impressive pop and bouncing off the walls. No breakages this time.

Like Zilla I shy away from wines with screw tops or plastic corks, but am told that the world's supply of bottling quality cork, thick and unflawed, is dwindling at an alarming rate, so more and more decent makes are turning to other ways of stopping the bottle for ecological reasons.

In this case, however, that little tidbit of info is entirely academic although the kids thought they had been given the best stuff ever and made a lot of jokes about being naughty, and tipsy. Considering the amount of sugar they'd consumed, I doubt the meagre alcohol content of their 'grown up' glasses managed to touch a single human cell on its way through. It didn't matter to them, the stage had been set for pretending they were very, very grown up, like 16, or something.

Husband and I had already quietly worked through a decent bottle of red ( a saved Christmas present) and discovered how much this helped us to smile and swig the dreaded but traditional sparkling concoction. It didn't turn out to be such a clever mixture, after the fact. We were therefore soon feeling quite queasy and the worse for wear, compared to the children, who, after 20 minutes or so of absolute hyperactivity, settled down to another movie which slid onto the screen of its own accord - Spy Hard.

Appalling, horrible, terrible movie with the most childish and unsophisticated slapstick humour, which suited our 9 and 11 year olds down to the ground and had them steadfastly propping their eyelids open and refusing to leave the sofa. It was worth it to hear them laughing.

Normally I end up shedding a tear for the end of the year. I did get my sudden irresistible urge to be outdoors in sub zero temperatures to appreciate the sky; something that winds husband up to the Nth degree. His small chorus using words like bloody, effing and freezing is another happy family tradition.

This time, however, I couldn't find a single drop of remorse about the passing of 2005. It felt like the year of nothing. Plenty happened, a lot of it awful, but it seemed, at the last analysis, to have been a period of shakeup, of change, of chores, of tidying up lives and purposes. Lots and lots and lots of action, just none of it moving forward. The best thing I can compare it to is a year in the sports changing rooms, getting out of one outfit and into another, getting small ailments noticed and seen to, fitting new pads and wrist supports and all that; getting ready for a new game.

A year of preparation.

Goodbye, 2005, and thank you, I guess we're going to find out just how much we needed you, now.
Hello 2006! The excitement is building, I can nearly hear the crowd, and I just know, whatever happens, it's going to be a good game. Dear God may we come out of it with honour intact, and in one piece.

Oi, you; fasten your helmet....................


Ivy the Goober said...

Love the story about the kids! Great description of 2005, I like the analogy. Kind of fits in my life, as well. Happy New Year!

The Jamoker said...


Happy New Year to you too.
Regarding the cork, the BetterHalf is a bassoonist and has started to run up against the cork shortage problem herself. It's unfortunate.

New Years is such a sad and sweet holiday...

Badaunt said...

Happy New Year to you, too!

I'm kind of hoping that 2006 will be a year of cleaning up for me. Things could do with some cleaning up around here. I just wish the person who had to do it wasn't ME.

(The Man would do it for me, but I won't let him. It's MY mess, and besides he'd lose everything.)

fineartist said...

Smiling at the thought of your family sharing glasses of the bubbly. You choking it down and the kids enjoying the very idea of it, feeling grown, and risqué.

No tears here either, but I am feeling somewhat inert. I guess I’m waiting for 2006 to kick in, or get me kick started, one of the two.

It could happen. Hah, it will happen.

Quality new year to you and your family Cheryl, peace, love and enough of everything in 2006!

Host of Spirits said...

I have to agree with you in that 2005 did turn out to be a 'sorting out' year - a big sorting out year for me.

Let's hope 2006 is a moving on year and that lots of nice stuff happens for all of us.

Happy New Year Mate !!

Lol the word verification for this post is yehyeh - is that a cosmic OK for 2006 !!

Milt Bogs said...

Happy New Year Cheryl.

Please send me a couple of ounces of enthusiasm, oh and a twist of inspiration would be good too.

Jo said...

Not been over for a while - you made me smile as usual :-)

Happy New Year Cheryl :-)

Yes...2005...the changing room analogy...

I come out of the year with the feeling that I've lost my gym socks, everyone else has gone home and as the year ended I'm still looking forlornly in everyone's else's lockers as the caretaker closes up the school...!

Maybe 2006 will reveal them, lurking under a friend's wet swimming towel...

Astryngia said...

Happy New Year! I hope it's a good one for you. :-)

Gareth said...

My understanding of the situation was that the move to crew /plastic corks was the actually reason behind the demise of the cork producing trees.

The more companies used the man made alternatives the less need there is for the cork trees, so existing ones are uprooted, and ne wones are not planted.

Save a tree use real corks.

The Lady Muck said...

Happy new year! I did however go out to stare at sky...am still wringing myself out. bloody rain. Am with you on the analogy (to echo other commenters), here's to a good game.

Writer Mom said...

Exactly how I feel about it all.
As usual, you put it best.

We've known for awhile that 2006 is supposed to bring us great and positive change. After ten years together, Tom will finally have a real job. He's a dentist (fingers crossed) come Mother's Day--end of May. Then it should be no more rented house. No more college students hardly scraping by.
Like your kids, when we started fantasizing about all of the possibilities, we got a wee too giddy...A little too ahead of ourselves.
That's when 2005 kicked us in the guts and told us to get ahold of ourselves. With each great milestone, there are harder choices...
I am excited, but I'm also respectful.
Incidentally, after you and I write our best selling novels, Tom is leaving dentistry to pursue more travel and religious contemplation.
We'd better get to it!

bulb said...

Tagged ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!

zilla said...

Could that possibly be true, what gareth said about the corks? I'm going to have to look into it.

If I didn't wish you a happy New Year before, I'm doing it now. Better twice than not at all, right!

Happy New Year to you and yours.