Sunday, 3 January 2010
The New Year: the trivia, the gladness and some sadness.
Last Wednesday I betook myself to the local hospital to have my stitches out. Despite being told there was a two to three hour wait, in fact I was attended to sooner by a nurse who removed the stitches. I can now reveal that there was high quality suturing of my bottom. My sister P took a photo so I could view it myself. I am much more comfortable now.
Now that the New Year is upon us, the streets are quiet, there are few people around and the traffic is less. This is a great contrast to New Year's Eve. Sydney goes a bit berserk, as each year there is a big fireworks event around the Harbour Bridge. Thousands gather on the many vantage points along the harbour foreshore, from quite early in the day. Many stay on for extensive carousing and celebrations. The TV networks announced breathlessly that TV coverage of the fireworks would be broadcast to 147 other networks. Wow.
Our house is near the water, but faces to the west and not towards the bridge, although up the road the next little intersection is on top of the hill, and the view goes straight to the bridge. Much closer and better views are at the end of this little suburb's peninsula, where the ferry points and parks make good places in which to gather, picnic and wait until the fireworks. There is a short display for little children and their families at 9 pm, and then a longer display at midnight.
The suburb is closed to non-resident traffic from 3 pm. Barriers are erected, and police check credentials of those coming in by car. Lots of people walk in, or catch buses. A steady stream of people passes our house each New Year's Eve, carrying their eskies, blankets, folding chairs, and adding to the festive air.
Dr P sees no point in a personal viewing of the fireworks, claiming that it all looks better on TV. As this view is completely and absolutely wrong, it is ignored, and he is left to the solitary enjoyment of his TV. I go out and watch.
This New Year's Eve I did in fact have family here. Having pointed out, in sad and injured tones, to various members of the family, how infrequent had been their visits, and how long a time had elapsed since the last one, a sort of collective guilt afflicted them (about time, too!) and my youngest sister, her daughter and the daughter's Mexican boyfriend drove here together. We have had a lovely and busy time together. My niece and her boyfriend are off and out each day as well as far into the night, having fun and exploring beaches, but my sister P and I have been hanging out together, doing a modicum of shopping, some cooking, and we even went to see a film. Yesterday we went to the Art Gallery and overdosed on art.
Friends live close to a park on the foreshore, and on New Year's Eve made their parking space available to me, so P and I drove down, and had fun watching the 9 pm display. P thoughtfully removed a nearby quantity of dog turd, which had been ignored by yet another responsible dog-owner, thus saving several people from putting their feet in it. I tried the fireworks setting on my new camera, but there are no shots worth posting. I really should read the instructions in the camera manual, instead of just stuffing up the practical photography. P and I walked up to the intersection to watch the midnight display and to greet the New Year. We did not get much sleep that night, as revellers walked past for hours, making a certain amount of noise.
Today they are all out on an expedition to the Blue Mountains. I stayed home as yesterday's jaunt had given me a sore back. Also, I needed some peace and quiet, having become less accustomed to having people to stay. It has been raining, is wonderfully cool, and there was a lot of washing to do. I took Dr P to hospital, to visit a dear friend who has cancer, and whose chemotherapy treatment was so very severe that it has had to be suspended, if not ended. She is cheerful and positive, but this cancer will kill her, probably sooner rather than later.
My (pre) New Year's resolution is to buy a new bottom mount refrigerator, to replace the horrible antiquated, dilapidated, and partly broken one with which I have put up for 20 years. At random intervals it shudders and emits strange noises. By leaving the firm decision until after Christmas I missed out on the good specials on offer, but I can never take such action in a hurry, especially when there is strong opposition from 50 per cent of the household. I remembered that when we moved here, there was something nasty about the fridge space. As it was far too heavy for me to move by myself, my niece and her boyfriend tugged and dragged the old fridge from its space. It was a horrid sight. The sides and top of the fridge were filthy, there was dirt, fluff and what looked like a disintegrated substance. We cleaned it all out (they certainly earned their keep) and discovered that the tiling did not go all the way back to the wall, only halfway, and the back half was on a chipboard floor, which was rotting. Before the new refrigerator arrives I must get the floor repaired and tiles laid. At least when the new one arrives, I will not be embarrassed by the filth beneath the old one.
I think I earn my keep, too.