blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New post, New Year

The sky was still pink from the sunrise as I looked through the bedroom curtains on this first morning of 2017 and now it is blue. That makes for a good start. I am writing this instead of clearing up the last of the debris from yesterday evening's supper party at our house. We originally invited Elva, Laurie, Carol, Don and Chuck, plus Francine and Roger who couldn't come; then we included Nicola and Maha, which made nine of us around the table for Maha's lentil soup and my beef stew, and afterwards Kathryn and Eli joined us in time to watch the 20:17 fireworks show (i.e. at 8:17pm) from our neighbourhood park. Wrapped in thick coats with our mittens on and hoods up, we stood ankle deep in snow, with more snow falling, beside King Edward Avenue --- up the slope to the bridge --- for twenty minutes while the show got better and better. Although we couldn't actually see the outline of Parliament Hill from where we stood, everything that rose above the tops of the intervening buildings was visible. Ottawa really excelled itself this time, especially in the finale. Some of the highest fireworks were dimmed by the low cloud ceilings and the snowfall, but it was very atmospheric.

Shaking the snow off our eleven pairs of boots and eleven coats as we came back indoors for the rest of our meal (a medley of small desserts and chocolates, mandarin oranges, hot drinks and champagne) left every so many puddles on our tiles on the warm side of our front door. Chris made us work on his Predictions for 2017 quiz. Jill (now living in Victoria) had sent in the largest number of correct predictions for 2016, and our son-in-law's mother Gilly was runner-up, but they weren't here to receive the prize that Chris usually gift-wraps for the winner, so Carol, who came third, got one. My predictions had been the least realistic of all, so my name went onto the Roll of Dishonour to be displayed at next year's NYE party, if we have one.

Maha made us each come out with one word to describe 2016, but that made us think about world politics, which started to feel depressing (my one word was disappointing), so we changed the subject. In such good company one can't be downhearted for long. The company set off to dig their cars out of the snowdrifts shortly after 11pm so we toasted the New Year a little ahead of time. The timing of its arrival is fairly meaningless in a country with so many time zones and with our relatives abroad well into New Year's Day by the time we get around to celebrating. Our son George, for instance, was already picnicking with Sha and Eddie on a Sydney beach by the time we reached Zero Hour in Ontario.

Chuck later took some superb photos of the midnight fireworks in Ottawa, pointing his camera from his apartment windows towards Landsdowne Park. Chris and I were still up at midnight but didn't venture outside a second time. We saw the countdown on my laptop screen and heard the bangs from our house. Happy New Year!

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