The Penguin household had a wonderful New Year’s Eve. We watched the 9 pm “family” fireworks at North Sydney Pool with our friends the Mountain Folk (four adults and three children) and then walked the 2km or so back to our place to see a more distant view of some of the fireworks at midnight from our roof. It’s lovely seeing the new year in with friends, and sharing it with children for whom it is almost too exciting for words.
The hour or so at the pool after all the kids have tired themselves out swimming, and the harbour gradually moves from twilight to darkness ready for the 9pm fireworks is a magical time – there is general goodwill from everyone, and the flashes from cameras of the million or so people who have gathered around the harbour make a counterpoint to the gradually still water as the darkness falls.
And the organisers always put a couple of their best tricks at 9pm, just for those people like us who can’t really wait around for the proper midnight fireworks.
Lots of people complain every year about the amount of money spent on the fireworks that could be spent on hospitals and schools, and the like. But to me, compared with some of the things the Council and state government spend their money on, it is a celebration for a big part of the population. The Herald says that 1.5 million turned out around the Harbour to watch. And while I saw lots of drunken teenagers and 20-somethings on our walk back home, I also saw lots of families – children, parents, grandparents – out for a good time and to be part of the turn of the decade.
Happy New Year and Decade to everyone who reads this blog, and thanks for your comments and interest throughout the year.
* Yes, I realise that really the decade begins next year if you’re being technical. But I celebrated the Millenium on 1 January 2000 – round numbers just seem more natural to me.