And it has not been a very auspicious start to my 2017. We have suffered a sudden, close family bereavement over the holiday and I have had the last couple of days in bed with, what I would guess is, a dose of ‘flu. So a little bit “down in the dumps” I’m afraid. I am still coughing well ( as it would appear most of the local population are as well as me) but I am feeling much more like my old self today. All GOS keeps cheerfully saying is “a green winter fills the churchyard” (one of his parents family sayings)! Not very comforting. I was talking to a friend on the phone who had been to the chemist for her mother’s prescription this morning and she had to queue for ages because of all the other people buying cold and flu remedies.
We had a really lovely Christmas with son and his fiancee; packing them off on the Tuesday after the holiday. We ate and drank far too much as one tends to at Christmas, but a lot of the pleasure is in the “sharing” of food and drink with loved ones over the holiday. Then I was just in the process of getting geared up for New Year’s Eve shindig with friends and three of my guests had to cry off poorly at the last moment. So our depleted “party” was a bit smaller and more subdued than usual.
We have always stayed up to see the New Year in but have no real traditions about it.
When the children were small, and there were a lot of other children in the parish, local families all got together at the village hall and put on the most amazing fancy dress parties. No worries then about baby sitters the kids came too. But as they kids grew up and moved away the village New Years Eve party died a death. The most memorable one was the “Millenium” party. The evening started with a torchlight procession from the hall to the nearest immediate high point, about 1/2 a mile away, to light the Millenium Beacon, followed by fire works, presentations to the children and a very late party. Luckily, it was a clear, cold night and not wet. The bonfire building earlier in the week had been a community effort supervised by one of the local farmers, but I seem to remember it did take quite a wallop of old fuel to get the beacon alight. In the far distance you could just make out other beacons lit to coincide, part of a chain of bonfires across the whole country. A never to be forgotten evening.
Off hand I can only think of a couple of properties now in the immediate area where there are school age children.
While New Year celebration varies all over the world, common traditions include making resolutions or goals to improve one’s life. Something I have yet to do this year! I really must give it a bit of thought now I’m feeling I’m over the worst of the ‘flu. I looked up some of the New Year’s Eve traditions of other countries – one of the most bizarre and tickled me – from Italy
In Italy New Year’s Eve (Vigilia di Capodanno or Notte di San Silvestro) is celebrated by the observation of traditional rituals, such as wearing red underwear! . An ancient tradition in southern regions (rarely followed today) was disposing of old or unused items by dropping them from the window.(Sounds hazardous!)
More locally in Wales The Nos Galon Road Race , a 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) running race, is held in Mountain Ash. The race celebrates the life and achievements of legendary Welsh runner Guto Nyth Bran. (1700-1737)
Founded in 1958 by local runner Bernard Baldwin, it is run over the 5 kilometre route of Guto’s first competitive race. The main race starts with a church service at Llanwyno, and then a wreath is laid on Guto’s grave. After lighting a torch, it is carried to the nearby town of Mountain Ash, where the main race takes place.
The race consists of a double circuit of the town centre, starting in Henry Street and ending in Oxford Street, by the commemorative statue of Guto. Traditionally, the race was timed to end at midnight, but in recent times it was rescheduled for the convenience of family entertainment, now concluding at around 9pm.
i have had little time, or inclination the last few days, to paint but thought last night to do something colourful and cheerful. My effort at a Kingfisher.