‘A guid New Year to yin and aw’.
I turned 60 last October and can scarcely believe where the years have gone. However when I see my friends, their postings and celebrations of reaching 60 years, I am pleased I embraced this number with common sense and a decision to mark it as best I can.
It is oh so easy to live and dwell on the past, however I will take this opportunity to share snippets of times gone by and reminisce on past Scottish Hogmanays.
As a child I remember being allowed to stay up and welcome in the New Year. After midnight a neighbour or an uncle would call. The ‘First-Footer’ would bring a bit of coal or shortbread, and a dram was offered from his Whisky bottle. He was ideally tall, dark and handsome; sometimes that wasn’t the case. And it’s lovely that this tradition is still maintained to a certain degree.
As a very small child when my parents had their expected New Year’s Night party I had to perform too. My song was, ‘Meet me in St. Louis Louis, Meet me at the Fair’ (Judy Garland). When older, my sister and I would sing ‘Cabaret’ (Liza Minnelli). Interesting the songs were made famous by a mother and daughter.
As a young teenager, perhaps aged 15 or even 14 (friends can correct me) I was allowed to First Foot. My friends and I visited each other’s homes or perhaps a relative’s Open House and we felt very grown up when joining in with the adults. Great fun, safe and innocent.
As an older teenager we did the same but of course boozed secretly or not so secretly; we cheerfully shouted our New Year Wishes to folks as we passed along our route; it was all part of growing up in a small community.
As a grown up bringing in Ne’er Day was always something to look forward to however my stamina was never marvellous! I would retire early, maybe 3am or manage 4 am.
I still have a sense of needing to ‘bring in’ the New Year and last night was no exception.
More recently we have been fortunate to spend several Hogmanays in a hotel overlooking Edinburgh’s Princes Street with prize views of The Street Party and the Music from The Gardens. (Thank you big sister, ex-city councillor).