The small bottle of champagne I chilled for myself, was empty at around 11.15 pm, and Prince Charles and Camilla even started to look quite attractive there on the Royal Variety show on television just before I sank into a deep sleep. I woke up with a startle only at 00h24, realising I had missed the midnite countdown, and the show was still on, lame and by now they did not look so good anymore! I was mildly aware of some loud bangs in the distance, not sure if it was fireworks or thunder, but thankfully turned over and slept further.
This was my first new year’s eve alone in my life – at age 52!! – my husband lying in a hospital bed within walking distance from my plush guest house room. Not at all what we had envisaged to see in the new year. A big spit-braai (barbecue) was planned on the farm, fancy invites and all, but after him landing up in the hospital in Bloemfontein yesterday morning, I ran around like a headless chicken to get pet-sitters, the geyser sorted, pack and drive here for 2 hours to get to him. After spending a few hours lying in bed with him, I left, came back alone, and spent the rest of the evening on FaceBook, watching some forlorn small fireworks being let off on the field opposite, eating the most delicious chocolate wafers and drinking that bottle of champers!
I also thought of all my loved ones, friends and acquaintances that have touched my life in some or other way this past year. My kids were out partying, and thinking of them swelled my heart – two bright, lovely young people, and the reason for me being on earth. My family all gathered around a lovely big fire, laughter and love visible on their faces as per the photos my niece posted on FaceBook, and I longed to be there. I thought of Nicki, in Phuket on her first overseas trip in her 50 years of being alive, Gina who has been in Thailand for a while, teaching, and missing her kids here in South Africa and the weird fact that both of them posted photos of elephant rides or experiences in Thailand this past week. I thought of Lucrecia in Texas, a lady I met once in my life, but who has, like me, taken on a totally new direction and also got married at a later stage in life, and who has supported me via cyberspace with her refreshing outlook on life, and is an inspiration of note – and apparently a wonderful Jazz singer, even though I have not heard her sing yet. She stands up for what she believes in, even in her new adopted country, by taking part in protests, she eats organically and just generally has her heart in the right place. Then there is my Scrabble partner, Teresa, from Australia – never met in person, but we have become FaceBook friends, and I have seen her go through a tough year with loved ones dying, and she in turn has been a wonderful support when we lost our dogs to some murderer who shot them.
And so I can go on – my friends are a constant source of strength and support in my life.
And now it is time to get up from bed on this first day of a new year – 2014, let the smell of the beautiful rose garden at the guest house permeate my room, some turtle doves are singing in the trees, a gently breeze blowing, and even though it was the first New Year‘s eve spent alone at the turn of the old year to the new, I feel at peace and happy with life – stressful as it may be at times – simply because I am loved and I love deeply.
Wishing you all a wonderful 2014 – may you hear the birds sing every day and open the windows of your life to let the sweet smell of roses in.
- World lights up 2014 from Sydney to London (thehindu.com)
- FULL 2014 SYDNEY MIDNIGHT FIREWORKS | New Years Eve Fireworks 2014 Full Show Midnight Spectacular (euzicasa.wordpress.com)
- January 1 – Stroke of Midnight (givemeprompts.wordpress.com)
- Hello, 2014! (cumberlink.com)
- New Years Eve in Iceland – lots of fireworks (ireport.cnn.com)
- Welcome to Midnight / Happy New Year / 2014 (anchoredincle.com)
- Revelers start ringing in 2014 with fireworks (suntimes.com)
- New Year’s! (therealjosefel.wordpress.com)
- Revelers usher in 2014 with fireworks, festivities (dnaindia.com)
- Ball drops in NYC’s Times Square, ushering in 2014 (sacbee.com)