Monday, January 01, 2018

Another New Year

2018 at last.  Does it feel any different to you?  Nah, me neither.  It's always the same.  That said, I always find New Year's Day the most relaxing of this season's Bank Holidays: all the tension and expectations have gone.  All there is to do is to flake out and enjoy a lazy day on the sofa.  Which is what I've been doing today.  There is a tendency to see New Year's Day as the poor relation of the Christmas season.  Indeed, it only became an official bank holiday in England within living memory.  Until the early seventies, if you wanted to sleep that New Year's Eve hangover off, you had to take a day's leave from work, (unless New Year fell over a weekend, obviously - or if you were in Scotland).   I vaguely remember the first time New Year's Day was a bank holiday here in England - it might well have been 1971.   Anyway, I was very young and what I recall about it was that nobody actually had any idea how to celebrate it - in our house we ended up having a re-run of Christmas lunch.  I seem to remember the cat getting really fed up with turkey that Christmas.  I also recall that the afternoon film on, I think BBC2, that day was The Mark Zorro with Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone - it was only thirty or so years old back then, which made it fairly 'recent' in terms of the movies we got on TV in the early seventies.

In truth, of course, we still have no clear idea of how to mark New Year's Day itself - all the celebrations focus on New Year's Eve and the actual turning of the year in the early hours.  The day itself seems to be spent either in recovery mode or shopping at the January sales.  Some places have taken to holding New Year parades in recent times. (Obviously.Crapchester doesn't - something like that requires organising and financing, neither of which our local council is good at).  A lot of people would still have you believe that today marks the end of Christmas, but, as I never tire of banging on about here, it is a twelve day festival which doesn't end until Twelfth Night - so we've got a few days still to go yet.  Sadly, most people will be forced back to work for these last days of the Christmas season, so we can't really enjoy it.  As I get older, I find myself ever more reluctant to let go of Christmas and the safe haven from the horrors of work that it provides in these bleak and unfriendly weeks of Winter.  Maybe next year I'll manage to take all of the twelve days of Christmas off and celebrate them properly.  In the meantime, as with every year, I'll gradually move on - there's Spring and the Easter break to look forward to, not to mention Summer and the lazy days of August.   It's a whole new year, after all.

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