New Year’s Eve 2016

The only problem with NYE 2016 is the grim prospects in 2017. I won’t detail them: they’re too depressing.

Instead, let us acknowledge New Year’s Eve in whatever way we feel appropriate.

Various friends are out partying, but as I’m not really a

Instead, I’m planning a quiet evening, tidying up a bit after Darling Daughter’s departure.

(Note to self: No housework tomorrow . . .)

Maybe a judicious quantity of

(don’t think it’s too late to get to the shops)

then again, maybe not.

In deference to pet and wild animals, definitely no

Hmmm, maybe I’ll watch

just to whet your appetite.

Whatever you are planning, keep safe and healthy, and remember you are welcome at The Pub any time of the day or night.

Incidentally, if today seems longer than usual, it is: a leap second will be added just before midnight.

124 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve 2016

  1. Fiona

    Hope you had a great time with DD. As usual I’ll probably be in bed by around 8.30-9pm so I’ll take this opportunity to wish everyone a hopefully, good New Year. Oh and same from Razz as well.

  2. Grandson’s girlfriend has turned 18 today. He will be 18 in another week or so.

    She is determined to drink herself senseless on her first “legal” day… at the Sydney fireworks…in Kirribilli.

    I’ve told them they’ll be lucky to even get a train so late, and to get a seat or even standing room IF they get there.

    They DO seem determined, nevertheless. She’s had a bit of a transformation today, her birthday.

    I always knew the GF was a prettyish young blonde, who wears thongs (on her feet, that is, don’t know about the rest) and the kinds of shapeless Target and K-Mart things young gels wear these days, but really I only reacted to her in the context of being the grandson’s GF. Saw her in that light. She’s a bit stubborn, somewhat headstrong, with a short fuse, but – like a New Year’s Eve firecracker – once she’s gone off, it’s over. Quite bright, I should add, too. Actually very intelligent indeed, with an ability to see (as they say in chess) several moves ahead.

    So why did she drop out of high school after Year 10? That’s for another day, that question.

    Anyway, HI took her out to a beauty parlour (is this what they are called?) this morning to get her done up to the nines as a birthday present. Very industrious Vietnamese ladies working as a team of three, doing the honours.

    Starting with intricately decorated nails (fingers and toes), makeup, eyebrows pencilled, mascara applied…I know, I sound like an old fart…let’s put it this way: she got The Treatment. HI rang ahead when they were on their way home and told me to scarpa for half an hour. She’d ring me when I could come home.

    About 40 minutes later the call comes, “OK, you can come home!”.

    I walk into the house ready to say “Wow! Look at those nails!” etc. in a kindly “grandfatherly” way. HI tells me to shut my eyes.

    Then a few seconds later,”You can open them now.”

    In front of me is this breathtaking goddess in high heels, wearing a little low-cut black number that fits in all the right places (and there were plenty of those to view). Some of HI’s jewellry is draped about her. I’m not so much impressed, as utterly stunned. The transformation was unbelievable, but I had to believe it because there she was: absolutely lovely, really beautiful, and gobsmackingly so.

    The transformation would put the Ugly Duckling to shame.

    “You can close your mouth now,” said HI drily.

    Later on, I took the grandson to one side and told him a few things: Wash his hair. Shave his straggly beard. Then COMB his hair. Iron a shirt …no wait, I’ll iron it for him… change his underwear and do a few other things to bring himself just a tad nearer to this picture of heaven that was just a few hours ago a Port Macquarie chick who was at least clean.

    Because he’s gonna have a LOT of competition if he doesn’t smarten himself up.

    Leone might know what I am talking about as she’s actually met the couple, just last week. I still can’t believe the makeover.

    • The young lady was very attractive without the titivating. I can imagine how gorgeous she is after having ‘The Treatment’. Your grandson is a lucky boy, and if she likes him even when he doesn’t shave or iron his clothes then I think they are set to be a happy couple for quite a while.

    • Leone,

      Thankfully they’re not going to the fireworks. So the makeover is wasted on the wider world, all the more for those who appreciate it (and I am NOT talking about the grandsons).

      When the lady wakes up to her potential, she’ll conquer the world. I hope the young bloke is with her then.

  3. BB

    I remember you talking about your grandsons when they were about 3 years younger than my two eldest ones. It was about the same time as I was getting to know mine.

    On boxing day, my two came for lunch with all the Xmas trimmings, plus their girlfriends. They seem to have turned into young adults overnight.

    • gigilene

      Your post reminded me of a picture in Scientific American last week. Some depictions of waves look a bit hokey in old Japanese woodcuts BUT check out the wave from Lake Erie. Apparently at this time of the year various winds cause the shallow lake to slosh about and voila ! waves just like the Japanese wood cuts.

      Great wave of Kanegawa

      Recently in Lake Erie

  4. The “kids” – 18 y/o grandson and girlfriend, plus 16 y/o”Little Brother” (who is no longer “The Enemy”, thank God) – are now making wicked pyrotechnics out of throw-downs, cap gun propellant and shaved sparklers. They’ll grow up one day. I hope not soon.

    Meanwhile, HI and I are enjoying several of Bushfire’s “Special Margaritas”. I call them “Tequila Sunsets”.

    * Big squirt of Coles Lime Juice.
    * Smaller squirt of Coles Lemon Juice.
    * Dash of tomato juice.
    * 300ml of orange juice.
    * 30 ice cubes.
    * 3 nips of Cointreau
    * 6 nips of Tequila.
    * Salt rim of glass (optional).

    Turn into a smoothie using a Nutri-Bullet. Consume slowly and away from objects that you might later fall over. This drink creeps up on you.

    (Note: Can be made even thicker by freezing orange juice into ice cubes, rather than using plain ice.)

    • Try a simpler but just as lethal Bloody Mary as taught to me by a Russkiy. Prep :Place bottles of vodka in freezer for 24 hours along with very large glass tumblers. Mixing. 1/2 fill tumbler with chilled tomato juice. Using the back of a spoon or knife blade very carefully, so as to not mix the layers, fill the tumbler with the chilled vodka. Consumption: Raise glass in salute then consume Russian style in other words down the hatch in one go. Repeat.

      Ah New Year’s Eve in Darwin 2006. Day one of 2007 was not a very good one 🙂

  5. Unfortunately Tequila and Cointreau don’t like me. Neither does any sort of rum. Believe me, I’ve tried to make friends with them , but it always ends in the worst sort of disaster, so I stick with stuff like Vodka or Gin.

    My favourite summer drink this year is –
    Put a shot of vodka in a glass (the size of glass is up to you, but I like a longish one).
    Add a shot (or less) of elderflower cordial. (You can work out how much of this you like yourselves).
    Add a generous slice of lime, or some lime juice, or both.
    Stir, Add lots of ice and however much soda water you like.

    It looks like you are drinking a glass of sparkling water. It tastes sort of floral and limey. It’s very cool and refreshing so you tend to have more, and more. After a few of these you need to be very careful when you (try to) stand up.

    There’s an old custom my Russian teacher once told me about – in Russia the party didn’t start until everyone has played enough drinking games involving shots of Vodka to be blind drunk. This is a nice, summery way to get the same effect.

  6. KK

    I could have given more detail about that pic: Chinese New Year:

    The Chinese character for BAT is homophone of the character for FORTUNE. Similarly, FAN is homophone of GOOD. See in the above picture, there is one bat near the two boys’ feet and another bat above the second boy from right. And there are fans.

    The waves you put up look quite alike, as you said. To me they are almost human forms … or rather like ghosts.

    • Re “rather like ghosts” . The picture in the Scientific American was in colour but the water was just as black. Sediments stirred up and all that. In those photos there really does look like a ‘ghostly’ image in the middle of the wave. Not so much in the pic I posted, Mouth , nose, right eye. Can you see it ?

  7. leonetwo

    The Russians are very serious about getting pissed . They even have a word for being pissed for for more than 48 hours ‘zapoi’ . Apparently it’s literal meaning is “uncertainty” which I suppose is apt.

    A short guide to the St Petersburg hangover

    First, then, to clear up a few local problems of semantics. ‘Drinking’ in Russia does not mean ‘having a drink’ or ‘getting pleasantly tipsy’ or ‘passing the time of day with a glass in one’s hand’. It means ‘getting drunk’: blotto, slammed, atkluchony (‘disconnected’, ‘totalled’).

    Secondly, pokhmelye, the Russian hangover, is not an unpleasant after-effect of drinking, but an accepted and important part of the drinking process – a half or third-way stage, a significant marker. On reaching pokhmelye, the dedicated drinker does not stop drinking; he merely pauses. Allowing the alcohol to settle in his bloodstream. Steadying that part of his being which is still known in this country as the soul. Then he presses on. The verb pokhmelitsa (‘to have a hangover’) does not mean to resort to the alkaseltzer. It means – and we should be quite clear about this – to reach for another drink.
    ……………………….It is the second morning of the zapoi or binge. The serious drinking has only just begun.

    • When I was at teacher’s college. An elective, once a week for two years.One of those ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ things. I was good at the learning to speak stuff, but could not get my head around learning a new alphabet so I never mastered reading Russian. I can’t remember much now, but I used to be able to speak English with a damn good Russian accent – once upon a time.

  8. Kaffeeklatscher,

    Your parallel between the Lake Erie wave and the Great Wave demonstrates your extraordinary eye, which I think Gigilene shares (well, that’s obvious, given her amazing talent for finding stunning pictures).

  9. Up until some time in the 1970s it was mandatory in Un Zud when you did a science degree that you also did either French, Russian or German. They being the great languages of science outside of English. I was planning on doing Russian until the requirement was dropped.

  10. When on a train travelling from Ostend to Bologna , I got into a conversation with this chap traveling to Italy as an agent for a publisher of School curriculum books..He confessed a liking for those “made easy” self education books..
    “At the moment ” he confessed “I am reading this delightful book called ; “Russian , made easy”…I like that..made easy”.

  11. TLBD

    You being a WAY better judge of this sort of music, how did the now dead Alexandrov mob do with this version of The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves

    • Kaffeeklatscher,

      It’s originally scored for SSAATTBB, but this all male version works very well. For the first few bars I thought it was a bit too heavy, but they definitely achieved the delicacy that’s appropriate for the chorus. Maybe a bit more rubato would have been nice, but overall I think it’s pretty good.

  12. And …… here we go with the first round of tonight’s shock and awe shelling aka fireworks. The 9.00 o’clock ‘family’ performance. The neighbourhood dogs are not amused. Poor things. There will be more around midnight.

  13. Fiona

    While in “critic’ mode. How do you rate this effort from my high school ?

    Meanwhiles at my Primary School

    • Kaffeeklatscher,

      You should be very proud of both schools.

      There’s just one thing I need to know before I venture on a verdict: when did those performances take place?

  14. Heat.

    You can stand, transfixed,
    As long as you can bear.
    Staring at the thistle flower,
    A spot of yellow bliss in a sea of dirt.
    The sun beating down on your back,
    A thunderous heat as heavy
    As the lumbering speech of a stupid man.
    The only bright spark
    In a field so barren
    Is that one yellow flower of the courageous thistle,
    Pleading for its life to the open sky.

    • Staring at leaves that move endlessly
      New patterns formally resolving
      Sun warming my face I gaze into high
      Blue that pales to infinite dissolving.

      Gazing at foam lace weaving melting
      Endlessly reforming sea ice green
      Sun beating my back I stare into plunging
      Depths unimaginable unseen.

      Dancing as moth circles the candle still
      Spiralling to fiery heart returning
      To dusty ash black hole’s forgetful chill
      In white star’s tropic heat awakening.

    • CTar,

      I see what you mean!

      One day, when I win the lottery . . .

      I heard a lovely story the other day, told to me by the delightful couple who run the framing business where I’m surreptitiously getting some stuff reframed.

      For many years they had a client (“A”) who had bits and pieces framed/reframed, but who always agonised over 10 cents, and who would argue vociferously with her sister (“B”) about where even a 1 cent piece had been lost. Neither A nor B ever married.

      Occasionally, because they got on very well, the framing couple and A would have lunch or dinner together at one of our many fantastic local restaurants – always paid for by the framing couple.

      In the fullness of time, A died (B had already “passed”) [apologies to anyone who is insulted by my use of the words died, dying, death – but when I see a spade I call it a bloody shovel].

      A left a multi-million dollar estate. Most of the money was left to a certain charity to establish a nursing home. However, there were 20 or so specific bequests, all of approximately $1000. Each of the framing couple was bequeathed $1000 with the command that they should “have a really good dinner on her”.

  15. Fiona


    One day, when I win the lottery . . .

    About the extent of my life plan these days!

  16. CTar,

    If I ever do win the lottery big time, we will consult about which particular artwork (one only) you would like to have.

  17. CTar,

    You are as always a charming person, and of course I accept your offer.

    Meanwhile, I must hie me to my basket.

    HNY to you and yours.

  18. Hill to see the fireworks, especially as I am in bed with a cold.Happy New Year everyone. It is too cold and gloomy to go out tonight to Primrose Hill to see the London Fireworks. Rain is expected too.

  19. Really good stuff from Bk and the rest . YeeHay…

    There’s been a a few NYEs which have nudged me into saying – what the hell or worse – when I’ve largely stayed in the back blocks of what is important – of life and being alive – and not just in my skin..

    Back in the dial-up days of the ‘net I joined a Poetry site called “The Pink Palace” on NYE 2007 which was just great as a forum to offer and sort of critique one’s wordsmith’s offerings.. The enjoyment was just in the reading.and interaction between member ‘poets’. Lovely.

    Got ruined by stupid politics of idiots and trolls..

    It happened when the forum and in this case the whole website disappeared at the whim of the the guy with the ‘BIG BUTTON” and it shouldn’t happen when we’re told the INTERNET is IMMortal eh?

    Anyway all I’m sayin’ I’d like to rejoin the reinforcement of the hole in the dyke (no sniggers) and the cheap embarrassment of the gummint.

    See how we go .


    ps I hope this works”

  20. Good morning Dawn Patrollers and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I’m afraid there isn’t much on offer this morning.

    Celebrate THIS!
    SMH foreign correspondents ponder the coming year, particularly with respect to Trump.
    And The Age letter writers mark Turnbull down in a year-end report.
    The Forbes Magazine’s list of the top 10 most influential people for 2016 is full of rather nasty types.
    Here’s the article whose link I wrongly posted yesterday. It’s about the hardly unexpected effect of the slashing and burning of the ATO’s workforce.
    Adele Ferguson continues to expose the spivs serially underpaying their employees.
    Ross Gittins follows two centuries of industrial revolution and the economy.
    Theresa May’s attack on John Kerry’s remarks on Israel and the two-state solution was extraordinary.
    Donald Trump is under fire for the sale of tickets to the lavish New Year’s Eve party he and his family are hosting at the swanky Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
    Clive James is hooked on Netflix.

  21. Section 2 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Matt Golding on what he sees ahead for 2017.

    Cathy Wilcox looks back on 2016.

    This contribution from Mark Knight is positively frightening!

  22. Three years ago today we were faced with the emergency C-section birth of a 15 and a half weeks premature boy. After a harrowing fist year he has turned out to be a real little cracker. I hope this Facebook link works (I have no idea how that social media platform works!)

    • I think you’re an optimist, mate.

      I’ve got fingers crossed, toes crossed and I’m determined to enjoy every bit that’s even half good. At the moment I’m sitting in front of an open door through which cool air is rolling; that’s a big improvement on the last few days of 2016.

  23. I was in the checkout queue just a few days before Christmas and turned to chat with the mum with a really tiny newborn next in the queue. When I asked how old he was I was nearly bowled over when she told me 6 months, he was born 15 weeks prem.
    My first son was born 10 weeks prem 35 years ago, which at the time was close to the limit, then my next son turned up 6 weeks prem.
    Both were healthy, just early.

  24. brianmcisme

    That is about as optimistic as I will ever get. If I ever said how I really feel about politics at the moment you would all come and shoot me. 🙂

    We got the cool change yesterday afternoon, it was bliss. At the moment it is 15c and Razz is freezing so we’ve just turned the a/c over to heat……don’t laugh, it is the MS that is the problem.

  25. I’m only doing this because we need to know what Fizza is saying, and what propaganda he is putting out. His New Year message is dark, fearful and focused on terrorism. Other world leaders seem happy to put out cheerful messages at this time of year, they often talk about hopes for peace and tolerance, but not Fizza. Along with the ramping up of fear and loathing there’s more of the usual ‘Lucy and I’ waffle but with an added dose of hypocrisy and a few lies to spice it up.

    the full catastrophe is here, if you can be bothered reading it.

    The man who, like Howard PM, has done his utmost to have us all hate someone – Muslims, the unemployed, sole parents, union members, refugees, people of colour, pensioners, and so many more – has the hide to tell us this is a “harmonious, peaceful and multicultural society”. Not with his government in charge it isn’t. He can’t even get his own MPs to behave in a ‘harmonious’ manner, they are all at one another’s throats, threatening to jump ship if they don’t get their own way, the far right hate the centre right and they all hate the moderates, so what hope do we have of the whole country being tolerant? Leadership comes from the top. If you have a half-set jelly in charge then everything falls apart.

    Then he goes on to rant about his government’s wonderful work in stopping Islamic terrorist attacks, mentioning the arrests in Sydney and Melbourne over the last week or so. One of those alleged ‘terrorists’ was just a bloke with, according to his family. mental health issues. He told someone online he was going to blow people up on New Year’s Eve and they dobbed him in. He wasn’t on a watch list, the police and the AFP wouldn’t have had a clue except for that dobber, He didn’t have any bombs or weapons and wasn’t Muslim or from the Middle East. He had no links with any terrorist group. He was just a bit nuts, but his arrest allowed the NSW police to come on all hairy-chested and boast about the ‘fortifications’ set up to protect people in the city celebrating the New Year. The other alleged ‘terrorists’ were young blokes of Lebanese descent so that immediately got them onto a government watch list. We won’t know how guilty they are for quite some time, they don’t return to court until April, by which time our goldfish MSM will have forgotten all about them and won’t say a word when they are all let off with charges dismissed.

    Fizza said he will not allow terrorists to divide this country. Well, of course not. He’s doing such a great job at that himself, he doesn’t need any competition.

  26. Leone

    Well said. The little I heard on a five second grab on the radio was all doom and gloom and bad bad terrorist. It was a maudlin welcome to the new year and certainly didn’t help my mood.

  27. It strikes me that if ANYONE was going to have a go , it would have been last night..perfect situation and they coulkd have planned and put in situ a long time I suspect we got to accept there really is no evidence of a network operating for terrorism in any great capacity here.

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