Things can only get better

New Year's Eve fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the fireworks show on January 1, 2019. (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)

New Year's Eve fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the fireworks show on January 1, 2019. (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)

January 1. We started the year in a mess, feeling a lot worse for wear and wondering if we didn’t end up paying someone else’s bill.

I love a good party. Especially a good New Year’s Eve party with live music and dancing and cold beer and a midnight countdown followed by spectacular fireworks.

Yes, I know. It is totally unacceptable in this day and age to advocate fireworks but as a responsible adult I ensure that my pets, my children, elderly family members and those with a fragile constitution are safely locked up in a room without sharp objects or shoelaces where they can do themselves and others no harm.

Last week, I was treated to a particularly good party. We – that is the missus and one of my daughters – were at the seaside for a few days where we grieved over the death of 2018 and celebrated the birth of a brand-new year.

Overlooking the beach and the sea, a few sparkles of various colours would light up the sky every now and then in the build-up to the countdown – as it should. The little ones who cannot stay awake until midnight also deserve to see out the old year with a bang.

As the clock marched relentlessly towards midnight, the anticipation built up like a balloon reaching the peak of its capacity.

And then … pandemonium as the entire sky exploded in what seemed a never-ending shower of stars.

It was deafeningly exquisite.

Corks were popped and hugs and kisses dished out by strangers like winter blankets to the homeless: everyone got their share, whether they wanted it or not.

But, as with all parties, there came a time when the band packed up, half-full (or is that half-empty?) bottles were discarded and the balloons started hanging at half-mast, paying their last respects to the year that was.

And while the bills were settled, the euphoria started giving way to what would inevitably be a hangover of note – both physically and financially.

The reminder that the party was over was when the price of an Uber had increased threefold in three hours.

January 1. We started the year in a mess, feeling a lot worse for wear and wondering if we didn’t end up paying someone else’s bill.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way. From here, things can only get better.

Danie Toerien

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