It was my birthday yesterday. People seem to assume that, because it occurs on New Year's Eve, I always have a party to go to - and that I want to party.
I do not like parties much. I prefer small groups to large groups. As a family we tend to stay at home rather than travel. My nephews here were probably out but their parents were home. My Sydney nephew is in Africa with his wife. My neice? I don't know - but I doubt she attended a wild party.
Around us there have sometimes been parties but this year the entire street was quiet, indeed the surrounding streets were quiet. There were no cars travelling down the race track they call Murray St. There was no music to be heard.
At midnight I was woken briefly by the sound of a group cheering inside a house in the next street but they were almost instantly quiet again.
Whether all this has something to do with the general economic doom and gloom I do not know.
What I enjoyed yesterday was the company of three good friends in the afternoon. One of them brought cake for afternoon tea. We sat. We knitted. We talked without gossiping. We did not deconstruct anyone's character. We laughed. Imperia gave Dad the new socks she had made, although his birthday is not until February and he wore them straight away.
Who needs parties?