Those lovely people at WordPress, the site that hosts Diary of an Internet Nobody, have furnished me with a statistical breakdown of my year in blogging, which you can view in it’s entirety at the end of this post.
If anything, it makes me all the more grateful to all those of you who have taken valuable time out of your no doubt busy schedules to peruse whatever drivel I may have churned out on any given day, and it has also given me some hints on what you appear to like the most about the blog (it seems as though one particular Picture this… photo-blog caught the collective imagination more than any other post) and rest assured I’ve taken all that on board.
Having already conducted a bit of a rant about new years resolutions this time last year, and given that I’m unlikely to top Adam Pain’s brilliant new years eve story, I wasn’t going to bother posting anything today, but that just doesn’t seem right.
I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to bet that back in the days when the week between Christmas and New Year was just one big excuse to go out and get as wrecked as possible, you never thought that you’d become one of the boring bastards who couldn’t be bothered to cram yourself into some packed, standing-room-only pub for six hours of alcohol-induced oblivion.
Meanwhile, back in the ’90s… (yes, that is my real hair)
If you’re anything like me, the idea of getting older and less able to cope with the rigours of partying was probably a totally alien concept to you, the immortality of youth bestowing on us a sort of rose-tinted foresight, enabling us to ignore the impending responsibilities of adulthood, careers, children and seemingly endless debt and allowing the illusion of indestructibility to remain intact until the last possible moment.
I think the last time we went out and properly “did” new year’s eve was a few years after we moved down to Devon.
Elaine and I took a trip over to nearby Bideford – local epicentre for NYE celebrations and a magnet for all of those still young enough to stand around in sub-zero temperatures whilst dressed as tarts/vicars/superheroes/pop stars etc – to go out with a couple of friends who lived there and were putting us up for the night.
We had a great time, the festive buzz and convivial atmosphere in even the most sardine-like pubs recalling the end of year blow-outs of our younger days in Sussex.
In every way but one.
In my teens and twenties I found myself in the enviable position of being largely immune to hangovers and other morning-after-the-night-before maladies. But on the morning after this particular night before I was introduced anew to the joys of incontinent-parrot cage mouth and that immovable, pounding throb that starts somewhere behind the eyes and stretches right back into the deeper recesses of the pickled brainstem, giving an alarmingly realistic impression of someone attempting to drive a red hot icicle through your head with a glass hammer.
The initial thought of “Aaarrgghhh! Make it stop!” was rapidly followed by “Hang on, I don’t get hangovers….Oh, I see, that’s it, I’ve reached that age now have I?”
Because there’s nothing like the low glare of the January morning sunshine trying to weld your retinas to the back of your skull to give you an almost damascene moment of clarity where conspicuous consumption is concerned.
That’s not to say I don’t appreciate a good session occasionally of course, but with the exception of one unfortunately-still-memorable incident (involving a coach-load of double glazing reps, an early morning trip to Birmingham, gallons of free wine and a motorway service station) which I may recount at a later date, I’ve developed the kind of sensible routine that I always scoffed at when given as earnest advice by my parents all those years ago.
In other words;
i) Make sure you have a decent meal inside you before the festivities commence.
ii) DO NOT mix fruit and grain. (advice as invaluable as Spengler’s warning not to “cross the streams” in Ghostbusters)
ii) Drink plenty of water when you get home.
All of which seemed like the embarrassing fussing of overly-protective and out of touch fuddy-duddies in the golden days of ago, but is now a sound preventative against ruining the start of an otherwise perfectly good year.
In more recent years we have sometimes gone out to a gig or a small house party (like proper grown-ups), but the days of seeing in the next solar rotation from a hard-fought-for, glass-strewn table in a bar full of screaming revelers, with ear-splitting Slade pumping out of the jukebox are probably behind us.
And you know what might be the saddest thing about all that?
The fact that, although I loved every messy, idiotic and noisy minute of it, I really don’t miss it at all.
So even if I wasn’t getting over a nasty bout of Man Flu, (which I of course graciously shared with Elaine, who is currently in bed with the apparently even nastier Woman Flu) I doubt I’d be doing anything other than sipping a few genteel ciders in front of the goggle box anyway.
So whether you’re having a well-deserved quiet night in – while the next generation go out on the town to make their own memories – or you plan to really push the boat out and finish off 2013 in style, I wish each and every one of you a truly happy new year, one in which I’ll be more than happy to join you, if you’ll have me.
Here’s my annual report card. Thanks again to all the people who made the blog such fun to write in the last twelve months.
THAT MEANS YOU.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.