Where were you last night when 2012 turned into 2013? Is that where you’d wanted to be?
“What’s the time?”
“Another hour to go why?”
“Was just wondering.”
My book was weighing heavy in my hands, so I had another look at the television. With over two hundred channels in about ten different languages, you would think there would be something worth watching, especially when you only had an hour to go to midnight. Another new year: and this time with a thirteen at the end. I don’t like the idea of thirteens on the end. On the other hand I do not think my mum had a choice when she was born in 1913.
It was then that Mr. Swiss (my man) decided it was time to try again on another station. I raised my head from my book, perhaps hoping for something completely different. It did not even have to be english, any language as long as I understood it.
It was dark and cold outside and my three cats were all settled somewhere inside. Nera at the top of the cat play center to make sure everything was in view. You never know, there might be a faint hope of a serving of tuna fish. Tabby, her sort of twin sister (female cats are never serious about how many fathers are around when they decide to mate) was in her favourite walled in place on the carpet in the bathroom. OK, we do sometimes have problems manoevering to the right seat when nature calls, but the cats moved in and took over. Fluffy, the youngest, was curled up on the settee waiting for Mr. Swiss to sit in his accustomed place next to Fluffy.
Every now and again another firework exploded somewhere in the neighbourhood. Every feline attempt to take a walk on a dark night was out of the question. Nera did make try once or twice, but as soon as her sensitive feline ears picked up a loud “Bang” she retired again to her pole position. Tabby did not even bother.
Did my thoughts revert to the time some twenty-five years earlier when we were celebrating New Year at a get-together with friends? Bringing our own champagne glasses to make sure there were enough available. Dressed up and ready for action: I was glad to be sitting in my own four walls, even if I did only have a book and television for entertainment.
And then Mr. Swiss made his decision and I found myself watching the story of the Swedish group Abba with supporting concert clips and showing how their private lives were functioning, or were not functioning, at the time of their fame. I was glad it was all in english as my foreign language talents do not extend to Scandinavia. This was interesting. I was never a big fan of Abba. I did remember when they first arrived on the scene after winning one of the European song contests with “Waterloo”.
Supplemented with my coca cola supply (which I am not really supposed to drink – diabetes) and a mouth full of crisps (potato chips or whatever) making a mess on the floor with the crumbs I even put my book on one side. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens was no competition for Abba. Tabby suddenly arrived on the scene in the living room and sat quite still next to my chair. She is a chip addict. She was looking at me with her big pleading cat eyes “What about me?”, so I tossed her a chip. She ate it, was satisfied with the evening snack and returned to the bathroom.
It seems that not all was gold that shone with Abba. Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog split up, as well as Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lingstad and by 1982 their career was more or less finished.
“It’s nearly midnight” I said to Mr. Swiss as the Abba programme was coming to a close.
“Yes” he answered, “from the sound of the church it is”. The bells from the near bye town of Solothurn, from all the many surrounding villages, as well as our village, were all ringing in unison. Not exactly unison, just a mixture of ding dongs and bongs all over. The cats sunk lower in their nocturnal seats. They were probably thinking about covering their sensitive ears with their paws.
My thoughts wandered to the small bottle of champagne in the kitchen. I really do not like it so much. Gives me digestive problems, does not climb to my head it overtakes my head and it was half a minute to midnight.
“What do you think, do you want any champagne?” my other half asked.
“Not really” I answered.
“Shall we leave it”
and so we saw the New year in together in the living room with three sleeping cats.
Where would I rather have been? To be quite honest I would rather have gone to bed at 11 o’clock, my usual bed time. It is only once a year that the New Year enters, so I managed to stay awake and see it through.