NEW YEAR'S EVE
It won't be long now and we'll be saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new. If I made New Year resolutions it would be to write into this Blog everyday. I don't make any resolutions because I'm not capable of keeping them more than twenty four hours. I need to grow some respect for readers. Then I will make the effort even when I am finding it difficult to write.
There has been no shortage of New Zealand News this year and we have featured in World News too often.
I don't want to dwell on the horrible things that have happened. That's not because I turn a blind eye to them but because enough has been said and written. Many people are suffering and that's a part of life that is always hard to comprehend and accept. I've struggled with all the bad stuff and didn't want to write when that's all that was on my mind.
Having said that, Christchurch is still reeling from the September 4th earthquake and over4000 after shocks. Here is a link to the Christchurch Earthquake Map. The Boxing Day quake caused more extensive damage and 10 more homes are uninhabitable.. This morning there were two more quakes, 4.1 followed one minute later by a 3.6 quake. Our youngest son and his wife live in the city about 5 km from Cathedral Square. He works for road safety management so we get first hand up-dates. They have received little significant damage but are very nervous if caught inside a building during a quake. Our eldest son has a few acres outside the city, south east of the stricken areas, and has hardly been bothered by even the worst of them.
New Zealand is on holiday and thousands have flocked to seaside towns. There are young people everywhere and Matarangi has been heaving to their music. Music, laughter, young people fooling around is what New Year is all about. I think the noisiest are the group in our house. Suddenly this afternoon things became very quiet. There is a big Rock Concert in Whitianga and buses are running from here to there and back again. I guess we'll be woken up when everyone returns a few hours into the new year. This is, after all, what they came away on holiday for and we rented out our house over New Year, knowing full well there would be some partying. I keep hoping it's not as bad as it sounds.
New Year in New Zealand has been taken over by young people. Christmas is for their families and New Year is for them to party. 'It's their right.' 11 pm and the drums continue to beat out their rhythm, voices become raucous with drink, laughter floats across the night air. I think our group have been rapping, making up new rhymes as they go. It sounds like fun. And I've been impressed by their behaviour. The loud noise seems to stop around midnight.
Last night I was glad we don't need to worry about getting up for work or settling young children. We are sleeping in our 1968 Austen bus-home in our yard, alongside the roadside fence. It was fairly peaceful once the traffic had almost stopped The young ones were partying on the deck which is on the other side of the house. The house sleeps six although we suspect there are a number of extras have arrived. I have no idea where they all sleep although the recliners could well be in use. With only one bathroom it's up to them to organise themselves.
For as long as I can remember people have been renting out their houses to make a little extra cash at holiday times. Normal rental for our house would be around $120 per week. As a holiday rental we can ask up to $250 per night at peak times. It helps pay Local Body Rates, (land tax).
Tonight we went for a short walk down to the sea and along the beach. There's a cool breeze so not a balmy night and I guess it's keeping people inside. Even so there were many walking, a few swimming and some enjoying a picnic tea. As we came home the fireworks began. Families enjoying their fireworks saved from November 5th, Guy Fawkes night. The air was redolent with barbeques, charred beef and wood smoke.
We'll be two old fogies and go to bed soon. No champagne toast and no Auld Lang Syne, which can best be translated as Times Gone By. The poem was written by Scotsman Robert Burns in 1788,