Saturday, January 01, 2005
The Biggar Bonfire...
They celebrate new year in Biggar with a large bonfire. We are not quite sure why, but this tradition apparently dates back to pagan times so who are we to ask. Apparently some people have tried to have it stopped for various reasons (two of the reasons being World Wars I-II inclusive), but they have had some kind of celebratory fire in roughly that part of the town for quite a long time. Just try to put all thoughts of The Wicker Man out of your head - that doesn't happen until Spring and we haven't had a suitable policeman around for ages.
It was at the bonfire in Biggar where my parents and I arrived at around 11.15pm on the 31st of December,: and where the photograph accompanying this blog entry was taken. My younger brother who was around for Christmas had returned to Perth for New Year: partly to celebrate the even with friends but also because he has been working between Christmas and New Year. I did consider going to Leeds for new year, but Malek is in New York with our friends and ex-flatmates Anne-Marie and Daisy, and Karla is at home so our flat would have been somewhat quiet. Plus you don't get Only An Excuse, Chewing The Fat, and the Reverend I.M Jolly on the telly in Yorkshire. Anyway, back to the photo, it hasn't been Photoshop-ed at all, I took it at a slow exposure and it just turned out blurry in an arty way rather than a "You mean it's supposed to be a fire?" way. I liked it actually, 'm sure it's how the bonfire looked for most of the people who were there.
I had earlier met up for lunch with Jonathan, (a friend since a shared experience of high school, now working in Birmingham and occasionally to be found in the comments section of this very blog) and we both saw people who looked as if they had been drinking for some time and would carry on in such a manner into the evening.
Anyway I have backtracked here. From the bonfire my parents and I then visited the house of family friends Jim and Jane O'Neil for the Bells (the Grouse and, I think, several other kinds of whisky). They tend to always have a large gathering for new year of people whom I increasingly only ever meet at these new year gatherings, so they tend to turn into long catch-up sessions which with free flowing drink and random acts of music (the random-ness increasing as the drink flows free) constitutes a pretty good party actually.
Of course world events are not so happy and not to be ignored here, and I would urge anyone with the means to donate at least at little money to the appeals helping the people of southern Asia who were recently battered by a tidal wave caused by an undersea earthquake. I hope the message will excuse the length of that last sentence.