Friday, 4 January 2008

A duck and a fat lady, seperated by two eggs.

Firstly, of course, happy new year to all reading this. I don't feel quite as cynical as Dilbert (and, indeed many others) about New Years, but I'm generally pushed more and more in that direction as the date approaches:
It is arbitrary, and it really means very little. It's a changing of a number in our date system that marks one year since the last time we celebrated it. It's not the middle of winter, it has no religious significance, it is simply the fluctuation point of our method of measuring time passing. I'm certainly not suggesting that people should not celebrate it, and I'm absolutely in favour of getting together with friends for a late-running evening of celebration, even though it seems a pity that we need to be prompted to do it by a particular date in the year.

I don't, however like the fact that it turns into some sort of strange ritual. You have to be doing something for new year, you have to get drunk, you have to set off fireworks, it has to be the best night out of the year. Thankfully, in recent years the expectation and pressure within my group of immediate friends has decreased enough that the night itself is no longer marked by abject panic at the lack of a suitably large gathering. My point is not that big celebrations are bad, but that building up this one night into the pinnacle of the year's celebration, is asking for disappointment. As with most things, the best bit of an evening is often unplanned, and trying to predict and organise an extra special new year party for a group of people is going to leave some (if not all) unsatisfied.

In any case, I had a great new year's gathering, at which much Diet Coke was drunk, much Haribo was eaten, and the unexpected highlight of the evening (see above) was the multiple games of consequences, a game I had not taken part in since I was much younger, and had even started to assume was peculiar to my family, since I had never heard anyone else mention it.

Midnight passed with Jools Holland, Big Ben and the mandatory epilepsy-inducing London-Eye-based fireworks display (which of course, has to be bigger and better than last years), and all of a sudden we were into 2008.

I'm not a huge fan of new years resolutions, since every time I have made them, I have failed to keep them, so this year I've decided to pick out new years themes instead. Rather than specific goals to aim for (and miss), I've picked out two areas of my life I feel I need to improve, and will try to use 2008 to improve them. Certainly this could be seen as less motivational than a specific target (or set of targets), but I feel like I'm more likely to make a small effort day-to-day in a vague and general direction than I am to work on a more specific project or task. And even if I'm wrong, I've certainly done no worse than if I had resolved to go to the gym three times a week and failed before the 7th of January.

I didn't really plan on doing a new years post, so that was a bit more stream-of-consciousness than I intended. It's late, however, and I'm tired, so I'm not going back to edit it at this point.

Oh, and by the way - I've edited both my 'goodbye 2007' and 'filmography' posts a bit since I first wrote them, so if you haven't been re-reading them, I think they're pretty much in their final state now.

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