Tuesday, 4 February 2014

New Years Eve

 The New Year snuck up and hit us all with the usual surprise. Same as it does every year.  
My idea of a good New Year is to be at home with Fireworks. In previous years I have had fireworks from the balcony of our apartment. Bliss for me.  The problem  I have faced has always been  to convince those nearest and dearest to me that this was the place to be. Gently seeing in the New Year with a bottle of Champers and then climbing into bed as the smoke drifts  off after the last firework has done its thing. Who needs a "Knees Up Forget Your Name Party"? Apparently  everyone except me.  Every year I dread the "New Year’s Eve Conversation". Every year I feel like a complete witch because all I want to do is Stay At Home. Bryan wants to have a party. He is a sociable fellow. Me, eh, not so much. Here I will go off at a tangent.  There are people in the world who believe ,well it is a feeling really not so much a belief, that seeing a stunning sunset has no real value if you don’t have someone with you to share that stunning sunset and to feel all warm and fuzzy about it together. I am not like that. I am way too self-involved. Beautiful sunset – check cool. Someone to see it with  ah super cool. Not that sharing is not lovely but I can do all the beauty and awesome stuff on my own and not feel crushed that there was no one to share it with. I don’t do these things on my own because  I have a Man Being in my life who absolutely loves to do sharing things who ,even after all these years together, still forces me out of myself and into doing stuff, patiently. He never, ever refers to the fact that he has to do this every single time we go out. 

Each  year I land up negotiating with myself and then Bryan. This is now it goes....If I have been particularly hermit like the previous New Year’s Eve I feel honor bound to make an effort. If I went out  on the town the previous year I find it very difficult to give  up my stuck in the muddy rut  notion of staying in. I don’t even mind being left at home alone so that Bryan  (and whoever else is about) can go and have a party. But that is not how the world turns. The last thing any self-respecting person wants to say on arriving at a party to celebrate the year gone by and share a few moments of hope of what the new year will bring  is “My partner stayed at home.” It is like code for saying "My wife and I had a rip roaring fight and I left the house slamming the door behind me so I am here on my own." Defiantly.  So you see every year is a tightrope in our house over what we will do for New Year's Eve. Well it is inside my head. I am pretty sure Bryan is oblivious to my agonising until a day or so before when someone (me) has to say something about not wanting to go out for New Year's Eve.AGAIN.

As 2013 closed in around me I realised that it was my turn to be a good sport. Last year we watched the fireworks from our apartment balcony.

Younger son Cameron was home for New Year  and my nephew William was visiting Dubai for the first time and, as it happens, we no longer have a balcony to watch stunning fireworks from. All the signs were lining up to a Going Out type of New Year. Around the time that all these thoughts were whirling around my sad person brain getting me worked up about what to do and how to do it bla, bla, bla my friend Patricia said that she had found a brilliant venue for NYE and did we want to join their party? It was a sign.  The sign said “Say Yes”. So we were organised. New Year at a lovely venue with what promised to be great view of the upcoming world record breaking fireworks display. And great company. Perfect right? Well of course not. This is me we are talking about.
Now that the venue was arranged I was all over worrying about what the traffic would be like. I was worrying about what we were going to wear. Bryan, of course, was not worrying. He is incapable of worrying about what he is going to wear. My preferred outfit for New Year is jeans with a floppy top and no make-up. This evening clearly required more effort and it would be outdoors and high up on the 35th floor, so as to get the best views, which is very important, but might be a bit chilly. So I was all set up for worrying about that too.
All this clothes worrying had me doing something I have never done before in my whole and entire life. With little time and the decision making skills of a squirrel faced with one too many nuts to carry I bought up the whole bloody shop and took everything home thinking that I would decide what I would wear in the comfort of my home and I would return the clothes that I did not wear to the store. I felt like a thief or as if I was bunking from school. It felt quite exhilarating walking out of the shop with a tonne of clothes that I had no intention of keeping. So that worry was sorted out. I should mention that I did not return any of the clothes..... Note to self  - do not do that again.  
Now the traffic worries. Obviously I have no control over the traffic but that did not stop me from  becoming almost hysterical. I had to find out what every other guest at the table would be doing to sort out their transport dilemmas at this most horrific of times of year for getting a taxi and getting in and out of congested areas. I agonised over booking a taxi. Who am I kidding on New Year’s Eve -  a taxi ??|#%#!$$ - imagine hysterical laughter. I even went and found a limo service that would be available for a pick up and drop off on NYE for the snip of a price of AED 999.00 if the pick-up and drop off happened over a three hour period. Imagine more hysterical laughter at:
 a. the price and
b. the time span allowed for PARTYING.  
After much investigating I announced to Bryan ( who was not worrying)  that we would leave our car  at the Ibn Batutta metro Station and take the metro from there and walk to the hotel from the nearest station to it. This required a quick change of plans from high heels to walking boots in the wardrobe department.   Alternatively, I suggested, we would drive to the other side of the highway nearest the hotel and walk from the metro station to the hotel having used the sky bridge over the highway to beat ( much evil laughter ) The Traffic. So much plotting to have a bit of fun.
I think I have set you up appropriately don’t you? Are you ready for what happened?
Firstly, to get into the spirit of jollification, I spoiled myself by booking an appointment to have my hair blow-dried. Another first time for me. No I lie. I had my hair done specially for one other event in my life, my wedding. The thing is that there is a hair salon around the corner from my office in the Hotel so really I would be stupid to not take advantage of the 50% staff discount right? Except that I messed up my appointment. There I was getting ready for a meeting at work when I got a call from the hairdresser saying “ Where are you? You had an appointment for 2 pm?" Oh my giddy aunt. What to do. I was supposed to be in a meeting. Bugger this, it was NYE. I got my poor colleague to cover for me in the meeting and I deserted my post to get my hair done saying “I will be half an hour late for the meeting...." as I rushed out of the office.

The lady who was doing my hair was taking forever. My hair is thick and holds moisture, I know this, but really I can do a crap job of drying my hair in 20 minutes. So surely the stylist should be able to do a good professional job in ½ an hour? Am I asking too much? Maybe. Anyway as the half hour ticked by I had to say “Stop sweetie I have to leg it back to a meeting. Finish up and I am out of here”. I tore back to the office and into the meeting room. It was dark and empty. You guessed it. The meeting was cancelled. I did however have half a hair doo done for NYE.

I got home  after work and lazed about because I was so super organised.  I chose what to wear from my Department Store contraband. Faffed about doing my nails and having a shower and chatting and being all calm and mellow. Then got into a last minute panic because it turns out I was not as super organised as I thought I was and landed up rushing myself to be ready in time to go. All  the male members ( did you notice that witticism?) of the household waiting for me downstairs. PATIENTLY. 

We did eventually make it out of the Villa and into the traffic. Which, as it turned out, there was not much of on our side of town. There was so little traffic that we drew near to the Marina Bryan announced that we were going in. Things were looking good. We were going to risk all and drive right up to the Hilton Hotel on The Walk. My heart was in my mouth. OOOOO the risks involved in getting caught up in traffic and sitting in it for hours while the year slipped past us. The gods looked kindly on us and we were at the hotel, valet parking the car, within five minutes. Anyone who knows The Walk on JBR in Dubai  knows that this is a rare occurrence in that part of town. Obviously everyone had made other plans knowing ( as I did ) that the traffic would be horrible. SUCKERS - oh and thank you.

So this is where we spent our new year. Pure. At the JBR Hilton. It was so pretty. Really we were in the best spot.

The fireworks were magnificent.  Click below for the full feature.
The Food was fantastic. Who would have thought that a catered event at New Year could be a mouthwatering treat. Rushed kitchens and so many people to feed usually mean that the food at big events is never anything to write home about.  But hats off to the Hilton. Each course was a surprising delight, a fusion of foods that was unexpected  and delicious. Without anything else in the evening  the food would have been a treat. But together with the company and the fireworks well it just made  the evening so special. The music was  hip hoppin' bobbin' and the company was fabulous.
As usual if I  get my arse into gear and actually do go out I have a brilliant time. I may have had an itsy bitsy teeny weeny bit too much to drink...  so I cannot accurately say much more as it all got terribly warm and fuzzy  and oh you know I was not paying attention to the fun I was too busy having it.  Especially after my son and nephew spiked a couple of my drinks and gave me doubles when I thought I was getting singles, but what the hell it was New Year.


The Peeps on our table with party hats and winning smiles.
We wound our way home in the early hours of the morning walking through the Jumeriah Beach Residences and Marina to the metro passing revelers sharing a bit of good New Year cheerfulness.
I woke up very, very, very, late on the 1st of January. Everyone should. I did spare a thought for parents of small children who cannot ease out of their New Year hangovers. That is if they are so lucky as to get one. I  thanked my lucky stars that I was so done and dusted with that business of looking after small people as I groaned and reach for the headache pills, tossed a handful ( or maybe more)  back with a glass of water and went back to sleep.
Next year I might not even need encouraging to get out and about at New Year. I am not making any promises but if there is transport and tipple  and Top Notch company I might just venture out two years in a row.
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