Happy New Year

Central Railway was awfully busy at about two-thirty this morning when I arrived home from New Year’s Eve. Of course I don’t know what it was like down at Circular Quay or at The Rocks, but at that time of the night, the public transport crowd was quite well behaved. Aside from a couple of “sleepers” on the train, there was little evidence of a night of drunken revelry.

Actually, I hadn’t intended to stay out so late. The plan was that Graeme and I would catch up mid-afternoon for a few drinks and a few laughs, getting home early to mid-evening, thus avoiding the usual crowds and public transport difficulties. And so at around three-thirty we began our pub crawl at the Midnight Shift. For several hours the bars remained reasonably quite until about nine o’clock.

It was at about that time that we experienced a really funny moment: watching the lead up to the nine o’clock fireworks on the big screen. With disco music blaring in the background, we had to rely on live subtitles to understand what Gretel Killeen and Daniel McPherson were saying. I don’t know if the subtitlers were using predictive text or were just bad at their jobs, but we noticed the following, amongst many other mistakes. Carpe diem became “cup podium”, the “diversity of the school choir” became the “perversity of the school choir”, and one bloke was going to Melbourne so he could “experience some crack” (meaning craic, I assume). There were occasions when what was being typed on the screen made absolutely no sense at all. Great fun.

After a few text messages, we ended up meeting another mate, Paul at legendary hotel, The Imperial. As we entered the bar I smiled, because a couple of years ago Paul and I had been refused entry there when we were actually quite sober. The bar was reasonably full, though not completely when one of the drag queens counted us down to midnight (or thereabouts) with all the usual celebratory kisses and wishes for the new year. Good fun.

After a few more drinks, we decided to call it a night and so bid farewell. Seconds later, there was a story in the taxi queue someone had been hit by a car, and so I rushed up the road to make sure it wasn’t Graeme. With the reassurance that it wasn’t him, I gave up on the taxi queue, wandered down to Erskineville Station and caught the train back home.

And so here it is, early in the morning on New Years Day and I’ve woken up without a hang-over and feeling reasonably good. Clearly I’ve become old and sensible, having paced the afternoon and evenings of beers with orange juice and joke, and occasional light beers in between. Hopefully that’s a good sign for life in 2007.

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