As I write we in Dorset have been moved into tier 3, on this note I am away in my memories to a New Year spent up close and personal with other excited revellers on the other side of the world in Sydney Australia. Little did we know then the gay abandon we celebrated would cease to exist in a matter of months!
We had left Fiji early on Boxing morning to escape the approaching storm about to hit our island and arrived in a Sydney subdued by the total devastation, loss of life and close proximity of the raging bush fires that had been burning out of control for weeks.
Months before we had pre booked three must do activities, things we were not able to do on a previous stay. The Blue Mountains tour was advised against and the New Year celebrations were in some doubt.
The long-sufferings well documented fear of heights was to be tested with the Sydney Bridge Climb – still going ahead – to accompany his fearless Muse. A first challenge for 2020!
Meanwhile in the days before any NY celebrations there was a city to explore..
Spit Bridge to Manly Coastal walk 6.5 miles through sub-tropical forest, along stunning coastline, open heathland and soft sand beaches. The walk was hot, sweating man was back with a vengeance as we walked along a combination of bush track, boardwalks and paved pathways including steep uneven steps. It was good to be out on a long hike again our first since leaving New Zealand earlier in December.
Lunch with friends from England….
A smoke filled haze sat over us all day on Bondi Beach blotting out an otherwise hot sun!
The Chinese gardens…..
New Years Eve at the Opera Bar. It was to be a long night I had fully prepared with flat sandals for the long walk there from our harbour side hotel in Woolloomooloo, and heels hidden in a bag to up the glam later. Considering our finery and us had spent the last eleven weeks travelling by planes, camper van, taxis and more it an us managed to scrub up pretty well!
We were throughly spoilt with our choice of venue, all food, drinks and entertainment was provided. The man behind the lens was happy to become the muse as the party got going. Trays laden with food and drink continually appeared while we partied before the main event.
An uninterrupted view overlooking the harbour and bridge made the firework displays even more breathtaking, as explosions of kaleidoscope colour lit up the night sky. Our Images cannot hope to do the spectacular light show justice merely acting as a record of this once in a lifetime experience.
This our first New Year celebration alone but amongst huge numbers of strangers, by the end our acquaintances were many. We shook hands, hugged, linked arms, danced and laughed all-together in close proximity unaware the total reverse of close human contact was to come. Happy memories of gaiety and abandon are all the more poignant in the present day.
For there will be no crowds or fireworks but dancing yes, maybe a drink or two as we toast to the start of another New Year together.
Many challenges await, the war against COVID uppermost but the real challenge for us all will be how we recover from the impact on our very existence this pandemic has had and will continue to have on all our lives for next year and beyond.
What is life without challenges? Many are not of our own making, some we set ourselves up for, not all will succeed…..I am pleased to report though The long-suffering did conquer his demons and in this challenge he completed the Sydney Bridge Climb with much courage and success and has a record to prove it!
I would like to wish you all a happy new year and hope for one filled with helping hands and hugs, lots and lots of them in fact!