Welcome to the year 2009, though, of course, we modern sophisticates know full well that a change of number is just that – merely a change of number – with no more significance than we choose to give it.
You may be aware that the old year, 2008, was slightly longer than usual: an extra second was added to the end of December 31st to bring world timekeeping into line with planet earth’s variable rotation. In case you missed it, there is an explanation here.
My photo shows the Borough end of Southwark Bridge Road around midday on December 29th. Normally quite a busy road, it was then unusually quiet, typical of the strange interval between Christmas and the New Year, when people are recovering from one bout of merrymaking and preparing for the next.
I have often thought how wasteful it is to have two festivals so close together and that it would be better to move one of them to another date, perhaps shifting the New Year back to April, where it used to be and where some peoples still celebrate it. We could then get full value out of both, especially as the warmer weather would be more conducive to outdoor activities.
We greeted the New Year at home. We watched DVDs, sent texts to family, drank fruit smoothies, gave Freya some catnip and generally enjoyed a warm and comfortable time.
Tigger does not have to go back to work until Monday, as her company has given staff a holiday on Friday as well as Thursday, making a bridge to the weekend. We have no plans as to how we will spend the time. We have plenty of food and Tigger generally charges up the slow cooker for lunch or supper, so we can go out or stay in, depending on how we feel.
By the time we were ready to go out for breakfast this morning, it was nearer lunch than breakfast time. Nothing daunted, we made our way to Chapel Market but found all our favourite venues closed. Not that I blame them.
We therefore made our way to this place, S & M, also known as the Sausage and Mash Cafe.
Unsurprisingly, they were full but kindly took our mobile number, promising to call us when a table became free. So we retired literally next door to the Winchester, a rather nice little pub where they served us an excellent coffee.
Once seated in S & M, we had to face The Problem: should we have a late breakfast or go straight for the lunch? The vegetarian sausage and mash with house gravy made up our minds for us. We even followed this with a naughty dessert. Well, it is a holiday!
So here we are in 2009. From where I am sitting, it looks very much like 2008. Whether a change of number makes any significant change to our lives remains to be seen.