The youthful badge of New Year honour. The hangover.
There are sad and seedy people all around me on this first day of 2007.
It has always bemused me that this is the way people choose to start a new year, wiping out the old year in a last night frenzy of excess and abandon, only to confront the first day in a fog of misery and regret.
Oh well, the year can only get better for them, I suppose.
Mine is not an attitude of age. It is a lifelong opinion and I can't remember ever seeing in a new year drunk. That I can't remember it does not mean it never happened. But the odds are against it, since I have always seen the passage of time in a melancholy light. I am not all that keen to let go of the years and it seems illogical to me that people are so keen to do so.
Then again, society needs its rituals and celebrations, its excuses for yet another fireworks display. The positive of new year as a celebration is that it is not encumbered by religion. It is a celebration which applies to one and all, whether it be the partying affluent young or the old alone in front of the television, waiting for the fireworks.
Beautiful as they are, fireworks are burning money. One thinks of the good causes to which those sparkling explosions of millions may be directed - causes which would really do something for a new year or many years. But now I am just too curmudgeonly.
Here's to hoping that this is a year of peaceful resolution and political restraint, that common sense and compassion will prevail and that a sense of consequences and care for the future will emerge where now there is short-sighted coporate greed.