So you’re doing Hogmanay in Argyll / Scotland are U?
You’re either one of two categories for NY celebrations in Scotland. The first is “I’m really looking forward to bring in the New Year.
The second is “Shit that’s it 10 o’clock lock the doors and turn the lights off and get into bed before anyone comes to visit’
The second however is the result of being involved in too many of the ‘option ones” for too long. This usually effects age groups over 50. It has to be said that it’s a difficult time for most ‘ringing in the bells in Scotland. Firstly, you have to be able to stay awake for much longer than you usually do. You have to be more Scottish than usual and drink things you might otherwise avoid, and I don’t mean milk. It’s a time of great brave measures in quantity but not like the first class transatlantic bar, it’s more of a Marathon but with more pain over a much longer time. So be careful out their folks.
If you’re visiting for the first time don’t start talking about winning the world cup back in 1966 its nothing with the amount of stuff that Scotland has invented, much of what got you here for this weekend you know, plus once Scotland is out of the cup football supporters usually support Holland anyway. Be yourself and enjoy the antics, get involved we’re interested in hearing what it’s like to live somewhere without Midges but not all night. Getting involved means dancing. We’re not talking polite waltzes, we’re talking brave dancing which will leave you bruised, battered and dizzy. Dancing is compulsory and saying no will not be tolerated, so go with it, join in, we don’t care that you don’t know the steps, being ‘up for a laugh’ will endear you to us.
Remember you’re in someone else’s house that needs to be ready for family life after you have left. Let me tell you a true story:
Once upon a time a friend of a friend of a friend fell into a party in a newly built house in Argyll. This house was a very lovely house with lots of new and clean and tidy things such as sofas and tables and dining chairs and lovely new carpets. It was a very Scottish house with very Scottish island people with many Scottish and very expensive Accordions and other musical instruments with generations of family all celebrating the start of the NY.
During such Scottish-ness its traditional to provide your own entertainment and this particular family was like being at the Royal variety performance show with not a chord or tune out of time or place. Our friend of a friend of a friend was at that time a professional drinker and had consumed many various amounts of differing drinks that would put a new age youth of the cocktail downing type to shame using a bucket measurement rather than a small short glass measurement.
Anyway after the grand tour of the new house of much loveliness and clean things the inevitable request was made for our friend to carry out a new year’s “Turn “ Act” for the guests. This would and did not worry our friend even although he was useless at music and could not sing he could tell some of the funniest and best stories I’ve ever heard in my life.
Off he climbed through the grannies and grampas the young children and neighbors and friends to the clearing of space at the bay window which was to be his stage for one such story. It started well and all were soon hanging onto their seats and cushions and rolling around in laughter at the antics. Its thirsty work entertaining and after he had a large sip if that’s possible of a non-regulated measurement of Islay’s best whisky he came over a very strange grey then green colour. The united colours of sea sickness started to make a lot of sense. He knew in that instant that time was not going to be his friend and there was no way that he would make it to the little boy’s room either, he quickly ran a risk assessment in his head and scanned the options available, was he just about to throw up over the grannies the young children or the £1000 new accordion purchased at the same time as the mortgage, The newly laid carpets “No” furniture “No” risk assessment complete and only one option to save the night. Yes in a move that was both very cool and measured mid-way through the last part of the story with the guest hanging on the edge of their seats he calmly lifted his left arm and throw up into the self of his leather jacket and finished the story off to the amazement of the entire room, he then calmly waked through them as if parting the waters and into the bathroom, stepped into the shower cubicle and place the shower head inside his bomber jacket sleeve and turned on the hot water to flush out the remains of last year.
Yes, incredible things happen so like our friend of a friend of a friend always apply your risk assessment in time, it saves around three hour the following day phoning round to say sorry and happy new year. And while you could assume that a night like this would leave you feeling under the weather, remember that for one day only the phrase ‘under the weather’ means you’ve lost your house keys by picking up the wrong jacket, or offended your other half.