New Year offers an opportunity for change, to reinvent oneself, to try something new and different. In which case I think being here is simultaneously highly appropriate and ill-fitting. I’ve just heard that 15 seconds of video of us singing ‘Bloody great shame we’re still stuck here!’ was featured on the CNN New Year’s Eve broadcast from Times Square today, to an estimated global TV audience of 70 million people. That’s new and different! I wasn’t thinking of that sort of exposure when I sat down at a table in the corner of the bar with Nicole, Terry and Ian the night before last composing a bit of a ditty for a few of us to sing!
And being here has generated some New Year’s resolutions. I’m loving the wild expanses of ice and snow and am determined to get out cross country skiing lots more than I have in recent years. That has to be one side benefit of spending half of each year inCanberra – surely I can fit in some weekends away in the Snowy Mountains over winter! The old faithful New Year’s resolution of losing some weight is also high on the agenda – once I return home and am no longer having gourmet meals complete with luscious desserts placed in front of me every day!
But the biggest irony of today being News Years day, is that today has a distinct similarity to yesterday, to every day of the last week. We’ve been stuck here for 9 days now. We’ve hardly seen the sun in all that time. The weather for most of it has ranged from blizzard with no visibility to cloudy glare, and wind and sleety rain for the last few days. Each day has brought the sameness of the unresolved question of how we are going to get out of here. The weather has stopped any evacuation attempt today. Maybe tomorrow? No-one is presuming anything any more, there is a sense of limbo, an expectation that each day we will wake and it will be the same as the day before.
Actually tonight is very different to last night. Our New Year’s Eve celebration was fabulous. Being at a party with the same 50 people you’ve spent the last month getting to know quite well makes for a good party. At midnight everyone did the rounds kissing and hugging absolutely everyone else – it took forever, so much that we forgot to sing Auld Lang Syne.
Today has been a classic day after a big night. I’ve spent lots of time sorting through photos, and not much else really. We’re about to have our evening briefing, where I’m sure we will be told that the improving weather which has been evident over the last hour or so means the prospects of evacuation tomorrow are looking good. But, we will believe it when it happens!
PS. 9pm update: The weather is clearing; we’ve just been briefed that it is looking very likely we will be helicoptered out tomorrow…. It may actually be a New Year beginning after all!