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What the World did on New Year’s eve.

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It came to Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia.

I know this because I was there when it happened.  Minding my own business sitting on the Esplanade lawn trying to stay awake long enough to see the 9pm fireworks display for kiddies when, like a dung beetle attracted to a cowpat, the World suddenly arrived and engulfed me.

First to turn up was Europe. For those of you who are unaware, Europe consists mainly of sunburnt inebriated Englishmen, Swiss yodelers, Russian ballet dancers and some very large German and Nordic backpackers who look like they could be quite useful on my farm if only I could lassoo a couple of ’em.
Europe is good. I don’t mind Europe.

Next came America. There are three kinds of people in America.  Preachers and missionaries, (of one persuasion or another)  rich cruise-tourists wearing white cargo pants and camera necklaces, and nine-foot tall black basketballers. These dudes can easily be distinguished in Australia by the attendant swarms of post-pubescent Aussie girls gesticulating and tittering with their most recently acquired assets.  I like America too….apart from the preachers and missionaries.

Then came Asia……except for Mrs Chiang from Foochow in Fukien Province in China who changed her mind at the last minute and stayed home because her gallstones were playing up something terrible. I like Asia too, but there’s just too much of it.  Since it moved to Cairns last Tuesday I keep worrying about the vacuum it must have left in the northern hemisphere and what’s going to fill it.

It was a relief that New Zealand didn’t come too. It didn’t need to. It has Mother Nature’s own pyrotechnics with bonus geysers and plopping mud, and the amplified punk rock music being played on the Cairns Esplanade had probably reduced to a less ear-shattering decibellage by the time it had traveled across the Tasman Sea. So New Zealand was head-bangingly heppy and in it’s own fustive mood on new year’s eve…..except for one person.

Dairy farmer Mr Quentin Barlamb, purveyor of blackberry flavoured organic yoghurt and other fine cultured milk products was not amused.  He of course only allowed his cows to listen to Bach Preludes, and the punk rock cacophony arriving from across the waves caused the milk to curdle and go rancid in the cows udders before he could extract it early on new year’s day. It was not a good start to 2014 for Farmer Barlamb.

So there you have it.  The World came.  Now I wish it would just bugger off back to where it came from. If it doesn’t go away I’ll just have to move in with Mrs Chiang in my pursuit of tranquillity ……..and a half-decent sweet and sour chicken.  We’ll also have another New Year to celebrate in just a few weeks time.  Just the two of us.  Nice.
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PS….. I shimmied up a flagpole to get the following pictures of the fireworks for you. You’re very welcome. 


About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

32 responses »

  1. Woohoo, those are some awesome pics!

    I know it is fun to live inside your head, because my brain sort of, kind of, functions like yours does.
    Scary. But, fun. 😉

    • Thank you Lauri, the photographs turned out better than I expected.
      There is an awful lot of vacant space in my head and my brain is little more than a bin filled with composting thoughts. 😉

  2. Nice photos, you must be quite adept at shimmying up flagpoles, whilst being hoisted by a Russian ballet dancer perhaps?!?. Happy New Year, GOF. Because paradise is too good to keep to yourself :).

    • Thank you Judy. I had to reject the hoisting assistance of the Russian principal dancer because he was grabbing me inappropriately.
      Happy New Year to you too and I’ll bet large chunks of the World overflowed into your town as well. 😉

  3. Fantastic photos. I’m seriously coveting your camera now. Did you have a tripod with you out on the Esplanade lawn? I was also pretty much struggling to stay awake much past 9pm. The next year always rolls in whether I’m awake or not. Happy New Year GOF.

    • Thanks Emjay and a happy New Year to you too…..these pics were taken with my beautiful little pocket camera (no tripod)….a Canon S100 which I use when I want to be a little discreet with my photography. It has a special ‘fireworks’ mode…..first time I’ve tried it.
      The last time I stayed up until midnight on New Years eve was around about 1972. 😉

  4. “It was a relief that New Zealand didn’t come too.”

    Yes, sorry about that. I had to go to bed early on account of we were getting up at 4:30 am to attempt a Tablelands photo trip. (which was a failure, BTW)

    Excellent fireworks photos. If that’s your first attempt, then you did much better than most. (I’ll take points off if your camera has a Fireworks mode and you used it.)

    PS: Just before I posted this I saw your comment above. I was going to delete the last sentence, but then thought better of it.

    • I’m sorry your photography excursion didn’t work out Mike… need to do it early morning cos it’s so damn hot during the day at the moment.
      All credit for these pics go to Mr Canon…..I was pleasantly surprised by them.

      • “I’m sorry your photography excursion didn’t work out Mike”
        You’re lucky you didn’t get a couple of unannounced visitors. 🙂

        Yes, it was very hot. We were home by 11 am. Felt like a full day.

  5. Fireworks mode? Looks like my iPod needs an upgrade.

    Great shots and excellent commentary.

    I managed to catch Blowers on telly this morning. Much more entertaining than the new fangled celebrations and like your good self he has an interesting turn of phrase.

    • Thanks Peter. I haven’t seen or heard dear old Blowers for a long time….I miss him.

      • He seems very popular so perhaps I shouldn’t give up on the youngsters just yet.

        There seems to be a disconnect between TV execs and Cricket. Listening to Ian Chappell moan on and on can’t be popular but I was delighted to see the TV has picked up Mumbles. His style works because he paints word pictures just like the Radio guys.

        A glimmer of hope perhaps?

        • I’m very sad that Kerry O’Keefe has retired……his commentary brought something unique and entertaining to the radio coverage of the game. I don’t watch much TV cricket (not enough electricity)…..who is Mumbles? Agree with you about Ian Chappell….they should pension him off, but dear old Bill Lawry still has a child-like enthusiasm for the game ….he must be 120 years old. 🙂

          • He is a Pom who’s real name is David Lloyd. I reckon you would like him because he uses the word picture style of the radio commentators.

            Sad to see Kerry go too. Damn he made me laugh out loud on many occasions.

            • Thanks Peter……I know him now….he has a really groovy accent. Apparently Kerry is so popular that the ABC shop is selling CD’s of his finest commentary moments.

  6. I notice South America – particularly Brazil – didn’t make the trip. I guess your reputation precedes you … (or you’ve got her trapped in a closet somewhere and just left that part out).

    I’m not a missionary, don’t own any cargo pants at all, and can’t dribble a basketball to save my life (much less not being black) … and here I thought I was American! maybe I’m a Canadian. they’re so quiet and polite you wouldn’t even have noticed them arriving. Yeah, that’s me – quiet and polite …

    • South America is too busy tidying things up in preparation for my arrival at the Rio Carnivale next month GOM. They also need to gather a lot of feathers and glitter for my costume.

      You are your own unique quiet and polite self…..a citizen of the Universe without cargo pants…and it would be quite inappropriate to downgrade your status to a mere continent of origin.

  7. You shimmey well!
    New Zealand – they have colonised my school town so you can’t have them yet!
    Relieved to hear Mr Quentin Barlamb’s cows listen to Bach and not Troy Cassa Daley or whatever his name is!

    Happy New Year, GOF, dear friend. So looking forward to another year of your friendship and humour!

    • You are welcome to keep New Zealand …’s obviously come to your town for a higher standard of education. 🙂

      The cows would produce junket instead of milk if they listened to Troy’s music.

      I also appreciate your company very much FD, and your recent words of encouragement meant a great deal to me. I wish you and Mr FD all the best for 2014.

  8. Happy New Year, GOF!!!

  9. I love those photos! I’ve never been able to shoot fireworks that come out right. That is to say, photo-shoot. I’ve only shot fireworks a bit and last year burnt my hand what-with that magnesium (and whatever else makes it burn SO FLIPPING HOT). I mean, that’s not just fire.

    • Thanks Lily…..I was delighted with the photo results, but the camera should be given most of the credit because it had a ‘fireworks’ mode. Mike, who often comments on this blog has the expertise to be a professional photographer and I’m guessing from his comments that without the appropriate mode fireworks are very difficult to photograph.
      When I was a kid we were allowed to buy fireworks from the shop and burn ourselves and blow our eyeballs out with rockets, but some spoilsport Government since then banned them. We should have the right to mutilate ourselves as we please.

      • Indeed! I’m all for letting people kill themselves to get out of my way, stop breathing my air, what-nought.

        Also, I reckon those of us who survive, are hardier. Those who never tried aren’t smarter, only scaredy-cats.

        • ‘Indeed! I’m all for letting people kill themselves to get out of my way, stop breathing my air, what-nought.’

          Indeed, and often a case can be made for us to give them a helping hand to do this. Judge Judy must be due for retirement soon….any chance you can take over……people like us need more assistance from the bench.

  10. So that’s what was going on the other night! I did wonder what all the commotion going on outside was about. Cheers for filling us in.

    • I believe historically one or two Aussies have been detected misbehaving in the UK Lance. This may well explain the commotion. Let me sort it out for you……I won’t tolerate this kind of disturbance in your neighbourhood next year.

      • Ah, that may explain all the “Five-nil!” chanting I heard. 😉

        • I’m still not impressed by my own countrymen Lance…..all this singing and dancing around on the pitch at the end of the game is NOT winning with dignity or being respectful of the opposition.

          • Well, I don’t think many people here are very impressed by the whole thing either, to be honest. Oh well, maybe things will improve a bit on both sides for next year…


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