Where are you at new year's 2021?

Not in my house for me, sadly... Expectations for 2022?

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  • Do you mean last year, or this past New Year's Eve?

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  • i went out and had drinks with a friend but was asleep by midnight

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  • I also spent New Year's Eve away from our home in Wales, since we're in The Netherlands in my wife's childhood home following the unexpected death of her mother a few weeks ago. For obvious reasons, it's been an odd and unjolly holiday season for us.

    I really dislike spending the Christmas-New Year period in The Netherlands because the generally very sensible Dutch go nuts at this time of year - or at least a significant portion of them do. Basically, from the start of December, you begin to hear fireworks going off. I'm not sure what they actually are, although I imagine a lot of them are similar what were called M80s when I was a kid in the States. But some of the bangs are tremendously loud booms, so I'm sure they're even more powerful.

    In the usual way for small and medium sized Dutch towns, the housing here is mostly rows of two-story houses which don't have much space front or back, and all of the buildings are packed in quite densely. This means that sounds echo around, and one of the louder firecrackers going off streets away can literally make your windows rattle.

    The madness gradually builds to a crescendo on the 31st, and there were people around the town setting off those fireworks displays in a box things on the sidewalks in front of their houses from around six o'clock last night. That continued to build as the evening went on but then, just before midnight, there was something of a lull when there were only occasional bangs, booms and rapid-fire rattles as strings of firecrackers were set off. Strangely, even less happened at the stroke of midnight, because there's a long tradition of calling family and friends then to wish them a Happy New Year. But at about ten minutes after midnight, all hell broke loose, with those boxes going off all over the place. And, since most people want to make their own contribution to the noise and the pyrotechnic display in the air, people wait until any nearby boxes have finished before they set off their own. There were also little groups of people wandering around town setting off their own bangs at random as they went.

    The result is that the noise last night only finally died down shortly before one in the morning, although there were still occasional things going off up until two.

    My wife assures me that what I've seen of New Year in The Netherlands on my occasional visits over the last decade is tame to what it was like before that. Back in the nineties and after the turn of the millennium, it was very common for people to haul old cars into the middle of intersections and set them alight, people regularly got fireworks shoved through the mail slots in their front doors, communal rubbish bins were set on fire and so on.

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  • Well I plan to change my diet which includes no carbohydrates, I also plan to lose 20lbs this year and lastly to go seek professional help about my binge eating.

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