01 January 2011

the Old Year's Night, the New Year's Eve

Here in the BVI, the night of the 31st of December is called Old Year's Night rather than New Year's Eve—a charming tribute to the year just lived, instead of our unseemly hastening (before the old year has even breathed its last) to pay homage to the year unborn.

When I look at this last year, laid out in its finery for the end, so many bright moments of pleasure shine. Even during some of the more difficult passages, the music that filled our heads and spoke to us was the richly sonorous composition of Philip Glass for Geoffrey Reggio's film Koyaanisqatsi. It is named for the Hopi Indian word that means, among other things, life in turmoil or life out of balance. It can also mean a state of life that calls for another way of living. Every so often, we played the music for each other, and its slow alien consonances and dissonances both soothed us and gave us the energy to create the changes we needed. And here we are at the year's end, content with our work and eager with our hopes.

As Samuel Pepys wrote three hundred and forty-three years ago on this very same night—Old Year's Night or New Year's Eve as you please—I am thankful that I too can write,

Thus ends the year, with great happiness to myself and family as to health and good condition in the world.
~ from The Diary of Samuel Pepys (via the good offices of Phil Gyford)


  1. Hi

    Just taking this opportunity to wish you a happy new year - or should I say I hope last year was good? :P

    Wanted to thank you for introducing me to your blog. Yours is the kind I really enjoy reading. Lovely to read the work of someone talented and who can write. I also love the unique experience you are living and bringing to us. Keep up the great work.


  2. Oh, that is SO kind—thank you so much, I really appreciate it, especially as following your work (writing, photos, lovely historical nuggets) has given me so much pleasure!

    2010 was a good year ;) and I hope 2011 will be even better!


about this blog

Occasional vignettes from the life of a charter chef who loves simply messing about on boats.

"I still think that one of the pleasantest of all emotions is to know that I, I with my brains and my hands, have nourished my beloved few, have concocted a stew or a story, a rarity or a plain dish, to sustain them truly against the hungers of the world."
MFK Fisher


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