Thursday, 21 July 2011

New Year


New year’s eve was when we used to celebrate, not the 25th of December but the 31st.

That was when the tree was decorated, when the celebrations happened, and when the stuffed bird was consumed, sometimes turkey other times goose, with the trimmings.

New year’s eve was also when, for many years there was a special party at Uncle Henry (or Abu Joseph) house, special because it was fancy dress, and special because we were too young to go.

The people invited were usually the same group work colleagues, neighbours and friend of friends.

The costumes would be agreed in advance, no hired costumes here, all home made and very imaginative, I remember a pirate, and a princess, a Sheik and a belly dancer, and B once went as a Greek goddess in gold sandals and a toga that troubled her all night, and her Kaftan covered compaion was Demis Roussos of course!

We would go when we were as old as Joseph was the promise, he was about five years my senior and that seemed like an eternity, instead we would enjoy the preparations, laugh at our parents and their friends in their costumes, and then spend the night with Beebee.

Spending a night at her home was a rare and very special event, I loved her cream yellow bathroom suite, and spent my evening converting her multicoloured box of tissues into bunches of flowers, and she would let me sit at her vanity table with its curtained sections while she combed my hair, I would apply her hand cream and if I was really good be allowed a squirt of perfume from her old style scent spray.

Needless to say I never went to one of those parties, like all Cinderellas Uncle Henry and his family had to leave before the clock struck twelve, and they became frogs.

Here is hoping that 2008 will bring that all elusive peace to Iraqis.
And maybe the fairy godmother can magic us some happily ever afters and instead of leaving, Iraqis can start returning.

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