Thursday 1 January 2009

2009 neatly follows 2008

Noah’s Ark floats

The old year rolled away as the new rolled in like day follows day except for the auspiciousness that we confer on times, days and seasons.

In fact, in the 83 or so days in all that I have spent on Gran Canaria, we had the most rain ever just 2 days ago, it was like we would be needing Noah’s Ark but which 2 homo sapiens sapiens would be allowed on.

This island has no contingency for rain, every activity is to capture the fun in the sun to the maximum extent that when the rain comes, everything literally grinds to a halt.

To be honest, the island needs the water, the reservoirs are very low and resorting to desalination is not the cheapest water management option.

However, I felt sorry for the mini-golf circuits dotted all around the island, they are all water-logged filled to the brim with water in awkward shaped bowls – I offered to do an rain dance but weather sense prevailed, the sun came out yesterday.

Eat and drink to excess

The hotel had prepared a gala dinner for Saint Sylvester [1] which is the German celebration of New Year’s Eve, if I had paid attention the festivities programme that runs from the 22nd of December up until the 6th of January, I would have noticed that a 5-course dinner had been arranged all from a set menu of meals and wine apart from a grand buffet of deserts.

I have never thought myself able to see through a 5-course dinner, but I did well with this.

Earlier in the day, I had to book a table for the night’s entertainment and had tro decide if I wanted to lose just an arm or an arm and a leg – I went for the arm and that was the difference between being served Möet & Chandon Brut or Dom Pérignon champagne – considering I am hardly a fan of bubbly because it just goes straight to my head, I had a glass and really had to invite others to share when the New Year’s toast was made.

Grapes turning sour

Spanish have tradition of eating 12 grapes at the strike of the midnight hour when the New Year is ushered in with a wish for every grape, I could hardly keep up with the count but it was raucous enough.

One had to spare a thought for those who had to wait that interminably eternal extra second [2] added to the last minute of the year in London as the earth is slowing down though much as the economy and much else is slowing down we all will soon be back in that rat race that breaks speed limits with impunity. The leap second to end the leap year.

Later on a grumpy guest came round to wish me a happy new year, which was kid enough and then he launched into the tirade about the fun being excessive.

I told him, a good number of the people revelling probably work a good 50 or more weeks, they are leaders in their different professions and if they choose one week to be debauched with respectable restraint, I could not begrudge them. In fact, I am all for people knowing how to play hard having worked hard.

The man has to learn to “chill” as they say in parlance I do not find familiar in my kind of expression, I was almost too glad that he was leaving back for home the next day – we cannot afford to have such killjoys about when we have come out for fun.

Canticles of fiery praise

If anything, I miss the New Year’s Eve church services I used to attend in Nigeria, as Anglicans we burst into canticles singing praise at the turn of the year, every bit as fun without turning into a seeming Old Testament Jewish orgy that characterises a number of other denominations nowadays.

We walked out onto the terrace to watch the fireworks, my hotel having the license to close off the promenade and viewing area that leads unto the dunes – the whole spectacular show ended with a firework display that spelt out Riu Maspalomas 2009.

Out with the old and in with the new, the New Year has come – Have a Happy New Year.


[1] Tradition of Sylvester, or New Year's Eve - German Culture

[2] BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | New Year to arrive a tick later

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