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Hogmanay – Looking Back

In more ways than one!

I can do no better than re-post my 31st December posting from 2010. I have altered the date to avoid confusion!

It’s amazing to think that during my lifetime, Christmas Day was a normal working one for many in Scotland and New Year was the big holiday. In many households, gifts were exchanged on New Year’s Day rather than Christmas.

Growing up in Scotland in the 60’s and 70’s, Hogmanay and New Year was a kind of magical mystery time. The house was tidied up on Hogmanay, everything dusted and polished.
It was the first time when staying up beyond midnight was officially sanctioned and alcohol was taken – probably a shandy made from dad’s beer, ginger wine or a mild drink like a sip of the snowball your mum was drinking.

There was all the rigmarole of first footing where neighbours would wander from house to house having impromptu parties of varying length,music being played, songs being sung. You needed a bit of coal, a dram and some black bun or shortbread (and a wee minding*) if you were a serious first foot.

New Year, new hope, glad that ones over – maybe next year will be better. ‘Lang may yer lum reek!’ ‘May the best of ’70 be the worst of ’71!’ ‘slainte!’ The White Heather Club, Robin Scott and Jimmy McGregor, Jimmy Shand, Andy Stewart and Jimmy Logan on the telly.

Sneaking another sip of the bevvy when no one was looking.

Steak pie for New Year’s lunch with some attendees the worse for wear.

It really was like that. Or at least it is in my head.

The old traditions may have largely died out but wherever you are from and for whatever your reason for dropping by this outpost of the internet, let me wish you the warmest and happiest of New Year wishes from Scotland for 2014.

*small token or gift

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3 Responses

  1. Superb Version!!! It reminds me of Jennifer Warnes singing the Leonard Cohen song ‘Joan of Arc’

  2. I can remember sitting in the corner of the living room of my folks tenement living room and counting 30 odd bodies squeezed in. Everyone had a song to sing, brilliant days.
    Toronto Tam, if he’s still looking in here will remember how small the rooms were in Red Row in Bowling.

    All the very best to you and yours for 2014

  3. Aye you are right, things are not what they were!

    A good new year to you and yours, and success for the ‘Sons also!

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