Tuesday, 2 January 2018

How was y'er Hogmanay?

I hope you all had a good New Year's eve with families and friends waiting there until the clock struck midnight to say farewell to the old year and welcoming 2018 with Hope, Faith and maybe Charity. We also had other people in our midnight gathering apart from Hope, Faith and Charity but they said they wished to remain nameless for now; in case their families found out.

This year, for a change, instead of playing Scrabble or Monopoly, to waste/pass away the hours until midnight when everyone pretends to be happy for a few minutes before clearing off to their homes; we decided to do something different.

Someone suggested we put on our swimming costumes and go out in the garden and play cricket in the snow. This idea was soon voted down since no one knew the rules on how to play cricket. Apart from that, there were a few who relished the thought of seeing in the New Year in swimming costumes.

Then we had to prepare for first footing. For those of you who do not know what this is; let me explain. It is a Scottish tradition that after midnight on New Year’s Eve the first person to enter a house would bring good fortune for the coming year. The "first footer" is often a stranger (neighbour or friend) who would bring with him some gifts like a coin which represents financial stability, some bread for food throughout the year, salt to represent flavour, a piece coal for warmth and a drink, usually whisky, for good cheer.

Sometimes a member of the household, usually a male, would leave the house just before midnight, and then knock at the door and enter after midnight bearing the said gifts. This year, grandpa decided he would be the first footer in our house to bring us all good fortune in the coming year. It was very cold outside and still snowing, so we tried to discourage him; but he insisted that he would do it if it is the last thing he'd ever do. So to humour him, and because he was beginning to look rather upset that anyone would doubt his physical ability at this late stage in life, we allowed him to "first-foot" and we agreed secretly to keep an eye on him lest he froze in the cold.

Just before midnight he took with him a whole bottle of Twelve Years old single malt whisky, and the other so-called essentials, and went out the front door waiting for the clock to strike twelve. Unfortunately, just at that time, some relatives phoned from Australia to wish us a good year. I took the call. Someone in the house started playing the bagpipes rather loudly and they all started singing Auld Lang Syne amongst other Scottish songs.

Sadly, amongst all this jollity, and drinking, and lack of sobriety we all forgot about first-footing and grandpa. We found him the next morning lying in the pond with an empty bottle of whisky in his hand. He asked us why the carrots we left in the pond for Rudolph the Reindeer tasted rather fishy!

Anyway, all this took me away from what I meant to tell you when I first started. This year, instead of playing board games, someone suggested that each one of us would say what he or she thought is the world's best ever invention, and why? The one voted as best having put his or her case would be the winner.

There were all sorts of inventions debated, from technology and smart phones, to medicine, the arts, science, music and so on.

I am sorry to say, that my suggestion for best ever world invention did not win. It is the Whoopee Cushion.

What a great invention that is. A small little cushion you put on someone's seat and the hilarity and laughter it generates. It is good for all ages and all occasions; especially funerals.

Before the Whoopee Cushion people had to rely on baked beans or Brussels sprouts or cabbage for the same effect. The Whoopee Cushion is practical, portable, re-usable and gives hours of pleasure to one and all without having to cook smelly vegetables for dinner.

Sadly, the whole suggestion that it is a great invention was left blowing in the wind.

What do you think? What is the world's best ever invention?


  1. Well, having read this, I know I haven't yet broken my resolution to laugh more this year, Victor, thanks to your inspiration. Thanks so much for the giggles!

    1. It's good to laugh, Martha. God bless you and your whole family always.

  2. Golden carrots--TOOK ME A MINUTE---OH GOODNESS!
    Blessings, Victor!

    1. I like goldfish ... carrots too!

      God bless you and your family, Lulu.



God bless you.