December 31st 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0

Being New Year’s Eve, + the last day of ’82.  Which is strange, being in New Zealand, since if anyone had asked me at the end of 81 where we would be in a year’s time, we’d have said England.  How wrong can you get?  And in a year from now?  India, probably.  Anyway, no time for idle speculation right now – I must get on.

Plenty of work to do at the pub today, putting up tents, clearing up the rubbish round the back (of course… my regular task) etc, etc.  I enjoy the work at Twin Pines, because it’s fairly varied, + because I’m not as hassled as to what I do.

And then on to the Cascade.  It was quite a shock.  Yesterday, I think there had been 3 people booked in for dinner tonight, so I was rather hoping it might have remained at something like that, providing us with a faint hope of getting away earlier than 12, + being able to make it to a party.  However, there were now 80(!) people booked in, which just about killed that notion.  Bill + I ran the bar, while Rose, the silly English girl from River Park, was drafted in as a wine waitress.  Not the most successful of arrangements, since Rose didn’t really know what she was doing.  I don’t like working with Bill in any case – I don’t think he has a very professional attitude to the job.  However, the evening went off very smoothly indeed – it was a smorgasbord this time, so there was no problem about speed of service or anything of that kind.  We had left some room for dancing, but nobody got up to get that going, which was a pity.  In fact, it wasn’t all that different from a busy ordinary evening.  We began at about 7, + people were leaving at about 9, in a slow but steady trickle, so that by just over 11 there were only about 10 people left, sitting around in the reception lounge, waiting for the New Year to arrive.  It looked as tho’ one of the most unexciting celebrations of all time was about to begin.  I had got a kiss each from the ladies of one table – 3 very attractive young females too, but that seemed to be about it.

However, we were so quiet that Marion let me go at 11.30.  Zip-a-de-doo-dah, said I.  We had a swifter than swift celebration drink with Bill, snatched a quick kiss off all the ladies sitting in the lounge, smuggled a party hat (two glitter balls on springs attached to a head-band) + rushed off.  We had heard there was to be a party out the back of one of the caravans parked at Twin Pines.  The guys in it, a couple of Canadians, had built a deck out the back, overhanging the cliff + overlooking the Falls, + what’s more had made a magnificent job of it, so it was a good site.  The party was a bit dead when we arrived, + I thought we might be stuck with another dull New year after all, but, not because of any efforts on our part, it soon picked up wonderfully, and by the time the New Year actually arrived (or as near as we could estimate, as we had no radio) it was really humming quite nicely.  The fact that we had managed to down a bit of booze helped, I suppose.  (We hadn’t brought any of our own, an omission for which I still feel guilty.)  Fireworks were let off, people hugged + kissed – some bright spark chucked around a sort of fluorescent dye, making everyone glow in the dark.  Jollity + happiness abounded.  Not that it lasted.  1983 was about an hour old when a fight broke out between 2 of the barmen (Gabe + Tony – I believe they’ve figured in the narrative before.)  It seemed to have calmed down a little,  but then broke out afresh after another 5 mins or so, with someone else joining in on Gabe’s side.  The beef seemed to be that they thought Tony to be some sort of nark.  I think he’s a bit of a wanker – beyond that I wouldn’t venture an opinion.  Anyway, I was one of several who flung themselves between the assailants.  I just wrapped myself round one of them (Greg, the newcomer), + fell over, hanging onto his arms, + talking in as calm a voice as I could muster, telling him to calm down.  It’s what I’d been taught at the camp in the States to kids having a temper tantrum – really, this wasn’t any more than that.  Anyway, when everyone was pulled off I was lying on the bottom, but the only hurt I sustained was a scraped leg, + having one of my balls knocked off… one of the balls on my party hat, that is.  More excitement a little later, I’m ashamed to admit, when, with the assistance of 2 other drunks, I pulled Val’s knickers down.  Fear not, her skirt remained in place, preserving her modesty.  Both in an excessively drunken state, we wended our way home, stopping only for New Year’s greeting + kisses with fellow revellers.  Happy New Year, everyone.

Like I say, I am just repeating what I wrote at the time, so take no responsibility for the appalling behaviour described… except that it was me, of course. And different times, blah, blah, blah – but this would definitely be sexual assault nowadays… and was then, of course.

Other than that, it seems like quite a party, the liveliest New Year either of had experienced… well, perhaps ever. And nothing like it since. It has become the dullest of experiences now, for the most part. But Happy New year anyway – things can only get better (unless they get worse.)

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