Pictured above: A selection of Christmas lights from the Park in St George’s
The first day of 2020 here in Bermuda was a beaut. I woke to brilliant sunshine, twenty-two degrees, and flat calm ocean that looked like glass. It had been a bit windy during the night, but that was just a distant memory now. The birds were trying to get my attention and flying to head height at the window, pecking on the pane occasionally when they got brave enough. First note for the year is to purchase more bird seed which I totally forgot all about yesterday while the shops were open. They will be open again tomorrow.
Now as far as I know the shops are shut for just Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Years Day. Some have reduced trading hours, and like other countries if its restaurant-related, have the ability to stay open and feed the masses. I have been caught out often by Sunday trading, as most shops in Hamilton are closed on Sunday, just like ours in New Zealand used to be. The Supermarkets close early on Sunday as well. Be careful to watch out for alcohol purchasing too, as there are no sales at the Supermarkets after nine at night. We got truly caught out with this one last New Year’s, but we’re wiser this time. It’s good for the bars though, because people have to drink there if they haven’t organised themselves earlier.
Today the birds just had to go hangry. Brown chicken hasn’t quite got the message and has been following me inside, but the others seem to have realised they’ll have to do their own foraging today. Lovely husband is working on his new project, the boat, so effectively I’m a boat widow for the duration of the restoration. Oh, until it all needs sanding and then I’m on call. I thought ‘I’ll make him lunch’ and put on the gas hob to heat up some leftovers. There wasn’t enough noise in just a few seconds, and sure enough, the gas cylinder that was getting low before Christmas, had petered out. We rang to order the gas two days before Christmas, and to our dismay have been charged for it, but haven’t received the delivery yet. Guessing they’re closed for the holiday period, they will be here tomorrow. Yes, they will, or we will have to find another company to fill the order and ask for a refund. They probably don’t realise that we only have one bottle, so it’s dire when we do run out, especially since our microwave gave up a while back. The replacement air conditioner won that battle. Meanwhile it’s little camping stove to the rescue, and Poughman’s tea tonight.
So for New Year we were debating whether to go into Hamilton for the Street Party by City Hall, or to stay in St George’s and watch the Onion Drop at midnight. I was determined to do something, and it wasn’t raining like last year. It really was dismal weather then. We thought since the gas was so low, we would go out for tea, then go along to the Town Square, enjoy the free concert, watch the onion drop and then head home. That meant St George won. When we got to the square after a delicious meal, there really weren’t many people there, but it was only ten o’clock by this stage. The band played non-stop covers, like the Doobie Brothers era. Finding the music a bit 1970’s for us, we joked that if the same choice happened when we were the same age as some of the teenagers there, we’d be listening to twenty’s music. That’s a century ago. I was impressed at how the young women had completely dressed up, gold being the colour of choice for very short dresses this year, and bright orange very high shoes. They must have been freezing. The young men had carefully chosen their best hoodie’s and skate shoes, and in contrast looked as though they were warm, but didn’t really take as much time as their blinged counterparts. They possibly did though! We tried to get near the stage, but the music base was making my kidneys vibrate. I’ve had a bit of glue-ear from my cold water swim the other day, and everything sounded weird to me. When I started to feel unwell, I suggested we go across the bridge and sit on the wall by a palm tree on Ordinance Island. That actually wasn’t too bad, and after a little while of this we realised that a few other people our age had gravitated near us. I had to have a chuckle that we’d accidentally created an ‘old area’. So we listened to a few songs, trying to work out when one finished and a different one started. They really were very good, and we started thinking that we had heard the band before. Having the same type of music over and over just really wasn’t our thing, so after a respectful hour, we visited the ‘Onion’ for a photo of it poised to drop, and then toddled off home. Seeming a bit quiet with all our neighbours out, we really didn’t think much about it, and saw the new decade in sharing a nice pinot, and torturing each other with our teenage music memorabilia off Youtube. We did think though that Hamilton probably won the crowds with free food advertised, which we did have to consider seriously ourselves before going out and paying for dinner.
I remember this time last year asking if any of you had made any New Year’s resolutions. Wanting to turn over a new leaf is admirable, but remember if you do make any, keep them SMART. That’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and, timely. Resolutions that are too demanding or too easy most definitely are doomed to fail from the onset. I did two things today. I put away my bathroom scales. These had been purchased by accident instead of food scales and have created an atmosphere of paranoia that’s completely not me. I want scales that when I step on them say ‘Girrrrl you’re looking sharp today’. On that note I also put away my Miband. That’s a tracker/watch. I accidently jumped off the dock wearing it recently, which it survived. But the second time I did the same thing, it didn’t . It still counts my steps, but I have no hope of telling the time on the LCD screen anymore, which is more than a little frustrating. Time to get a new watch! It also leaves me wondering, if I’m ‘overweight’ still, and my tracker is recording everything I do exercise wise, does that leave a gaping hole for medical insurance to gently nudge me through? Hmmm.
So we were having lunch outside today. Little stove did its job well for reheating and I had an easy no-need-to-cook salad. It was meant to be my traditional ham, new potatoes, peas and carrots, but that will wait for the new gas. I was tucking in, then looked across the bay, deep in thought. It suddently dawned on me why it was so quiet last night. The hotel band wasn’t playing! I bet St George’s free concert stole them for the night!
So January second rolled around, and we contacted the gas company. It turns out they have been out of gas since before Christmas and have no intention to deliver until next week! Something about a container not being delivered on one of the three ships arriving in port most days. We could buy, yes, I said buy, a bar-b-que gas cylinder and attach that in the meantime to tie us over. So we are expected to tie ourselves over, at our cost, when we’ve already paid for gas. Good grief, only in Bermuda, eh!
Happy New Year to all of you. Thank you for being avid readers, and writing your wonderful comments. Here’s to a new decade full of experiences we can chalk up to building character in the years to come. Looks like my first for the year will be trying out a few restaurants over the weekend! Oh babe, did you say lots of salads? Damn!
More soon – Sally
Find out here why onions are so important to Bermudian’s: https://www.bermuda-attractions.com/bermuda_0002eb.htm
Have you checked out my ‘Little cards’ page? You can find it here: https://idontdoironing.com/sallys-little-cards/
Hope you get your gas sorted soon! Xx
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Thank you for asking. We got some ‘emergency gas’ which will tide us over until the new bottle is delivered. I had just prepared a cold salad when it arrived dammit!
The history of the onion is really interesting.
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You do Bermuda so well Sally! Please explain to me the significance of the Onion Drop? I went to the link that you provide, and while that’s interesting, doesn’t really explain the OD.
I take it that you never have time to be bored? And I hope your gas supply has been reinstated. ‘Only in Bermuda’ as you say; it’s also ‘only at Christmas and New Year” I think!
Good move to put the scales away. Mine got lost in the move four years ago, and it’s a great freedom, it really is. Now I have to throw away my phone? Nah, not just yet.
Keep it coming gurrl.
Thanks again Dianne. I don’t believe in boredom, there’s always something to do, and Bermuda always has something on to attend. Now the ‘onion’ gets dropped at New Years just like the ball does in New York. The onion is a national symbol of the people, so it has been used instead of the ball. The first ball drop was in New York in Times Square in 1907 and originates from Mariners calibrating their chronometers. You can read more about why here: https://www.rd.com/advice/travel/why-drop-ball-new-years-eve/
Here’s a little more information about Bermuda’s onion and other item’s dropped around the world: http://www.royalgazette.com/news/article/20171230/what-world-drops-on-new-years-eve; or try this one which lists what is dropped around the world: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_objects_dropped_on_New_Year%27s_Eve
I haven’t been able to source when the tradition first started here in Bermuda , so if any Bermudian’s out there can help with that, that would be really interesting.