Story telling from Australia
Sydney Harbour is in party-mode, preparing to celebrate the arrival of 2016 with a giant firework display. It will be bigger, brighter and more colourful than ever.
The streets around us are cordoned off and parking restrictions have been in place from 3pm to prevent traffic jams. The waterfront park at the end of the road offers an unobstructed view of the Harbour Bridge; it’s one of the top viewing spots. A few years ago they added a firework barge near Cockatoo Island, which means Birchgrove gets a double whammy. Spectacular fireworks will explode on both sides of our street, and not just once. The first display takes place at nine, the second at midnight.
We’d have a perfect view if we weren’t hunkered down with the windows shut and the curtains drawn.
Maggie has adapted to life in Sydney pretty well for a ‘three-quarters-dingo’ bush dog from Broken Hill. She doesn’t bark at water any more and she no longer tries to bite the waves on the beach; she accepts that other dogs have a right to cross her path and she loves long car journeys and large bones; most days she’s content to lie next to me in the office, stretched out in the sun hoping for a cuddle.
The one thing she can’t stand is noise.
I was understandably nervous last NYE. In the countdown to the first display I downed a glass of champagne and slipped Maggie a tranquiliser. It barely touched the sides. At the first blast she ran through the house as if the demons of hell were chasing her.
It’s distressing to see a beloved family pet go through such anguish. When we had finally calmed her down I drank another couple of glasses to settle my nerves. Maggie had another tranquiliser.
In the countdown to midnight, and in a heightened state of anxiety, I downed several more glasses of champagne.
In hindsight I maintain that not enough sympathy was shown by CC, whose entirely sober judgement was reasonable, calm and considered. ‘The fireworks won’t last long,’ he said. ‘She’ll be fine. Stop worrying.’
Stop worrying? When my veins are flooded with adrenalin and champagne??
As for me I was bouncing off the walls. Once the firework display had finished I polished off the rest of the bottle, picked a fight with CC and tripped over the comatose dog. I was noisier than the fireworks.
This year will be different.
May your year ahead have less noise in it.