Spanner has a smart bastard of a brother* who lives on the water in Balmain in Sydney's inner west with an uninterrupted view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Where else would you want to be on New Year's Eve, unless you're friendly with someone who lives in the eastern suburbs who has a view that includes the Sydney Opera House**.
Spanner, The Hiss and I parked the car in the nearby suburb of Rozelle and caught a bus into the heart of Balmain. If you don't know it, the peninsula suburb of Balmain is one of the city's more appealing suburbs because of its low-rise village atmosphere. Spanner doesn't like it because he reckons it's too higgledy-piggledy and congested. But that's Spanner. I love it and lived there in several other lifetimes.
Darling Street is the main road in and out. When you reach the bottom of Darling Street, you've hit Sydney Harbour. People stream into Balmain for the New Year's Eve fireworks because there's parks along the water so the view is bloody beautiful.
There's two lots of fireworks - at 9pm for the families and at midnight for those revellers who want to see in the New Year with a bang. It's been a long time since I've hung around for the midnight fireworks but this year I was determined. Spanner left after the 9pm show. Woo hoo Spanner. Life of the party.
The Hiss and I stayed and rocked on to an excellent covers band The Hippie Hoppies (? I can't find them on Google) whose members looked like they'd been dragged over gravel and tossed around in a cement mixer for 25 years. Appearances can be deceptive. They played in Spanner's brother's yard, which is a lawn the size of a postage stamp (dunno how it didn't get flooded with the recent king tides). The band's note-perfect sets took me back (way too far). The Hiss and I danced the night away to the Doobie Brothers, Creedence, InXs, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Police, The Beatles, T-Rex, Van Morrison and more.
I can't even begin to describe the fireworks, especially the midnight extravaganza where the bridge was ablaze with pyrotechnics for much of the time. Breathtaking. Gasp. Wow. Ooooo. Aaaaaaah. Woo hoo. Gobsmacked.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL
* I am still working out my New Year's resolutions as I didn't have one last year and I do feel a list is worthwhile (even if it ends up as a list of failed promises). On my list will be the usual - do not be jealous of other people and their good fortune (or something like that).
** I will also endeavour to be happy with what I've got (or something similar).
I bet you can't wait to read my list! Mmm... must not be self loathing and arrogant simultaneously.
PS: Would you believe it's a stinker in Sydney today? This is the first real summer day for at least a month. Tomorrow I'm doing Newport swim so I'll post on that.
PPS: I'd like to thank all the regular readers of this blog. It's a small world. I wish you all the very best for 2012. Let's put it out there!