Happy New Year to all. 2009 was a hell of a year and I'm glad it's over.
Time to plan for new stuff - not resolutions, who sticks to them?
Anyway. Last night it was like a war zone here. Fireworks went off from all directions, like gunshots, with machine-gun intensity, with the deep boom of mortars and around the Bay, like the distant sound of artillery. There were shouts and whoops and cheers and ambulance sirens and people clutching bottles wandering the streets uncaring of any vehicle that might be on the road. Clouds of smoke, the scent of gunpowder and swirling blue lights of police.
Nope, I don't live in the city, but in the country. Jervis Bay and the towns, um villages really, is a tourist mecca come holiday times but especially for the week between Christmas and New Year. The hot sun, the clear waters of the sea, the pristine, blindingly white sand... all attract city-folk to the area.
We are bursting at the seams with people!
Locals, however, either leave or stock up on supplies and stay home. We roll our eyes at the tourist antics - the lobster-red sunburns, the lack of car indicator use, the packs of teenagers wandering around searching for something to do, cyclists without helmets or shirts, drivers busy on the phone...
But in a week, most will have returned home, satisfied with the holiday by the sea and thankful they're back surrounded by the trappings of civilisation lacking in the country. How do I know this? A certain amount of tourists are less than circumspect in their public comments and conversations.
We locals will sigh with relief and await the influx of the more polite grey travellers; the retirees touring the country in caravans and motorhomes.
In the end, this time of the year is an enormous boost to the local economy. We're a beach community and those beaches are jammed with people enjoying the sea.
I know there are a lot of sharks out there, but we have have hourly air patrols, so our visitors should be safe; I'm staying out of the water and out of the way. I'm staying in to watch College Football.