Happy New Year: Cheers Edinburgh, what does 2022 hold for you? - Liam Rudden

Are you ready to welcome in another New Year? I reckon I am.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 6:11 pm
Edinburgh Castle Fireworks at Hogmanay

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Reflection plays a bigger part of each Hogmanay I see. Somewhere along the way I suddenly understood why, when I was younger, oldies would often muse, 'Where did the time go?' As Richard O’Brien sang in The Rocky Horror Show, it is indeed ‘fleeting’.

The relentlessness of its passage didn't really hit me until I, in turn, hit my mid-50s. The realisation that many of the generation before me were no longer here had come a good decade or more before, but it was then I began to relate to that Pet Shop Boys lyric, 'All the people I was kissing, some are here and some are missing...'

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And talking of Pet Shop Boys, when your teenage pop heroes are all heading towards 70 fast, even Toyah, a favourite to this day, is now in her 60s, well, nothing reinforces your own vintage more than the dawning of just how long they have been thundering in the mountains or never being boring.

Up until the pandemic, from the years of my youth seeing in the bells at The Tron to my one and only experience of the Street Party, from first-footing the folks to welcoming the new millennium DJing a pub bash, Hogmanay has always boasted much hugging and kissing. Covid has put paid to that.

So as we leave 2021 I'm in the same mindset as I was a year ago when, after a lousy 2020, we all thought things could only get better.

In many ways they did. Lock down finished and we all appreciated the everyday experiences of life and leisure that little bit more. Certainly, we've learned to take nothing, including spending time with loved ones, for granted.

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The vaccines helped, of course, carving a new normality that remains fluid but allowed the return to two of my great loves, speedway and theatre.

It was so exciting, with just an added frisson of trepidation, to be back in The Tower at Armadale Stadium watching the Edinburgh Monarchs race, even if masks when we were still required off camera and there was social distancing in the pits.

Stepping back into a theatre for the first time since they all went dark and the ghost lights sparked into action also came with a degree of trepidation but with timed arrival slots, vaccine checks, FFP2 masks and mitigations in place there wasn't one Edinburgh theatre I did not feel safe in all through the year.

One thing the last couple of years has taught us is that we are resilient. Whatever life throws at us, most of the time we bounce back better. So, I look forward to 2022, a year that will be what each one of us makes it for ourselves, those we care about and those less fortunate who we come in contact with along the way.

To 2022, then, Happy New Year and may I wish you everything you would wish yourself.

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