JuliaM has tagged me in one of those 'memes' which asks for a description of where I type away.
If it was any other day of the year I wouldn't dream of publishing a photo of my desk and would be writing a list of what sits here, but Hogmanay is the traditional time for Scots to purge their tiny portion of the planet with frantic activity until the whole house smells of beeswax (courtesy of Pledge), glass cleaner (courtesy of Mr Muscle) and bleach (courtesy of Domestos).
The study didn't escape either and my desk received its annual polish.
Unlike this blogger I didn't remove anything prior to taking the snap. That would be cheating wouldn't it.
Most Scotsmen, and very possibly men from anywhere, don't see the need to have their space 'visitor proof', especially when the deadline is 11.59pm on 31 December, but it all goes back to the days when Scots stayed in their homes to welcome the New Year, then they took to the streets suitably equipped with a bottle of whisky, shortbread and a few pieces of coal. Pieces of shortbread and a lump of coal was left at any home visited and represented good wishes for a new year in which food would never be short and warmth would always be present when required.
Gone are the days when first-footing was the norm. It never happens now. When I first arrived here there was a neighbour who used to visit any home with a light on after midnight. He was always welcomed and would be provided with sustinance consisting of a sandwich to a three course meal. (Yes he did get offered that at one home way back in the 70s). Sadly he's been gone for a few years now and has taken the tradition of first-footing with him.
As children we were usually wakened just before 'the Bells' and staggered through to the living room where we were presented with a glass of lemonade with which to toast the New Year. For some weeks we'd been coached in our party pieces for the family get together later in the day and this small gathering was a good chance for a final rehearsal. My brother usually played some jazz on his clarinet - much to my mother's disgust because she thought the only 'pure' music was classical - and I would do a wee turn singing and when I was older it usually involved a bit of dreadful piano playing too. Lots of folk had a piano in the house in those days.
Enough reminiscing. Life wasn't all good in those days but there was a sense of community which is now missing except in very small hamlets where people only survive because of the kindness of their neighbours. New Year celebrations now involved expensive firework displays and celebrities who perform to the masses in city centres. I tried the Edinburgh Hogmanay festivities once - never again. Standing passively in freezing temperatures while being jostled like a bowling pin wasn't my cup of tea.
Politically this year should be an interesting time in Scotland. We have the Holyrood elections in May and it would seem the SNP are the underdogs. There is little interest in Westminster's AV referendum and I can't see it being the talk of the steamie.
I'd like to tag Munguin's Republic and Caron's Musings. A description of their work space will be interesting, not least because I know Caron is clever with social networking equipment.