Seventy years ago there was no partying on New Year's Eve for Mother's parents although they did stay up until midnight.
New Year's Day morning would see the house a hive of activity with the preparations for a picnic. With my grandparents and perhaps another adult squashed into the cabin of the flat tray truck used to take vegetables to the market, Mother and assorted children would travel on the back of the truck as it slowly drove down Warrigal Road to Mordialloc Beach for an extended family picnic gathering. That the occasional child was not launched off the back of the truck as it bumped along is surprising but Mother has no memory of it happening.
Depending on the weather, they would find a place in the sun or shade and lay out a feast to behold, as would other members of the extended family. The children, mostly Mother's cousins would run and play and play and play until they were exhausted. The adults would sit and gossip and take the occasional paddle in the water. There would usually be a walk out on Mordialloc Pier to get that bit closer to the sea air.
Mother remembers them as been magical days, and perhaps they were. Not that I partied last night, I worked, but I reckon I would swap NYE celebrations for a huge family picnic at Mordialloc Beach.
But being a bit of a grump, I then think of the hot sun, stickyness from the salt water, flies, biting things, sunburn, noisy children. No, perhaps it is better to stay home in the air conditioning.
I wish you all a Happy New Year.
Later edit: I've remembered something. One of Mother's cousins was killed in a road crash, maybe on a motorbike, maybe on the way home from the gathering. That was the last extended family New Year's Day picnic at Mordialloc Beach.