It’s midnight and the pub is filled with people dressed as historical figures from the past. Some are clearly in costume while a few are in evening clothes and less easy to identify. Just a few minutes before the BBC radio which is playing in the background announces the beginning of a new year, a group of people I don’t recognize spill into the pub arriving in modern day casual clothing that stands out a bit next to characters such as Robin Hood, Van Gogh, and Amelia Earhart. There’s no time to wonder who they are or to say much more than hello as the voice of the BBC begins to countdown. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … Happy New Year!
People are kissing and confetti is flying and there is an excitement that is familiar and reassuring to one so far from home. From the door where I am standing, I can see people all around the pub crossing their arms one over the other as they reach for the hand of the person closest to them. Rocking and swaying, they are suddenly a body of like minded people as they begin to sing a song I recognize, “Auld Lang Syne.”
I sing along for a minute, one arm over the other, but I let go of John’s hand and I lift my camera high trying to capture a moment I am not sure I will be able to recreate later with words. Watching as they sing, I suddenly feel as if I have been transported back in time to 1944, a feeling so strong that even now days later I still can’t quite shake it. I don’t know why it is that date stands out … only that it does. It seemed fitting to color the image to fit the feeling I have when seeing it.