I Love The Night Life

John and I have a connection that makes it almost impossible not to spot each other, even in a crowd. This can make it difficult for me to sneak a shot of him without being seen. A moment or two before he snapped this laughing, ‘Oops, you caught me’ photo, I was crouched in between some of our neighbors trying to get a shot of him with a straight face. I’d taken four or five earlier in the evening and every time I pointed the camera in his direction, he’d pull (make) a face like the one below.

So I set out to stalk him from a distance thinking if I went off to talk with others at the New Year’s Eve gathering, I might double back and catch him unaware.

You can see how well that worked out for me in the photo above. (Double click if you need too) He caught me and then when I laughed about being found out, he took the picture of me laughing and waving my hand in sheepish surrender that you see in the first photograph.

We always have fancy dress themes for New Year’s Eve at our village pub and this year we had to choose something related Nursery Rhymes. Here you see a Grand Old Duke Of York and Little Miss Muffet along with Wee Willie Winkie and the Queen of Hearts.

Here’s another Wee Willie Winkle. Our neighbor Len was going off with his wife Mary to ring the church bells at midnight. It was very dark and rainy which made for an interesting shot.

You may recognize the Three Blind Mice.

We’ve got a spider and a Cat with a fiddle at the table and that’s John to the right with a pint, all dressed in blue with a horn that is more Harpo Marx than Little Boy Blue, the character he chose for the night.

I’m not sure where all that bokeh came from. My lens was clean and it wasn’t in the other shots I took in that direction. I had to use this one because it was the only one I managed to get of John not making a face.








Not everyone dressed up, but I think they still had a good time. Some years are easier than others and I found this one a bit challenging.

That’s Roger behind the bar with Humpty Dumpty on his back. ( I can’t remember why now)

There’s Old King Cole

This strange one came from a distant village and I think has the wrong theme in mind. He looked like the Incredible Hulk with a bad case of chicken pox.

John and I were outside listening to the church bells and kissing at midnight and didn’t get to join hands to sing ‘Auld Lang Syne.‘ 

John WInchurch & Elizabeth Harper January 1, 2012

Here we are after midnight finishing a drink before heading for home. And in case you’re wondering what I came as that night …

Elizabeth Harper - Dressed For New Year's Eve 2011

With all those characters wandering around, I thought there ought to be someone to tell the story so I went as the teller of tales, the reader of rhymes, the great and mysterious,

                                                     Bedtime  Storyteller

New Year’s Eve – 2010 Or 1944

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.