New year used to be a riot, and then I hit middle age | Rick Jackson

A happy new year to you. How were your celebrations?Were they relaxed or raucous? Are you nursing a hangover or cleaning the house after a big party?

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 6:00 am
CHANGING TIMES: Early to bed and sleep on New Year's Eve...
CHANGING TIMES: Early to bed and sleep on New Year's Eve...

Boy, my new year celebrations have changed so much over the years, as I suppose they do for all of us as we grow older.

Back in the 1990s I would have been out on the town, ending up in a nightclub until the small hours.

One year I remember catching the first Gosport ferry of the year... at 5.30am. That was a good night!

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As time went by, I realised that new year celebrations were totally over-hyped and over-priced.

Clubs were expensive to get into and that extra money wasn’t reflected in better entertainment or cheaper beer.

By the noughties we had entered the decade of the fancy dress house party.

I can’t say my outfits were classics, but the airline pilot certainly got a few admiring glances...

The year we went as The Beatles from Sgt Pepper proved very successful, although it did prompt a rendition of When I’m Sixty Four at the karaoke, which certainly was no tribute to the greatest band ever to grace the planet and caused our friends’ neighbours to call the police.

That’s the problem with house parties – the noise, mess and the complaints. Neighbours may not always appreciate booming music, loud voices and cheering at 3am.

So, into this decade and you would find a rather more grown-up Rick hosting a dinner party. Far more civilised. Beef Wellington, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Creme Brûlée followed by Champagne at midnight and a few fireworks in the garden.

Forward to the latter part of this decade and this is how we brought in 2020. It really is a sign of the times for me.

We watched a bit of telly, had sausages for tea and put the kids to bed at 8pm. By 10.30pm we were done and went to bed. At midnight we were woken by fireworks going off and fog horns blasting.

We turned to each other, had a kiss, said ‘happy new year’, turned over again and went straight back to sleep!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

This technology has proved a VARy good move for football

Am I the only person who thinks VAR is a good thing in football? All this moaning by pundits on the TV, who previously had been demanding for the new technology.

We all know how small the margins are at the very top of the game and what VAR is doing is making these margins finite.

If a player is one millimetre offside, then he is offside, that is the point of this technology, the same as with a ball crossing the line for a goal. If it’s a millimetre over the line, then it’s a goal.

I’d like to see the referee look at the touchline screen himself to make a final decision, be able to hear the process over the Tannoy as in cricket, other than that, keep calm and carry on!

Happy not to see another peanut until next Christmas

As I look across the kitchen, I notice the Christmas treats corner. There are still loads of peanuts, half a box of biscuits, crackers and half a bottle of Jack Daniels.

I’m done. I’d be happy not to see another peanut or crisp until next Christmas and I do wonder how many of us get through all those treats, as I spy a box of unopened Quality Street.

We’ve even talked about doing Dry January as I dust off my ‘portion control plate’ ready to start the new year detox.

It’s been a fab festive season, but I’m ready to knuckle down and get on with achieving my 2020 goals. Good luck with achieving yours.

I wonder where we will be this time 2030?