I started the New Year in my hometown more than 2000 miles away from my ‘homecity’, Beirut. (Not my place of birth, but my place of giving birth and the only city I’ve ever known.)
I was with my family, and all 5 of us (a 2 year old, 2 pensioners and 2 tired parents) were ready for bed well before midnight so we decided to celebrate on Beirut time instead, popping the spumante cork 2 hours early. Cheating? Maybe, but as I have resolved that 2015 will be a year of no regrets, especially those that come from putting things off, it felt right to start the year slightly ahead.
I woke briefly at the official midnight to hear faint fireworks, only a distant echo of what they would have been in Beirut, where the city would have exploded into sound, its stars ricocheting off the the sky-scrapers.
Or perhaps what I heard was the Beirut fireworks after all, travelling only slightly slower than the speed of sound to wish me good night, to say Happy New Year.