Almost ten years now since we sat in the Yew Tree watching the whole length of the Wharfe Valley lit up by fireworks and waiting slightly apprehensively for the world to end at midnight or a new millenium to begin. The fireworks over Otley that night were amongst the most beautiful things I've ever seen and better yet the world, it seems, did not end (though I have since read occasional claims that the risk from Y2K was real and we belittle it now only because the distinction between disaster imagined and disaster brilliantly averted is far from obvious once the disaster has not occured).
In the history of the world
very few people get to ring in a new millenium and, of course, that
night neither did we since - as the Victorians who a hundred years
earlier had stolidly ignored the innumerate draw of a mere two zeroes
ticking over knew full well - in absence of a year zero a new millenium
began precisely one year later. But it is, people turning thirty or
forty or for all I know a hundred are wont to remark in unconvincing
disregard for arbitrarily significant milestones, "only a number" and
since the numbers on the calendar are meaningless one can celebrate
whatever meaningless number one prefers.
Almost ten years ago we celebrated a new millenium that had yet to occur and in only a few days no doubt we and an innumerate world will celebrate the dawn of a new decade, and what almost no-one called the noughties will allegedly be over and we will have to concoct some even stupider term for the next unexamined epoch that will presumably be something to do with "tweens" and last about three years. Regardless of what damned fool thing people call the next decade though, I expect it will be the best fun ever. Here's looking at 2010.