…to quote my old friend Arthur Wellesley.

I know that you guys like starting the year with a fireworks image, but this time you went very close to not having one—because we went very close to not having any fireworks.

Given the catastrophic fire conditions in the country, there was a strong push for cancelling our usual NYE celebration, and for very cogent reasons; and an equally strong push back for keeping it. Some people, in the current circumstances, found the display disrespectful; some were for keeping it more or less as an act of defiance, of refusing to buckle under. Others, sensibly enough, pointed out that we have quite enough smoke in the air already.

In the end, the winner was probably pragmatism: the display had been fifteen months in the planning, and was fully paid for and was ready to go; while as always, thousands of people had travelled in from all over the world to see it. It is an event that pours some $140 million into the economy: money which hopefully goes without stint and without delay to our emergency services.

So it is with slightly mixed feelings that I post our usual New Year’s greeting.

What is not as all mixed, however, is our gratitude to all of you who visit this blog and our sites. Your continued support means more than we can say.



Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!