Friday, 1 January 2010

New Year's Day 2010

After the clock struck midnight last night, the people of the Netherlands started to let off their fireworks. On average, every person in the country spent more than €4 on fireworks this year (€65m nationwide). And it was all over in an hour or two. In the past, the dense smoke has given rise to fogbanks of spectacular density: some drivers reported not being able to see past the bonnet of their car. No problems like that this year. It was cold, around freezing. That did not deter the hooligan element in the country from going on the rampage again. Dozens of cars were set alight in the major conurbations in the west, quite a few arrests were made. Nonetheless, the police said that although it wasn't quiet, it was not as bad as in previous years. One person died, who was run over by a car as he was lighting a firework in the road in the city of Utrecht. One town councillor in Oldenzaal, near the eastern city of Enschede, literally shot himself in the foot as he let off the starting gun for a new year swim. Why on earth he had to load the pistol with a live round is beyond me.

Just after midnight, I went outside to take pictures of the fireworks. Not terribly successful, due to the proximity of houses and trees. And you need to time your shot carefully, quite difficult as you never know in what direction a firework is going to go off. Got a few nice shots though, one of them is shown above.

Night has once more fallen. Went out for a walk to the Heathlands, but the conditions on roads, pavements and tracks is very treacherous. The snow has now compacted into ice and it is ever so easy to go for a flyer if you're careful. It was cold, with the thermometer firmly down at freezing. Quite a few people had had the same idea, but those who went out by car had quite a job to even get away from their carpark.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It is well below freezing here today with light snow at the moment. We will have lots of wind too making it seem colder that usual. The fireworks in the neighborhood were not very noisy here with just a few going off. One brave soul even braved the cold to set some off early this morning. It makes me very thankful for a warm home and good neighbors. Happy New Year!

Linda's World said...

Beautiful pictures Guido. People do get a little crazy on New Year's Eve. Of course here in the states, we have the same craziness on the 4th of July. Happy New Year to you!!!! Linda in Washington

Joann said...

Beautiful pics, Guido!! Happy New Year to your and your father!! May it be a happy one with many blessings!