So far so good.

Yesterday Alison Scott held an Around the World in 24 Hours Zoom party to celebrate in all the timezones!

We popped in on the early shift to say hi to the antipodeans and watch the Sydney fireworks (very impressive). It was my turn to make lunch, so I logged off and made cabbage and ramen noodle soup from the last of the Xmas duck stock. It was very tasty, if I do say so myself. I took it easy for the next few hours and had my own little Twilight Zone mini-marathon, while I think John popped back into the Zoom for a while. Once evening rolled around we ordered far too much food for Unikebab, on the assumption that our future drunk/hungover selves would appreciate the leftovers (speaking as a now hungover future España, we were entirely correct on that count).

We settled back into the party just before the Dubai’s new year’s show, which involved an amazing LED lightshow on the Burj Khalifa with accompanying fireworks. Our delivery arrived right around then though, so we excused ourselves to have a our dinner before rejoining the party.

I was delighted at the strong Bay Area presence over the course of the night, I got to see a lot of familiar faces including Bryan and Mette, Kevin and Andy, Tom and Spike, Karisu and Richard, and I’m many others my January 1st brain won’t remember until I hit “post” on this entry. There was good chat with only the occasional detour into politics or similarly depressing topics. Luckily there were plenty of break rooms and usually at least three of them were busy, plus a scattering of smaller conversations, and if needs be the lobby.

Alison used one of the breakout rooms to screen Dinner for One, which Mette had shown me way back when, and which was even funnier than I remembered. The Patio room was set up for fireworks displays, with a volunteer searching out live-streams for the appropriate locations. Then there was a craft room, plus other rooms you would expect like the kitchen. For some reason the Electrical Supply Closet was the happening place for much of the night.

The next display up was Athens, which was a pleasant display live-streamed by some random person in Athens. I honestly found it sort of adorably low key after the extravagance of Dubai. Only one timezone left before London, but there was some difficulty finding a feed for a bit so while that discussion happened I decided to find if the usual Puerta del Sol festivities were on, eventually finding that there was a livestream of the NYE show. I watched the ball drop and still got back to the Zoom in time for some Paris fireworks, which later googling suggests were actually from Bastille Day, but they were still pretty.

And then it was our time! No London fireworks could be found so we ended up watching a neat but decided lower key drone show from Edinbrugh. There was cheering and toast and kisses, though, and then Alison accidentally(?) closed all the breakout rooms at once! We all tumbled into the lobby in a chaotic pile, but then we were treated to a Glasgow in 2024 end of year video which cased more than one teary eye.

Back to the party, it became apparent that the festivities in the next couple of timezones had been entirely shut down, with no livestreams to be had. I decided to take this as a sign to get some sleep in before the West Coast celebrations, so off to bed I went. Alice came to bed immediately, clearly relieved I had come to my senses and John joined not too long after. When I woke up at my 7am alarm I figured I could probably sleep a lil’ bit longer, so of course I woke up again at my 8am alarm, having just missed the fireworks. Still, I got myself composed and joined in time to see a whole bunch of friendly faces from that neck of the woods. So now I’m afraid that UK fandom now knows just how loud I am when I am conversing with a bunch of loud American friends. Kevin and Andy had set up their black light party, Bryan and Mette waved their cats at us, and Spike had only just opened the parcel with the fan she bought off me at CoNZealand. It was a very good time.

Hawaii was the last timezone, and we got to see some pretty solid backyard fireworks via a laptop held up to a window. The Zoom automatically closed down around ten past ten in the morning, giving Alison a solid twenty minutes break before Cafe Moose.

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