It was December 2010 when I got a place of my own for the first time. I had lived away from home before, for the several years I was at University, but student digs weren't quite the same as a flat furnished to my taste with a dedicated kitchen and bedroom separate from the living space.
That first New Year, I cooked myself a good meal and in particular appreciated the fact that the fridge-freezer was all mine to fill with my favourite food rather than being shared with other people and their strange habits. I watched some TV, and had control of the remote, rather than having to ask if I could watch a different channel. Later, I celebrated the change in the calendar by myself - I had my computer all set up and online, I was warm and comfortable and I had a good view of my neighbours' fireworks on the other side of the street.
It was also the first year I had ever been on my own at New Year, as I had previously either been at home with my family when I was very young, or out at my relatives' house party when I was older. I didn't feel isolated, though, as I was connected to the outside world by my computer so I still had the opportunity to wish and be wished Happy New Year as the clock struck 12.
2011 turned out to be a good year, as I encountered my first proper romantic relationship, so I have been very fortunate to spend the three New Years since then in the arms of my darling at midnight, which is all I could dream of. At those times, my flat becomes a cosy place for the two of us to enjoy!