Countdown to 2006

Saturday, December 31st, 2005

Okay so here I am celebrating New Year in traditional fashion (for me at least): on my own at home free from all the disappointments this particular date seems to hold for anyone who dares plan ‘a good time’.

Seriously, I’ve had so many f***ing disasters on New Year’s Eves I took the pledge about six years ago never again to venture outside after 4pm.

‘Twas not always thus – up north I had a couple of good New Year’s at the Hammond’s legendary new year’s eve bashes (before Richard became a famous TV celeb) and then on to the market square for torch-lit processions and random snogs from strangers. (Er, for all except me… never quite figured that one out!)

In later years it was New Years Day that was the major event, it being a friend’s birthday and what with her having a father with a very well-stocked beer and wine collection it was probably my first introduction to serious Roman debauchery. One year I entered into the most hallowed of institutions: local gossip. I believe the tale is still told of how I – but no, I will save you the lurid details.

But those occasions are, as I’m sure is true of most people, rare islands in a sea of shipwrecks.

There was one ‘perfect’ new year, that popped up quite randomly – me, a friend and two of her girlfriends, gatecrashing the mayor’s party and dancing on the town hall balcony as the chimes of Big Ben (on the radio) counted us in to 1998, several bottles of wine and a classic Carry On movie on TV when we finally got home for copious cups of tea. So good it was that we decided to attempt to repeat it the following year. And therein lies the mistake. You can never repeat the experience of a good new year – you might as well admit that you’ve had your one and only good one, and submit to the call of pipe and slippers for the rest of your life.

So here we are – ten minutes to go. I’ve just finished watching Revenge of the Sith on DVD, listening to a pleasant bit of 20th century English classical music and drinking a few bottles of quite frankly abysmal German lager (brewed in Wales).

Time for another cup of tea while I watch the fireworks outside and then to bed, because while New Year’s Eve is always going to be disappointing unless you do what I do and stay in, I have high hopes for 2006: England winning the World Cup, me winning the lottery, and maybe – just maybe, the patter of tiny feet. That’s right: I’m thinking of getting a hamster.

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