Home > Completed, Misc, The List > New Years in London!

New Years in London!

Apologies, but in the wake of returning to uni et al , I drew a blank when it came to passing into this brand spanking new decade in London! The original plan was to watch the world famous fireworks from the riverbank, but my impatience for the hawkish weather made this impossible. If we wanted such a deluxe view, we’d have to be willing to spend hours upon hours stood under-looking (we’re short) thousands of people, in the dark, aphotic skyline with no promise of a good view.

Sooner or later then, we decided to ramble over to Covent Garden for some greedy gluttony, and found ourselves in a cosy but packed basement restaurant for a drink and a divvied-up plate of warming carbonara, garlic bread and a chat (note; not the deep philosophical kind of chats people seem to have on New Years Eve, but a chat all the same). After a couple of hours, when 11pm rang round, we set off back toward the river in the hope that we’d reach the promised land (somewhere where we could see the fireworks).

By now though, the sheer number of people in London was titanic (with a pretty large proportion being police officers). And when we finally arrived at Trafalgar square, all roads toward Parliament and the river had been closed off as they were saturated sardine-style with simple minded folk like me who just want to see some gunpowder exploding in the sky.

With few options left, we settled down in Trafalgar square for the half an hour or so before the bell tolled 12. But shortly after we eventually found somewhere where we could see the fireworks on the TV screens like everyone else in the country, a gaping hole instantly appeared in the crowd where one unfortunate soul was on the floor. Upon further poirot-like inspection on my behalf, it turns out the guy had had his face slashed with a small knife! Obviously, I’d never seen anything like this before, but understandably, he stumbled up and was unsure as to whether to fight or fly. Luckily for him, and everyone else, he stumbled into the crowd and disappeared into the last remnants of 2009. I only hope he found someone to help him soon after.

When the ‘time’ did finally arrive, I wouldn’t say I was ‘disappointed’, but the close, communal, pleasant, affable atmosphere I was expecting simply didn’t arrive. I don’t know what I was expecting. Some orgy of joy and well-wishing between everyone? Thousands of people holding hands and singing Old Lang Syne? Of course not. But the relaxed aura and the well-wishing ambience, I guess, was replaced by an air of slight unease. With so many people of so many races, cultures, and religions packed into a small area, there’s always going to be an air of restiveness, but that did, I’m sad to say, make this one thing on the list that wasn’t quite as gratifying as I was hoping.

Lesson learned? A good New Years Eve isn’t directed by where you are, but by who you are with. A lesson, I expect, to be echoed through many things on my list.

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Categories: Completed, Misc, The List
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