Thursday, 2 January 2014

the carpet crawlers

There's only one direction in the faces I see.

A small fortune was spent on seeing in the new year. I don't know how much Boris spent on it with the reported "twelve thousand pyrotechnics" but it was possibly only a fraction of the cost of booking a hotel in London for New Year's Eve! Anyway, we spent the evening there in London. A little annoying to learn, then, that we could have got free train transport back to Stevenage. Ah well.

The fireworks were pretty spectacular, and I speak as one who is not generally impressed with them. We'd wandered out of the Albert Hall earlier than expected and found an inexpensive Italian restaurant in Kensington -  no mean feat itself. Then we wandered off to join the rest of the carpet crawlers to watch Boris's budget go up in smoke. The song "Carpet Crawlers" appears on the overblown Genesis concept album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway but still manages to conjure up images of faceless crowds moving slowly towards an uncertain goal.

Hundreds, probably thousands, of Londoners and tourists found their way to a decent vantage point - many outside Buckingham Palace - we found a space in St James Park. Yes, it was spectacular and yes, I did wonder how much it must have all cost. Still, it was probably the most sober NYE I have ever spent. Even walking back to the hotel and drinking a(quarter share) champagne still left me with not so much as a vague feeling of being less than sober.

So well done, me.

The waves of onlookers and tourists - French families with their glasses of wine, less than sober lads with cases of cans of lager, wandering drunkards and very normal families - wandering around London were quite pleasant to be amongst. There were no ill feelings, no belligerent drunks or projectile vomiters. Mind you, it was raining which may have dampened some revellers' feelings.

No attempt is being made here for any form of "resolutions". No point. Still, I did watch the Likely Lads 1974 Christmas Special the other night and was happy to see a shot of the Watneys Party Seven mentioned a few times before. They certainly existed and in various conversations, I'm not the only person who remembers them!

Well, a Happy New Year to all. Once all the dust settles, let's all do something useful this year.

When Winter's shadowy fingers first pursue you down the street
And your boots no longer lie about the cold around your feet
Do you spare a thought for summer whose passage is complete
Whose memories lie in ruins and whose ruins lie in heat

When winter..... comes howling in.

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