I'm not a big fan of New Years Eve. I've had some very enjoyable ones, but I’ve had some very enjoyable nights in general, and if I took all my enjoyable nights on new years eve, and compared them to my enjoyable nights not on new years eve, I think I enjoyed the enjoyable nights not on new years eve a lot more.
Don't get me wrong - I like years, and I like nights out, and I like celebrating new things, but put them all together and they are far less than the sum of their parts. The mighty Lee and Herring did a routine about the similarities of celebrating New Years Eve (particularly the millennium) and celebrating the changing of the mileage on the car from 9999 to 10000, cheering the meaningless change in an arbitrary count of a collection of units of time… I’m kind of with them there, although my innate sense of tidiness does enjoy seeing nice round numbers and I do enjoy seeing them all change at once.
For the Millennium, I went out, with some of my closest friends (and 69996 others), to see the Manic Street Preachers at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. It cost £30 a go, and compared to the alternatives, £10quid just to go to the pub, through to £100 to see “some fellahs playing records” as James Dean Bradfield put it, it was a bargain. Feeder, Super Furry Animals, the Manics, and the BBC and all the fireworks on the big screen, gave a great sense of occasion, and we all felt suitably celebrated. I stayed sober – avoiding the ludicrous price of booze at the stadium, and meaning I could drive across town to a party and the lovely Carys (but that is another story).
The next year we went down the civic centre and saw Madness or Shawaddywaddy or some such, and enjoyed the fireworks and sprayed cheap sparkling wine in the air and upset some people who didn’t like cheap sparking wine landing in their faces, and drank some cheap sparkling wine and annoyed Dan by singing the “hey baby” song very loudly so everyone joined in with the ooh aah bit and drank some more cheap sparking wine and went to bed (tired but happy) although I think Dan might have actually gone to the second flight of stairs, thinking it was his bed and wondering why it was so lumpy.
6 or 7 days later, I met the wife and everything changed.
Being in a couple at New Years Eve is great. No pressure to snog a complete stranger, no painful face when you get slapped after snogging a complete stranger, no awkward moments following the snogging of someone who wasn’t a complete stranger, but it might not have been such a good idea to decide to snog them as peer pressure is a terrible thing and you were probably better off just as mates who never snogged at new years eve, instead of being mates who snogged at new years eve and does that mean we should go out on a date, or kiss goodbye after we go out just as friends or should we never speak to each other ever again.
We also found Twisted By Design – the best club night in the world, run by the best DJ/Promoter in the world – Gary Twisted. He also therefore – ran the best New Years Eve in the world. Apart from one, (when we watched the fireworks from an Auckland hotel room) we did all our Cardiff New Years Eves at twisted. Always a great night guaranteed, with the added bonus of ensuring you are by the window at midnight and watching the aforementioned Cardiff fireworks from the warmth of a sweaty dance floor along with the dulcet tones of Half Man Half Biscuit. At £6.50 (for about the last 5 years) it represents perfect value for money – which I perceive as being “would I pay that to go there and do that on any other night of the year – if yes – then its good value for money”.
Then we messed it up by moving to London.
20quid to go to Brixton academy tonight is probably ticking this box for many people – XFM DJs, some cool bands, 9pm till 4am, and reasonably local for us, but I wouldn’t do this any other night, so I wont tonight. Tonight, I have other priorities. Tonight I have the wife, who I may or may not snog at midnight. I have a 10k race tomorrow morning, where I may or may not get a decent time (for me – my last 10k was 2 days after smashing my knee open, so it should be possible to run better than that – even after a couple of glasses of a cheeky Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.) I have a few new DVDs to choose from, and a better than average chance of going to bed with the prettiest girl in the world.
I’m sorry to any single people reading this. I remember how much fun it is not fulfilling your expectations of a night out – let alone a new years eve, so forget about it. It’s only a number. It’s a midnight like any other. Enjoy your evening whatever you end up doing – and don’t do anything you won’t enjoy, just because of the date. The same goes for you loved up couples too.
Happy New Year, all the best for 2008, and sleep well tonight. My resolution is to keep on posting, even if it is only the wife and brother who are reading, I’d enjoy writing this just as much if I had a million readers, or just the two of you. I’m aiming for something new every Tuesday, so slap me if I don’t deliver.