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Happy New Year?

Happy New Year?

Happy New Year in Saigon

Originally uploaded by almost witty

I’m fairly sure that in the past, I’ve had a couple of interesting New Years.

1999: There was Millennium Eve in Edinburgh, where my party and I walked up and down Princess Street watching four Turkish guys try in vain to get kisses off girls, and saw a heavily pregnant woman beg her way past the crowds and guard barriers, only to reveal her ‘baby’ to be a six-pack once the police had moved on.

2000: A couple of friends and I decided to join a river boat party on the Thames. Which sounds like a great idea until you realise that you’re stuck on the boat for four hours. It was moored off Big Ben just in time for the chimes of midnight. This sounds great until at the stroke of midnight, all the revellers standing on Westminster Bridge throw their beer bottles into the river – and of course onto the boat which you are standing on. Cue the sounds of broken glass smashed onto the boat roof while everyone huddles inside for safety.

2004: Possibly the best New Year I ever spent, though, was in 2004 when I stayed in to avoid being confronted about an anti-Cardiff quote from this very blog. Fortunately, Channel 4 came to the rescue with a huge supply of final episodes from various TV series I’d yet to catch up with.

2005: There was also New Years’ Eve 2005 in Saigon, Vietnam, though that was more due to a relation’s wedding. The streets were thronged with party-goers who just assembled in the middle of the square, and then disappeared once the countdown had finished.

2006: Actually went to a proper gor-blimey New Year’s Eve party in a friend’s house in Manchester, where the obligatory redhead Doctor Who loving lesbian that I fancied was desperate for a woman, and as the party got drunker with the charades and other games, ended up miming all sorts of positions with her legs spread wide open. While a friend’s eight-year-old son looked on, frankly astonished. He’ll be in therapy for years.

This year, there definitely seems to be a lack of New Year spirit – or maybe that’s just the circles I move in. During the rush of work-related Christmas parties (ie both of them), in a lull in conversation, I asked the group what they were doing for New Years. The answers were so depressing, maudlin and dismissive that our table promptly broke up and we made our way home. As far as I can tell, nobody I know is actually going out to have a good time. Some colleagues are spending it at their boyfriends’ house, and some people are spending it alone.

Despite there being the now-traditional New Year fireworks across the Thames, my parents and I will be watching it from the warmth of my flat, since it’ll be -2 Celsius out there, and just a bit too cold for my parents.

Although we ought to be grateful for that – my first year in London, we went to Trafalgar Square to join in the celebrations with everyone else, only to find a massive crowd of people in a square with nothing in it. The fountains had been closed off, there were no TV screens and only rudimentary lighting. At some point, someone yelled “Happy New Year!”, and then we all went home. And can someone tell me what’s so fab about watching a silver ball drop from Times Square?

Are you doing anything?

I have nothing to wear!

I have nothing to wear!

It’s Halloween again, which means another invitation to a fancy-dress party. While I love parties (dude!), I really do hate dressing up. Primarily because it never works.

Me as Al Capone / OddjobA couple of years ago, I attended a veritable series of stag nights which involved fancy dress. Invariably, I’d hire a costume (Austin Powers, Al Capone) for the evening only to feel incredibly uncomfortable for the entire night and no-one’d recognise me anyway. Indeed, when I wore an Al Capone-esque 1930s outfit, people assumed I was dressed up as Odd Job instead.

I’ve been cordially invited to a neighbour’s Halloween party this weekend, but the dress code is fancy dress. And I have absolutely no idea what to wear, or indeed how to wear it. The last time I went to a works Halloween party, I stupidly dressed up as Doctor Who (ie a leather jacket with a scarf – an amalgamation of the fourth and ninth regeneration). A month later, I was made redundant. Coincidence?

So … got any ideas?

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