January 1: fireworks on the telly

At midnight on New Year’s Eve there are fireworks on the telly. People switch on to see the coloured lights on their screen. Even people who live round the corner from the actual fireworks and can hear the World War 2 detonations going on all around them switch the telly on to get the authentic experience of the New Year celebrations red hot from off the telly. It is another variation on buying a ticket to go out into the cold and stand and be jostled, sometimes crushed, by a load of atrangers in a confined space where you cannot get to the toilet. It reminds me of my one experience of the Notting Hill Carnival where you have the added pleasure of thousands of people blowing whistles into your ear. Finding a toilet again becomes the main aim of the festivities. Maybe festivities should be broken down into two types: those where the main aim is to find a toilet and the others where a toilet is available with no challenges to the act of relieving your bladder. Of course, New Year is no fun for anyone. You see groups of young men hunting in packs looking for the right party. There are plenty of wrong parties with the host looking forlornly out of an upstairs window with a flashing disco light behind his ear as illumination. It makes for a lovely cinematic tableau. Those in parties will be singing ‘Wonderwall’ together at the top of their voices or (something I heard last night from the neighbours over the way) ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Boyfriends have to give their girlfriends a good new year and girlfriends have to look better than Sharon or Tracey in their contending sparkly Topshop dresses. It’s goose-pimpled legs in a miniskirt eat goose-pimpled legs in a miniskirt out there. I had heard the phrase ‘drink a toast’ at some stage in the evening and so my tyrannical and moronically literal imagination forced me to bring in the New Year with three rounds of toast with apricot jam on. Only when the crumbs were wiped from my lips was 2017 finally seen out the door. Then we could get back to reading our books on the settee.

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