Praised be the days when I hadn't reached ten yet and dad took us to watch the fireworks on New Year's eve. Forget Bonfire Night, fireworks are for New Year. They are in remote Bavarian villages, anyway. And New Year's eve was the only night of the year I was allowed to stay up until midnight. That's excitement enough when you're eight. There were no countdowns and no resolutions to make. Just fireworks.
When I grew older, that changed. My friends said that watching fireworks on a hilltop just wasn't enough. There were parties to go to and streets to be filled with drunks. It was New Year's Eve after all so you better go celebrate. So I found myself on the Town Square, year after year, surrounded by mates riding high on shandy, shouting 'Hyper Hyper' (that must have been the year of Scooter...duh!) a lot. Those were the good years. Then came the years when a bunch of morons discovered teargas and what 'fun' it is to spray it right onto the masses on the square. Great. Hence we moved our New Year thing onto the town's historic bridge. Oh joy. People throwing up down the bridge, broken bottles everywhere. Apologies to the river Danube. Still, staying in the streets at midnight wasn't too bad. Then I moved to London where staying outdoors round midnight would be suicide. That's when the trouble started. The 'right' parties had to be found and I realised just how lame New Year actually is. You're stuck in some venue with drunks you don't know. It gets to midnight. People do the countdown thing. Everyone shouts for two minutes and then returns to their bottles. Apart from the shouting bit it's like every fucking day of the year. Why does no one understand that? Next year, you'll find me on top of a hill in the deepest of countryside and dad and me are gonna watch fireworks again.