Quite an eventful year folks and so I won’t be boring you with what I got up to (which was very little). Here is My A-Z!
A is for Afghanistan
The west handed it back to the Taliban and they immediately set about blowing up the remaining army bases and declaring victory, an extremely damaging defeat for Britain’s military reputation, never to be a world power again. America still have 12,000 ‘advisors’ over there and going nowhere anyday soon. Narco production is at an all time high and 500 British families are without their sons and daughters. Meanwhile Tony Blair’s personal fortune tops $150 million, most of that from the oil and gas industry.
B is for - Bake Off
The extremely popular cooking contest show saw a mind-boggling 500 complaints when a young bearded contestant threw his dish in the bin after a fellow contestant ruined it by taking it out of the fridge. She clearly did it deliberately and quickly pressured to leave the show the next day after the uproar, which she did, claiming ‘illness’. The invasion of Iraq received just 387 complaints. Lesson number one - don’t upset middle-class viewers with triviality in primetime!
C is for Clarkson
A bad year for Jeremy Clarkson is generally a good year for his bank balance. But Top Gear is definitely crunching the gears these days and well past its sell by date, their publicity stunt with the Falkland plates rightfully backfiring like an old Capri in Hackney. He then couldn’t resist muttering the unthinkable N word on the motoring show (no, it wasn’t Nissan) for his Ron Atkinson moment during an outtake to express his seemingly untouchable status at the BBC. This time he has gone too far and becoming boorish.
D is for Dooyoo v Ciao
No contest and the mighty ciao won every round. Dooyoo were obnoxious and embarrassing this year treating members like dirt. You have no immediate idea on the new site if you have rated a review or not and no way of re-rating it. You time out when you try to get to your member page and occasionally log into someone else account by accident to see all of their details. Sony Xbox has better web security! I have accrued just three crowns there this year and just £5 pounds from 50 reviews. Ok, for some reason ciao won’t give me a diamond but at least I get paid fairly for my efforts. I felt I did the most to help dooyoo get through the tough times by helping members and all I get is the palm. I think its best for all of us if dooyoo call it a day and so more traffic Ciaos way.
E is for Ebola
With Scotland getting the first unintentional case on UK soil it looks like the governments prediction of a handful of cases here by Christmas was about right. The orange jump suit of Guantanamo was replaced by the yellow protection suit as the harbinger of world doom. If people wearing full protection gear are getting it then we should be slightly worried though. But for me we need to start sacking people at the World Health Organization over this deadly outbreak. I wrote back in the spring on just how dangerous this situation got when Ebola arrived in Conakry in February, the one million strong capital of Guinea perfect incubation territory. But the W.H.O didn’t react once it hit a major population center and it was left to the charity Doctors Without Borders to take the strain, of which none received an award in the Queens New Years Honors List this year, those going to rich industrialist who contribute heavily to the Tory coffers. From then on in it was only ever going to kill a minimum 10,000 people by the end of the year. Fortunately the West acted to stop a major pandemic and diseases like malaria, TB and dysentery remain the biggest killers in West Africa, Ebola simply added to the list. Somewhat ironically the new facilities built by the west may save more lives than before Ebola went mainstream.
Ebola is spread by ignorance and poor healthcare and there is a lot of that in West Africa. Some people simply didn’t believe the illness was real and the white people in yellow suits ‘wanted their blood’, whilst others continued to wash and even kiss infected dead bodies, as funeral tradition dictates. Baring in mind there are still witch doctors down there that tell men to sleep with babies to cure AIDS it isn’t any surprise Ebola has gripped the region by the throat, still raging in Sierra Leone. If it finally hits the untouched Ivory Coast and Nigeria then we are in serious trouble. It does look like we have started to get control though.
F is for Fergusson, Missouri
An average 50 American cops a year are killed on duty but well over 450 citizens shot by the same cops in return, 30% of the victims black or Latino, as are the dead cops. These killings appear not racially proportional on the surface but when dissected simply reflect that most violent crime in most parts of America were most of the killings happen are committed by black Americans and so in the firing line. If you are armed and confront American cops you will be shot whatever color you are. White liberals and black protesters joined arms and came out in protest at this abstract equality after the shooting of Michael Brown in the town of Ferguson. Brown, like many other black men, often hate and bate the police to see how tough they are and call their bluff, the 17 stone, 6ft black male actually sticking his face in the police car and expecting to come out on top. Bad idea, a 10 stone, 5ft, 8 inch white cop blowing him away. Clearly some white cops enjoy shooting the bad guys but if black crime remains so high and black people exempt form that blame then things will never change. Guns, of course, are the main problem.
G is for Global Warming
Last year was the warmest on record for the planet, so they say. It was certainly mild and stormy in the United Kingdom, the mildest New Years Day on record in London (60f) to go with the warmest Halloween on record (73,3f). Problem is the weather has calmed down some this winter and the same Jetsream that was all over the place causing these extremes weather events because of Global warming effects has calmed down this winter. Now its all quiet is that also down to global warming? Cherry pick is the name of the game. After our recent record cold winters the global warming lobby wee very quiet.
The international climate talks drew another stale mate as the smaller countries asked for yet more money from the developed countries to counter climate change effects. This concession allows the dirty countries to carry on polluting. Problem is the smaller ones don’t spend the cash on sea walls and greener power stations but Presidential Lear Jets and international airstrips to land more polluting tourists, as was the case on the Maldives. No wonder they are sinking if 777s are landing on them every day!
His Royal Highness Prince George
The Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed nine holidays and two pregnancies this year, little George a real star in the making. The feminist are furious with Kate’s one dimensional role alongside the balding William whilst Kate just wants to get into her bikini and leave the nanny to the baby. Every girl wants to be a princess first and mother second.
I is for ISIS…IS...ISOL…
Blair’s legacy is a murderous army of Islamic sociopaths swarming all over the Middle East. They are funded by the strong Sunni nations of Turkey, Iran and Qatar as the Shia’s and Sunnis fight their 1200-year-old war by proxy in Iraq and Syria. Al-Qaeda have been rebranded and the War on Terror is back on, even though both Cameron and Obama don’t want to call it that, as far as they are concerned that particular Bush/Blair chaos over with the timely death of Bin Laden, shot dead so he could never tell the world what we already probably knew that he didn’t knock the Twin Towers down. Britain’s response to ISOL has been as limp as Downtown Abbey, who had their dog by the same name put down to avoid confusion?
J is for Jobs
Unemployment tumbled in 2014 but most of the new jobs were low paid. The problem with that is they are not generating much tax and with a constant flow of cheap labor from abroad employers hold all the cards. They can sack at will and pay minimum wage as workers have few rights now and employers leave it to the government and working tax credit to boost our wages. We can’t afford to buy property and landlords push up the rent at will or pack more into the property to meet mortgage payments. This simply means the rich get a whole lot richer, tax havens the clincher. I can’t wait to vote out Cameron.
K is for Katie Hopkins
She is saying exactly what we think and getting away with it. Make her stop! It’s not fair! Her low light of the year was to say Ebola was deserved population control. The highpoint was the reason given why she went all fat, claiming she was researching an idea for a TV program about self esteem from over-eating, rather than just admitting he is stuffing herself on her ill gotten gains. This woman is clearly a manic depressive and should not be on TV.
L is for Long road to freedom
There were 76,000 deaths in Syria this year, an astonishing figure. A similar figure headed for the Mediterranean to flee to the European Union. And can you blame them. The volume was too much for Italy and so the coast guard sent out to deflect them to somewhere else. But the ruthless traffickers scuttled the boats in the middle of the sea so the Navy had to pick them up there and then to save them. The liberals were up in arms when the EU decided to pull back the rescue boats to discourage the tactic. If there are no boats to rescue them it was pointless scuttling the boats, right? It worked and the tactics changed this week, the traffickers buying and renting old freighters and packing them full of people who had already paid for the skiff rides in Turkey and putting a brick under the accelerator and aiming the boats at Italy. You hear stories of people paying $5000 dollars for these trips but simply not true. Most people are not stupid enough to risk drowning for that.
If we did accept these asylum seekers in the country of departure to cut back the deaths it would simply encourage more to come to the EU. The EU are not heartless and would love to save everyone but the stat they worry most about is that when refugees are given the right to work in foreign countries some 70% remain on welfare a year after given the right to work. Italy are taking in 450 a day!
M is for Malaysian Airlines
Malaysia airlines had a very bad year. Flight 370 disappeared into thin air on the way to Beijing and no one told the truth early on where it might be and so stoked conspiracy theories. For me it’s highly likely it was tracked for most of its journey and I reckon it was shot down in the South China Sea where tensions are high between Japan and China with new missile batteries installed on a disputed island chain every other week, against all UN conventions, why you don’t hear about it.
Flight M17 was not such of a mystery, shot down over Ukraine by Russia, this time leaving a big steaming pile of evidence and bodies on dry land. Putin has since paid for his sins by a collapsing oil price and targeted sanctions but not repentant. It’s always about oil. Bet the gas and electricity bills won’t go down to match the oil price collapse! The EU only wanted the Ukraine in the fold to get access to a critical oil pipeline right of way from Russia to get more control of the Bear after conceding Afghanistan to America. We are winning that new Cold Oil War right now.
N is for Neymar
It looks like the end of an era as the mighty Brazil were humbled 7-1 in the World Cup semi finals, Germany making their 8th final in 16 tournaments. It was an astonishing result and highlighted the decline of Brazil’s romance with their national sport. Gone was the beautiful game as mostly average international Brazilian players spewed up ugly chalkboard football, only Neymar keeping them in the tournament as hosts with a bit of class and heart. But once Neymar was nobbled that was it, kicked out of the competition the way Pele was back in 1966. You will never see Brazil as a football powerhouse again as players prefer the easy street of lucrative European Leagues to expectation at home.
O is for the Oscars
Idris Elba thought he had nailed the Oscar back in the summer with his portrayal of Nelson Mandela, an ‘issues movie’ that hit all the right notes with the rather PC Academy these days. But the real Nelson Mandela died like Elba’s terrible performance in the film, and so his chances, Stringer Bell with a dire South African accent the problem. It got worse for Elba when two other big black issue movies came along in the fast lane, The Butler and 12-Years a Slave, hitting the awards season with momentum with Forest Whitaker and Chiwetel Ejiofor in pole position, only for Chiwetel to be ambushed at the last by another ‘issues movie’, about AIDS, Mathew Maconahey, of all people, winning Best Actor for the Dallas Buyers Club. Black British director Steve McQueen would win Best Director for 12 Years, the first black director to do just that, but The Butler and Madeba getting nothing.
P is for Police
Astonishing cuts to the police will see barely 5 cars on duty in most towns at the start of the week. Muggings are up and so are many other crimes, the crime wave from olive skinned EU countries not helping. Web crime is simply not reported and so crime stats show a fall and the police there now just to stop anarchy. Gangs of blacks and Asians from Luton and London chose neutral Northampton to feud over a respect issue in the town’s pubs on Bridge Street and the police simply couldn’t deal with it, presumably why the gangs came here. The MET would have battered them and murder rates down to an all time low in London.
Q is for the Queen
Speculation ran wild when a £200 bet was placed on the Queen abdicating in her Christmas speech, sparking a run on the bookies that drove the odds down to evens. She never did but with William & Kate doing the Diana thing very well and the Queen and the Duke of Kent suffering health issues it wouldn’t not surprise me if she does go this year. Charles, bless him, is the past and the family needs freshening up and so I think she will only go when William can be king somehow. We won’t mention Prince Andrew.
R is for Russell Brand
Russell bought out a book called Revolution, and spent the whole year promoting it with his fat mouth, covering everyone with spittle in the process, the tome currently in the bargain bin at 75% off in Smiths. He berated the capitalists system that allows him to make ten million a year tax free and expected poor people to listen. But why do these people never come up with a credible alternative? One that would not pay him 10 million a year. When a Channel 4 news reporter pointed out his hypocrisy of renting a swanky London house at 75k a month to avoid paying the tax to fund those public services he wants to save so badly the game was up for the ruffled stand up hairy comic. In retaliation he printed the reporter’s phone number on Twitter. People then phoned in more negative stories about him on that number. I always feel Brand secretly hates being working-class and desperately wants’ to be accepted by the middle-class intelegencia, hence all his big words and grandiose hand gestures to distance himself from the hoi poli he shamelessly exploits to pump his enormous ego. Would you invite those Bedroom tax protesters to your showbiz parties Russell? I am the same. Poor people are generally poor in the west because they chose to be Russell. Brand worked hard and has a talent and made good money and should not be ashamed of that.
S is for Scottish Independence
Well almost, Alex Salmond losing the vote 45-55%. The Yes vote looked on when a rogue pollster said the vote was dead level but the Queen saying stay together, and a high turnout, saw older middle-class Scotland come out and vote to keep things as they are. Looking at the current oil price some wise heads made the right call. I always said that Salmond never really wanted the vote as it would end his career, which it did. Somewhat hypocritically he now intends to stand as an MP and take his seat in a United Kingdom parliament in Westminster.
It was a romantic idea but it was a stupid idea and the vote dissection revealed the unemployed voted on mass for an independent Scotland, mostly because Salmond offered them protection from the bedroom tax and welfare cuts, not exactly the type of people to invigorate a new Scotland. Glasgow, which has 50% of its populous on some sort of benefit, voted a big fat Yes. Doing the same thing in Northern Ireland nearly collapsed the Peace Process last week as the working-class parties refused to agree to welfare cuts. David Cameron take note that there are 5 million Brits on some sort of welfare benefit so don’t piss them off nay more pal!
T is for Trains
I watch a lot of cricket and buy train ticket off peak. Never buy a return on the day is my advice. Split ticketing will always be cheaper, the train companies exploiting our naivety. They get round it by offering tickets from self service machines, which tend not to mention the cheaper options when quizzed. Customers buying from a machine can pay more than £200 when a ticket for the same destination can be found elsewhere at the station for more than £100 cheaper. An investigation also found that many machines promote expensive fares, bury cheaper options and do not apply discounts for groups or families. Always go to the kiosk and argue for the best deal or book online through the search engines. I pay from Northampton to Birmingham single and then Birmingham to Manchester single off peak and save 50 quid return if I had booked a Northampton - Manchester day return. Always check out singles fares between big towns first over long single journey prices. The rail companies are losing subsidy every year and simply passing on that lost revenue through questionable higher ticket prices, some season tickets now 25% of commuters take home pay.
U is for UKIP
Nigel Farage has allowed the nation to express guilt free dislike of skin colour with two stunning by-election wins. This is no longer a protest vote but a subtle and unwanted vindication that it’s ok not to like Johnny foreigner. The country is in a bad place right now. It’s not an attack on Polish immigration but dark skin immigration, why Romania are carrying the can for Eastern Europe Massive white skin immigration allowed for surreptitious attacks on brown skinned people and it feels good to say it for some people. Farage and his pasty white UKIP stormtroopers hate Muslims and black people and the Polish have allowed UKIP to win votes. When you’re not in power or have never had it you get to say what you want at the stump and people love it and will vote for that anarchy to feel better about themselves. What bugs me the most is the pious commentators blaming this hate on the working-class for voting for UKIP yet they have similar feelings towards immigrants behind closed doors.
V is for Vendetta
North Korea were blamed for the Sony hack and accused of corporate crimes. But anyone who keeps the boorish Seth Rogan off my screens gets my vote. No one seriously believes North Korea hacked Sony Pictures and a disgruntled employee with full passwords the most likely culprit (no doubt working for a rival now). But Obama was under pressure to look tough and hit them with sanctions anyway. All this means a Turkey of a movie made its money back and more.
W is for Williamson
Actor Shaun Williamson (now known as Barry from Eastenders) was booked to kick off the World Crown Green Bowls championship in deepest Norwich with the opening speech and introductions. It was an older crowd and so Barry… sorry Shaun, decided a song would be appropriate, wowing the pensioners with some lung screeching number. The blue rinse was not amused and certainly somewhat embarrassed. A barrage of hurled bowling balls was imminent. Shaun has become the character Ricky Gervais turned him into. Checkout the cringing video below.
X is for X rated hack
The Cloud was apparently hacked and celebrities up in arms as naughty pictures of them hit the WWW. But it turns out, like the recent Sony hack and The Interview movie thing, an ex employ simply had a list of passwords for their accounts and went to work. The celebrities responded in a rage about being caught out being naked by posing with even riskier photos. The real and only issue here is they like getting their kit off but only under their control – photo shopped and made up. You don’t want to see what they look like without make up. This was the revenge for the no make up selfie thing they had to suffer in the spring. We are beautiful and rich and you are not entitled to all of us, which, of course we are, as that is exactly what fame is.
Y is for Yewtree
Operation Yewtree coughed up few new faces this year but banged up quite a few old ones, Rolf Harris and Stuart Hall the most disappointing. As yet no sexy attractive rock stars from that era from these feted isles have been outed for similar crimes some reason (Cliff is not a rock star). Maybe the giggly young girls and boys of the 1970s were proud of their trophies back then but not today? Those wrinkled old DJs no longer famous make those wandering hand memories all the more clammy. We worship beauty, not age.
Since the Savile affair a lot of people have come out of the woodwork and said they were abused, perhaps sniffing compensation, 3 million quid of Savile’s estate up for grabs, looking at the claimant’s demographics, the same type of sad and lonely people who say they were abducted by UFOs.
A bank dealing with the claims said over half the 400 claims were proven fraudulent and contested 100 more, meaning the lawyers are likely to receive most of the 3 million in fees. Claims have now resurfaced in this witch hunt climate of an establishment pedophile ring, of which politicians and famous people are supposed to have abused and even killed kids in a posh apartment block near parliament back in the 1970s and 1980s for kicks. I have seen the infamous list and most of the names are prominent Jews, more anti-Semitic than any truth in them. What’s likely to surface from yet another extremely expensive inquiry is these were simply troubled kids from care homes working as rent boys or looking to be naughty, but now told they are victims by those very same lawyers and so some sort of vindication that enables them to deal with their homosexuality.
Z is for ZZZ
Men wearing beards got very boring last year. The Muslim chic looked ridiculous and white English men turned into muppets. I suspect the female of the species were also fed up with looking at young guys looking like gold prospectors from the 1850 Klondike gold rush, picking all manner of hairs out of their plug holes.
Well, here is my first review of 2010! So, I thought what better way to start reviewing a new year, then the celebrations to welcome it in?!
So, after all the Christmas festivities have died down, most people look forward to welcoming in a New Year. A lot of people also notice the huge dent in their pockets after Christmas, which is made even bigger by the costs of New Years Eve.
Usually, my New Years Eve compromises of paying out for a babysitter - probably around £50 or more! Then, its deciding where to go. Now in the area I live in, even most pubs are charging to get in on New Years Eve - your entry fees or tickets can start from £5, and this year just gone I heard one of the clubs was charging £50 a person for entry!! Add on top of that, your drinking money, possible taxi fares, the cost of new outfits etc...it becomes one very expensive night out. But is it worth it??
This year, we decided to scrap the high expense. Our daughters are a bit older and we wanted to celebrate at home with them, we now had a nice bigger house and garden, and we wanted to celebrate the night with our closest friends and family rather than a pub or club full of dunken strangers.
Much fun was had by all; we made use of some family games while the kids were still awake, they all crashed by 9.30pm, so we then found some more adult fun board games and made good use of the sing a long games on the computer consoles. Christmas nibbles provided a good buffet, everyone 'brought a bottle' and thanks to so many good supermarket offers on alcohol, we have enough left over for the rest of the year!! At midnight we were out in the garden letting off a few fireworks left over from Bonfire Night, and we popped party poppers and sang Auld Lang Syne with the neighbours!
The party was over by 2am, with our designated sober driver offering free taxi runs, BUT it was one of the best New Years Eves we have ever had - nobody got overly drunk and daft, there were no tears or arguments, no accidents, no stumbling out of clubs... it was just a great night spent with brilliant friends - and all for the smallest fraction of the cost of hitting the town on New Years Eve.
We ended 2009 the way we want to carry on 2010 - with lots of laughter!!
Is it just me or does it seem that long gone are the days when everywhere was crammed with people and everybody held hands and danced together to auld lang syne? When every bar was filled with jolly people still with that Christmas buzz, when you were guarenteed all your mates were going to be down the pub or one of your family members were having a huge party? Is this what the credit crunch has really brought us too? Because this year I had no idea where anyone was going to be. Non of my friends were going out and my family were having the dreaded 'quiet one in'. I really don't think I would have minded sitting this one out and earning the double pay for working. I did end up playing out and going to a few bars but each bar was like a ghost town. There was non of that cheery new year atmosphere that there has always been. I was really disappointed. I think that 2010 was not worth the effort at all. Unless, I just missed the huge party, and wasn't told about or New Year just isn't as fun as it used to be. Has everyone else grown out of it?
When the Millenium came around I can remember the feeling of sheer panic as the months building up to it everyone had been saying how the world was supposed to end or that aliens were gunna land or that computer were going to suddenly come alive and take over the world. Eventhough this would have been disastrous, it would have been more entertaining than 2010. So, I had just turned 12 when Year 2000 came around and I remember my Mum and Dad had gone to a party and my cousin was babysitting me. I just remember sitting there thinking, what are these aliens going to look like? What if my computer eats my Mum? In 2000 I wasn't able to party with the adults I just had the kids things to do, but funnily enough I actually had fun. And, just incase you were worrying, my computer did not eat my Mum, she is fine.
This New Year was spent at the local pub, I went with my Mum and her friends, and when I got there I met up with all my friends. Our local was a fantastic pub. It had every age, everyone knew each other and we all got along. There was never any trouble and everyone pleased themselves. The whole pub got involved in sing alongs and dances, everyone was acting silly. But that is what New Year is all about, having fun. Everyone laughing and making a fool of themselves. What a great way to see the new year in surrounded by all your mates and your mum, really enjoyed it.
This New Year I spent with family and it was one of the best New Years ever, I had a great time laughing and joking with family, playing silly games. Giggled so hard at my Grandad when he thought he would come down the stairs wearing my mum's pj's, and to get him back she handcuffed him to the kitchen cupboard using Dad's handcuffs. It was all funny until we realised we didn't have the key for the handcuffs anymore and Grandad had to get a taxi to the police station with the kitchen cupboard door on his knee. What a great time! My family are absolutley crackers, I struggle to keep up. The are all so loud and fight to talk so everyone ends up shouting so you can be heard, we just get louder and louder and as the night goes on they get sillier and sillier. But must be the most successful way to welcome a New Year.
Then we skip a few years, we see a credit crunch that means the majority of people can just about afford to buy a weekly shop never mind go out and enjoy themselves. The pub trade has hit rock bottom and people would much rather drink at home for a fraction of the price. What has the economy done to our New Year spirit. I saw midnight come and go whilst in a bar owned by a friend of mine. There was myself, two of my friends and about 5 other people. Yes, it was really busy :S Shame on you credit crunch, what have you done to our fun times ???!!!
Happy New Year everyone! 2 weeks in, how is everyone's going!? I have to say most new years we don't really do much, i don't have a large family, just my sister and my mum and then my sisters boyfriend came round and my fiance was here; best night though to have all my favourite loved ones around me :)
I think we started are night quite early at about 7, we like to play games and not have to concentrate one the TV which is nice! We all cooked the tea so that mum didn't have too...we had a huuuge Christmas roast again! With oven roasted carrots and parsnips, 3 yorkshire pudding each (love them!), lots of roast potatoes, peas, pork, stuffing and gravy! We of course had to finish this off with a mince pie or two.
After this we played a couple of card games called betting on the horses and chase the ace; i don't know if thats what they're actually called but thats what we called them ever since we were little. My sisters boyfriend bought some fireworks round which i was excited about because we've never actually done them ourselves! So at about 11 we went out the front of my house where theres a huge field because my mum didn't want them in the garden!
I think we have about 30 all together and they looked so good! We didn't do them in one go because mum called us in for the countdown which we called toasted to with a glass of alcohol! I then had to do the usual thing of stepping in and out of our house because I'm the one with the darkest hair and its meant to bring luck or something? I dunno I've done it now for years! When we went back outside people were sending off those new year lanterns which looks so pretty and makes me want to do it next year too!
We stayed up till about half 2 until my eyelids wouldn't stay open anymore!
that pretty much sums up my new years eve celebrations..and for once i didn't actually text anyone at midnight!
My New Years Eve celebrations seems to be the same every year now for the past three years but there is nothing wrong with knowing what you like is there!
I have a gorgeous fiance and at the moment we both live at home still so New Years Eve is one of our real chances to have some time on our own together to relax without either of our large families around. This really is one of the few nights in the year that we have complete peace and quiet in the house or if there are people in the house they are usually the younger members of the family who are asleep long before midnight.
On the last few New Years Eve's we have just been happy to stay in with a few beers and some fireworks and this year was only slightly different in that we decided not to have fireworks as there is a new baby in the house so instead of having our usual beers and alcopops I purchased an expensive bottle of champagne and we enjoyed this together instead which was very decadent and made a lovely change from the norm. Although we did not end up finishing the entire bottle we still had a nice drink and it was just unfortunate that I had to go to work in the morning so that really prevented me from guzzling anymore champagne!
Another part of our NYE celebration is the usual sending of text messages and offering well wishes to people but this year it just completely slipped my mind and I ended up popping on to Facebook and posting a message on my status wishing everyone a Happy New Year and to be honest I received hardly any text messages anyway. Perhaps everyone is trying to save money or I just don't have as many friends as last year!
We also like to watch Jules Holland's New Years Eve Show on BBC2 and I love this as there are always at least a few up and coming artists on here as well as some of my usual favourites like The Stereophonics & now Paloma Faith. This show is one that I thoroughly enjoy each year now and I find some new artists most years which is alwas good isn't it! At 11.45pm we always watch the build up to midnight live from London (Shown on BBC1) and then we watched the fireworks on TV until they finish at around 20 past midnight and then we will sit and chat for a little bit about what we would like for the year ahead and whether we kept our resolutions from last year (I did - Smoke free!) and to be honest I enjoy this so much more than I would if we went out and had to fight to get to the bar, queue for toilets and such like, also, we spend a great fortune less even staying in and doing fireworks or buying champagne and we are trying to clear all debts and move in together this year (I'm now debt free yippee!) so it's nice not to go mad as I'd only feel guilty anyway if we went out for a night and spent £100 each or something ridiculous as a few of my friends did.
I would definitely recommend a change from the norm as I definitely wouldn't go back to going out clubbing or whatever on NYE as it's always the same music and the same thing and frankly it just gets a little bit annoying!
New Year's Eve is perhaps one of the trickiest nights of the year to celebrate due to the pressure to and high expectations of it all. When it comes to New Year you need to have the biggest night of the year and you are made to feel like a social pariah if you don't.
"So what are you doing for New Year's".
A "We're going to hire the most delightfully romantic cottage on the Yorkshire Moors complete with guaranteed snow, a log fire, egg nog, top of the range champers and marshmallows to toast
B "We are going to be crossing the dateline in a hot air balloon on the stroke of midnight"
C I'm going to the most exclusive club to party until 6 am where the celebs hang out and the tickets are £100 just to get in!"
D " What's the fuss. I'm going to bed at my normal time and will sleep through it all"
E "We're going to Trafalgar Square and see some of the fireworks at Embankment and enjoy the community spirit"
Which do you think is my answer for New Years Eve 2009 leading into 2010? All will be revealed!
The answer is none of them so far. I'm Scottish so |I have an inbred need to celebrate Hogmanay! I was not that happy at having to work New Year's Day this year, as I have not done so since I was a newspaper girl a decade and a half ago! The first year I was living in England I got a shock that the second of January was not a holiday.
I'm not a party pooper nor am I extravagant when it comes to Hogmanay. I certainly would not miss it and would hate to be alone on New Year's Eve so option D is out of the question. So is C, I've never done the whole pub and club thing. I don't like the idea of having to pay inflated entrance prices. My boyfriend had to pay £10 to get into his local pub for New Year this year. It did include a buffet but this is a local backstreet pub where he goes once a week at least not some centre of town club. Once in, there are drinks to pay for and cheesy Djs making sure you are living it up and did I forget all the drunken strangers! Its not really for me at all.
I've done option E in the past but not in London. Street parties can be great fun. The best Hogmanay I ever spent was in Glasgow 98/99. There were very few drunks and everyone was friendly and in a party mood. I remember trying to kiss as many policemen as possible that year. I've also done the whole Edinburgh thing in 2000/2001 which was pretty fun. I remember doing reels to Capercailiie with my friends then letting off party poppers at the stroke of midnight. It was good but again maybe because it was Edinburgh and one of the party capitals of the world come New Year's Eve there were great expectations. I did Manchester Albert Square sometime in the mid noughties and that was a great let down as they did not ring the bells at midnight. That was perhaps the biggest anticlimax, as it felt like a good Saturday night but nothing more. Maybe one year I will do the whole London thing, as it does look fantastic on the television. However it is cold and you are packed together like sardines and I've heard its a nightmare getting home even though the transport is free.
New year aboard can be fun. I did that at the Millennium. My family went to Majorca for Christmas and New Year that year and we had two new years. One was the Spanish one where we ate a grape one each stroke of midnight. We then celebrated an hour later when our friends would be doing so! It was fun and I'd certainly consider a less drastic version of option B in future years.
Option A is my fantasy New year and in a way closest to the truth. I'd love to get away to a lovely rural cottage somewhere romantic like Yorkshire, Cornwall , the Highlands or Ireland, and have an intimate New Year just with a lover or perhaps a small group of close friends enjoying all the facilities the cottage has to offer. To me New Year is a time to spend with loved ones, friends and family remembering the old year and welcoming in the New.
F " "I'm going round to a friend's house. There will be a few of us and there will be food and drink. We'll put the TV on for the bells and have a good chat. Nothing exciting but it suits me"
This has been my answer to the age old New Year question ever since I was allowed to stay up to midnight about the age of ten. As a child and a teenager we would go round to my best friend's house, as her parents were my parent's friends. T heir relatives would be there and there would be a good spread. I'd be allowed a taste of a snowball (the granny cocktail not the coconut, chocolate and mallow concoction) and we would watch Scotch and Wry and I am Jolly! Come the bells it would be round the room kissing everyone. It was nice and comfortable. No one was drunk apart form one year when I remember my dad getting roaringly so.
This scene was transplanted and replicated in friend's houses when I lived in Manchester .and more recently in London Maybe there was more drink but it was the same comfy feel of food, TV (Jools Holland has become a favourite of mine) and talk. Last year was a pretty memorable year, as we had homemade chocolate truffles, and I made a cheesecake. One of the guys brought a keyboard around and there was singing and dancing. It was civilized and I must say one of the more memorable parties for all the right reasons.
This year was another quiet and comfortable New Year's Eve. I had been working during the day and arrived at my friend's flat just before 10 pm. There were seven of us which was a nice number. I was the last to arrive and there was pizza and garlic bread ready in the oven along with other nibbles and a nice glass of spiced mulled wine. My friends were sitting watching a DVD of the at 80s classic Top Gun. About 11 30 a fondue of molten chocolate was served and I can not think of a nicer way of bringing the New Year in with strawberries, marshmallows and animal crackers dipped in yummy liquid chocolate. The TV was turned on just before midnight so we could watch Big Ben and the London Eye fireworks. We also watched fireworks going off in the immediate area. Whilst doing this I mad my New Year's resolutions to be more financially astute and stable. I also resolved be more patient with people I don't necessarily get on eye to eye with along with the usual ones of being better at housework and having a more sensible diet. Review writing wise I'm going to try and write at least two reviews a month and be better at reading and ratting!
We were going to play a board game but in the end watched a bot of Jools Holland before going to bed about 1.30. Nothing exciting at ll but I like it that way. Unfortunately I could not enjoy New Year's Day to its full extent, as I was busy working the whole day and work was really busy especially during the afternoon with tourists and day trippers wanting somewhere to go.
Next year I imagine will be pretty much the same but you never know you might see me paraglididng in foreign climbs or I might just book that romantic cottage for two.
All there is left to say is all the best for 2010 and the new decade.
Ah, New Years Eve, Hogmany, Old Years Night. For many it can be the biggest night of the year and people talk about it for months afterwards. Me? I like it, but really don't do the going out thing. I'd much rather spend it at home or, in the case of this year, at a friends home, enjoying a good time with the people I love.
This year was actually pretty perfect for me. My partner and I spent the evening and night at our friends house. The 4 of us shared a yummy dinner, a few bottles of wine (and fizz at midnight) and chilled out playing board games. We played an intense game of Carcassone! Then at midnight we opened a bottle of cava, hugged and kissed, I sang the only verse of auld lang syne I know and we ventured out in the cold to release some sky lanterns!
However, this part of the evening didn't quite go to plan, it was too bloomin cold and windy, so we abandoned the plan, went indoors and finished the game after phoning our respective families to wish them Happy New Year.
For me, it doesn't get much better than that. I was with some of my very favourite people in the world and I got to speak to the rest. I wouldn't change anything.
And now, Happy New Year to you, my fellow dooyoo'ers, may the year bring you everything you hope and wish for.
New Year's Eve is one of those strange nights which brings excitement and hope for many, and a deep sense of sadness for others. There is something very moving about the sound of Big Ben as it resonates over London at midnight, or the fireworks exploding into a cascade of colours in Edinburgh, illuminating the sky in a million shades of crimson and gold over the majestic castle. Wrapped up in scarves tightly knotted, party goers dance and cheer, heralding the New Year with excitement and eager anticipation.
I always remember the Millennium as my family were all living at home then, and we made the journey to the Outer Hebrides all together to celebrate the dawn of 2000. We raised a glass outside under a blanket of stars, all six of us embracing each other, marking a moment in time.
I don't think the night needs a big party, or a lavish affair to celebrate, but rather feel it's an individual choice. If you love nothing more than a cosy night in front of a DVD or an early night, then I think it's fine. I have done different things over the years, been to parties, gone to bed early, stood in Trafalgar Square, and more recently just watched the stars.
Being in The Outer Hebrides is a strange experience at this time of year because there are no markers to tell you where you are in time. It's as if the season is quietly celebrated, and overshadowed by the severity of the weather. There is the constant need to survive in a windswept place, with only a ferry and a daily plane for transport, which is itself subject to cancellations and delays. It's a constant reminder that although man plans the time, and the venue for New Year celebrations, that the real master- the weather and nature oversee it.
In January 2005 a family from South Uist left their home in their car in storm force winds to seek shelter away from the coast, as the waves crashed against their windows. As the event occurred in the same week as the tsunami it was not widely reported, but an entire family died, overcome by waves and tides, and their car was buried by water, and their hopes and dreams ended on that night. A harsh reminder of the way that climate change and extreme weather conditions are threatening communities all over the fringes of our shores so near to home, not just in Polar regions miles from anywhere.
This year was particularly sad as someone I really loved passed away, leaving her husband of 56 years alone and in mourning. I wrote this poem on New Year's Eve as a tribute to him. I wrote it starring out at the view from my cottage window in North Uist which views the highest mountain, Eaval, as the dusk was falling. I suppose it evoked that feeling which makes you think that despite the sudden passing of a loved one, and the deep sadness that is left behind, that nature carries on, and the cycle of the seasons ensures that new life comes with the approaching spring bringing hope and peace.
A View from the Cottage Window
As the light fades over a snow-dusted Eaval
On a windy New Year's Eve
Five hundred miles away a man sits alone over a single whisky
With only his memories for company
Soon the clouds will come together
Closing the light for the last time
Bathing the sheep in the final glimmers of the sun's rays
What will tomorrow hold?
Reeds are buffeted in the wind
Flickering in and out of vision in the dusk
Willows bend and fight
As the horizontal sleet fires in from the western shores
Around this agitated night spring beckons
And a single oystercatcher shelters low to the ground
As bullets of hail flash past his head pinning him to his rock-strewn spot
It will come for him - spring that is
It won't be long
In or out? That's the question..and I'm not referring to the status of your belly button!
I am talking about your New Year's Eve celebrations.
Okay there may have been the majority of people say it's the biggest party night of the year and Vital that you go out, but I disagree (personally) and here's why...
When I first started going out it was around the time I met my husband; which at the risk of making me feel incredibly old was 16 years ago. At the time nights out were great as it were but New Years Eve was the ultimate and just about everyone you knew would be out as well.
My first NYE was fantastic but it was so busy everywhere - struggling to get served; nowhere to sit in pubs; queuing for ages for the toilet; extortionate taxi prices - it was an eyeopener but I couldn't wait for the following year.
After 4 years of the same sort of thing I was getting a little bored to say the least. By now I had a part time job (alongside my regular job) in a pub and the golden rules were work either Christmas eve or New Years Eve.
Now I love Christmas eve at home so I instantly put my name down on the rota for New Years Eve...
It was fantastic..all the fun behind the bar with my friends, getting tons of drinks bought, not struggling to be served but allowed a drink (within reason!).
This went on for the next few years. It was a great excuse not to go out on that particular night without upsetting anyone. "Out New Years Eve? Oh I'd love to but I have to work" I'd say, thinking "Not a chance!".
My husband had previously worked at the same pub as me in the past and the odd few years we actually worked behind the bar together which was fun too. After a few years I had children and though my hours cut down at work and I didn't really want to be working over the holidays but the work 'one or the other' rule still had to be obeyed.
Suddenly all the excitement was going and I was beginning to feel anti social! I wanted to be home with my family - not out getting drunk or serving people who were out to be drunk!
Forced to be nice and polite to customers who were not very nice to you, singing and kissing people at midnight who you probably never even spoke to during the day, cleaning up the mess at the end of the night sober..
After 12 years of working NYE I knew I'd had enough and last year was officially my last shift. Due to family commitments I was leaving my pub job anyway but I relished the thought of this Christmas - off very single day of the holidays and most importantly free to do whatever I wanted on New Years Eve!
So what did I do?
Party all night long?
Give in and work for old times sake?
I stayed home with my husband. We got the children off to bed, opened a bottle of wine, ate a take away and watched a film and it was bliss! Boring? Maybe to some but to me it was the perfect way to see in the new year and from on the only way for me. Maybe it's because I'm 34 now but I'm quite happy staying in from now on. Now where's my pipe and slippers..?
I hate New year's eve. This is a revelation that has slowly dawned on me over the last few years, after a youth spent in a lemming-like "It's New Years eve so I must go out somewhere really great!" state of mind.
I have never been to one of those sparkly parties where everyone looks glamorous and beautiful. (It seems Meg Ryan movies have lied to me.) You never see them texting because they're bored, or being sick in a gutter, do you? Which makes going out in Watford seem all the more tragic, somehow. At least the ghastly American tradition of having to kiss someone at midnight has never quite caught on over here. A cheerfully inebriated (and somewhat involuntary) group hug is much more likely.
New Years eve 1999 was of course the big one; not only a new year, decade and century, but the new millennium....What could a 19 year old girl do to properly celebrate such a humungous night in history? Well, I went to London to hear Big Ben. Which meant several hours of waiting in the cold, surrounded by drunken nutters. The most disappointing part was that we didn't even get to do a big crowd countdown. Maybe my pre-adolescent MO of watching it on TV would have been better after all.
Subsequent years ended at house parties - the ideal, you might think. No entrance fee or expensive drinks. This worked reasonably well until "The Worst Party Ever. " I remember very little of it except for grown adults playing "Chubby bunnies" (whereby one crams as many marshmallows into one's mouth as possible.) The only good thing was that it developed a kind of legendary status amongst my social circle, eliciting admiring cries of "You were actually THERE?" for months to come.
I can't even begin to think about going "out" anywhere other than someone's house. Why would I spend upwards of £10 to go to the same swirly carpeted, sticky-barred pubs that I dislike even when they're not charging for admission? Just like Valentine's day, it's a swizz relying on our insecurities that staying home and just being ourselves is not "enough."
If you're really clever, you'll arrange to work on NYE, thereby avoiding the problem of what to do, and possibly earning a hefty bonus too.
But this year? I'm doing nuthin'. I don't care. I'm not interested in NYE. I don't like being told when I will go to a party. I don't like the pressure to go out into the cold night in a cocktail dress, when I would prefer to stay at home in my pyjamas and fluffy slipper boots, watching Seinfeld / Frasier / Spaced.
The thing is, I'm not alone. I don't know if it's my age (29) but in the last few years, everyone around me seems to be getting less and less excited about NYE. In an ideal world I would simply go to bed, wake up the next day and it would be January 1st. No mess, no fuss, no hangover, no hazy memories of embarrassing myself. No doubt these things will happen sporadically throughout the year, but at least I will get to choose when they occur.
Let's end the tyranny. Stay in tonight!
Oh lawks, it's New Year's Eve again.
Too soon for my declining brain
The world's spun off another year,
Spring, summer, autumn gone, I fear,
And winter well into its stride.
Indeed we've just had Christmastide -
We've supped and drunk and overeaten
This bitter season's pill to sweeten
And keep the icy chill at bay;
Now here we are at Hogmanay.
For yes, it's New Year's Eve again,
That's what our calendars ordain.
Some celebration's surely needed
Before the old year's superseded.
If happy, it should be rewarded
By being off the stage applauded,
Whilst if you've found it were pretty dire
Be glad it's scheduled to expire,
Giving you cause to shout hurray
And raise a glass on Hogmanay.
A glass? Of whisky? Or champagne?
It scarcely matters; I'll abstain
From neither, no, nor even beer
If that's on hand to toast New Year.
But where, with whom? Now there's a question
More to the point, for all ingestion
For its enjoyment much depends
On what you do and who attends;
For there is truly many a way
To celebrate on Hogmanay.
When one is young and fit one's main
Object in life - need I explain? -
Is meeting with the other sex,
So New Year parties only vex
If they do not include the chance
To chat up talent, flirt and dance,
Whilst midnight's strokes are but the first
Of many strokes, till, fit to burst
You yield yourself to nature's sway
For an orgasmic Hogmanay.
Such youthful ardour need not wane
Once one is paired, but it is plain
The urgency becomes more muted,
Arrangements can be better suited
To a broader social life:
One can attend as man and wife
A New Year's gathering just with friends
Or out to dinner; if one spends
Enough, a club with cabaret:
Far be it from me to complain -
For freedom's loss is family's gain -
But once young kids are on the scene
No night-club, tavern or shebeen
Holds its attraction when compared
To a night in with offspring shared,
And lots of sickly things to eat,
Their staying up a special treat
Till tired from excess and from play
Their eyelids droop for Hogmanay.
They leave the nest, but you remain
And doing much now seems a strain,
So, thin of hair but thick of belly,
You couch-potato, watching telly
Till chimes resound and bagpipes whine,
Some Scotsman warbles Auld Lang Syne,
And yawning you decide on putting
Off all notions of first-footing,
For best-laid plans gang aft agley
For mice and men on Hogmanay.
So, lawks, it's New Year's Eve again,
But is that pleasure or is it pain?
In with the new, out with the old
That's nature's way or so I'm told,
But sometimes I think I'd prefer
To linger in the bygone year.
Can I be doing with all this pother?
Perhaps I'll not so much as bother
To sit up and attempt to stay
Awake to welcome Hogmanay.
(Afterthought, in case you haven't enjoyed it)
Oh dear, I meant to entertain,
But now I fear it was in vain.
Just as with Shakespeare's seven ages
Of man (see As You Like It's pages)
What started merry ended sad;
Such role reversal drives one mad.
As Will said to Anne Hathaway:
"Next time I'll write a Scottish play
Of witches, ghosts, blood-drenched affray -
With any luck 'twill go astray
And spread good cheer on Hogmanay."
© Also published under the name torr on Ciao UK 2009