Sunday, 15 December 2013

We need to talk about New Year

Well, we’ve had a couple of posts about Christmas, so I suppose the least I can do is follow them up with a post about New Year’s Eve – the climax of the Christmas period, and traditionally the time that everyone goes out all at once and gets pissed up. Then, when it’s all over, I can just get on with blogging about booze, and never mention these two events again. And that will be lovely.

It drives me mad how everything stops at this time of year, and just concedes defeat to the relentless tide that is all things festive. Music stops, and is replaced by the same Christmas songs you hear every year. Restaurants stop, and run Christmas menus where everything’s turkey, salmon, cranberry sauces and stuffing. TV stops and all you get is shit festive specials and repeats of The Vicar of Dibley.

It’s ridiculous really, because you have all that fuss, all that build up… and then it’s just over and it’s January. It’s like waking up from a long dream where everyone’s acting over-enthusiastic, and during which someone has been force feeding you chocolate, party treats and alcohol. You wipe the sleep from your eyes and go, “what the fuck was all that about?"

So, New Year, the biggest anti-climax known to man. You’re supposed to go out and have a great time, but I’ve been thinking, and I can’t think of a single great New Year’s Eve. I probably need to stop before I get on to moaning about how everywhere is too crowded, taxis are too expensive, you have to buy a ticket in advance to get into a bar, and that means you have to stay in that bar all night, and that’s shit because I hate staying in one place… but! I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Everyone seems to think that working on New Year’s Eve entitles them to being paid double or even triple time. It shouldn’t really, because they’re not really even missing out on anything. At least if you’re working, you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to celebrate.

One year when we lived in Didsbury, we got the bus into town on new year, and for some reason the bus company (Finglands) had decided to instil a policy of ‘whatever your journey, £3’. That was a bit steep, considering you could get a weekly pass for £2 in those days.

It proved to be really annoying too, because it took every single customer along the route by surprise – and obviously the closer to town people lived, the less value they were getting for their money. They all got on, thinking they were going to get a bargain trip into town, but when greeted with ‘wherever you get on, wherever you’re going, it’s 3 quid’, they didn’t know what to do. And this happened at every stop, so you’d have to wait an age while they deliberated: “what? £3?”

On or off!

Getting into town took forever – literally of course.

The best New Year that was entirely booze-fuelled, and on which I actually went out, was probably the millennium. I know; it should have been an anti-climax, and I suppose it was in a way… I hadn’t even made any plans to go out – in fact, I was planning to stay in with the parents and watch the final episode of the Das Boot TV series.

Instead of that, I got a phone call at the 11th hour from my friend Pits. Somehow he hadn’t got anything to do, and we decided he’d come over to the sprawling metropolis that is Wath-upon-Dearne, and we’d go out looking for trouble.

Dad; VCR on standy. Don’t forget to record Das Boot. I want to make sure them Jerrys are drowned good and proper…

It was a weird night, because you needed tickets to get in everywhere – even at all the local pubs. We tried one in Swinton, but the bouncer asked for our tickets, and we pretended we’d left them at home, and would just pop back to get them.

Next we tried a pub down Wath. There wasn’t anyone on the door, so with Pits being the fearless blagger that he is, we just went in. We managed one drink before we were rumbled and thrown out.

Finally we found a pub in the centre of Wath that wasn’t working on an all-ticket basis. It was like walking into an episode of The League of Gentlemen. There were only about four people in there, and they were all older than time, but nevertheless, they were delighted to see us. The prices were pretty good, too.

I can’t remember much of what we did, but a very old painted-faced lady insisted on kissing us as we left – in that wet way that only grannies have.

So, yes, that is the best going out New Year’s Eve I can remember. Pretty sad, really. Your best bet in my opinion, is to go to a house party. Or even better, host one. You just need to make sure you plan it far enough in advance, and hope enough people think it’s going to be good enough to go to.

Last year we were planning to go for a meal with some friends. It was something like £60 each, but you get all champagne and that. Unfortunately our friends were completely skint, so just ended up going round theirs.

This year the decision has been taken out of our hands, since we’ll be in Canada over the festive period, and our flight back is on New Year’s Day, so we’ll just be hanging out with Mrs Cake’s family.

Well, I’m not here to tell you what to do or where to go, but wherever you end up going or not going, whatever you end up doing, have a good one, and try to stay out of trouble, eh?

That’s me for this year, then. I won’t be able to post now until the beginning of January, so look out for that. I’m thinking of starting with a brief nod to three Spirits of the Year, though that could well change before then. I also thought about doing a little look ahead to what you can expect from me next year, but I tried that and it wasn’t interesting. That’s not to say next year won’t be interesting! It will. Seriously! I’m sure there will be some booze tourism adventures and I’ll always think of a new experiment to carry out or something new to investigate – as a taster, I’m particularly looking forward to finding out which standard supermarket blended scotch is the best. So if you’re going to make a new year’s resolution, make it to come back and visit my blog a bit more often. It’ll be easier and better than quitting smoking. So I’ll see you soon then, yeh? Good. Take it easy. Oh, and happy new year.


  1. My fave New Year was prob last year - we had a tasting menu in our fave local restaurant, then got shit faced at Great Gatsby... although the party we had in the flat the year before was also pretty good! This year we're off to a party at a friends - is it wrong that I kinda can't be arsed?

  2. No Clare, it isn't wrong. I think ultimately it is inevitable. I hope you had a good one nevertheless! See you soon.