New Year on a Lonely Pier
So I spent New Year 2012 drinking champagne with a handful of friends on a lonely pier on the Thames. One of us, I don’t know who, figured it was preferable to being at some painfully cool warehouse party in Hackney Wick, full of red-eyed revelers snorting lines from mirrors and pushing feel-good gravel up their noses; temporary couples fucking in the stairwell, on the sofa and under the kitchen table (NY, 2010). This year’s arrangement was nice, tamer than ever, but nice. I’ve never seen the mayor’s fireworks display before—it reminded me of a Jim’ll Fix It episode, the one where the Bank of England let a kid burn £million in notes.
We had our own private countdown on the pier, which we realised was somewhat premature when the fireworks and the cheering in the pubs behind us kicked-off two or three minutes after we popped the champagne cork. But anyway, celebrating New Year twice only consolidated my two New Year resolutions: to clean my windows more often than never, and to think before I graze. Before you presume to assume, the latter has nothing to do with dieting and everything to do with toxicology. See, last October, a jar of nutmeg called to me from my spice rack; I grated two kernels into my porridge and suffered three days of hallucinations and vomiting. And that’s why I laid off the eggnog this Christmas.
And so, my friends and I celebrated New Year 2012 right there on that little pier. We made our respective resolutions and sang a garbled Auld Lang Syne, and we did it all twice.
We each had our reasons—family dinners the next day, recovery from a cold, a long journey back—we all had our reasons, and so, before the fireworks were dead in the sky, we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
On the bus home alone, with my relative sobriety and my resolutions, I decided I wouldn’t have minded spending my NY at some painfully cool warehouse party in Hackney Wick, full of red-eyed revelers snorting lines from mirrors and pushing feel-good gravel up their noses, temporary couples fucking in the stairwell, on the sofa, under the kitchen table.