Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New year

Happy new year everyone. What did you all do to celebrate the change from 2008 to 2009?

I had a different new year location this time compared to the last three years. After spending Christmas with the folks I stayed down south rather than travelling back up to Glasgow (as I have for the last three years), so that I could go into London for the night. I didn't have much of a plan, but met up with an old university friend with the intention of finding a pub somewhere in the centre and then heading to the Thames to watch the fireworks. The first part of this plan worked and we started off in a Samuel Smiths pub called The Chandos just by Trafalgar Square - these pubs generally provide a place for a cheap beer even in central London, but they'd hiked up their prices by 1.5-2 times the regular price especially for the evening. After a few pints in there we moved on to a Pitcher and Piano pub next door which had slightly cheaper drinks, but also a slightly poorer atmosphere. We left leaving the pub a bit late to make it down to the Thames given the size of the crowds, so decided to stick around Trafalgar Square and party with the people there. Before the millenium Trafalgar Sqaure used to the the place to celebrate new year in London, but since then it seems that the banks of the Thames is the place to be, and there's actually not much in Trafalgar Square other than a big screen. At midnight we jumped around a bit and opened a rather nasty bottle of Champagne and had some very harsh tasting cigars, but everyone was having fun. We did however forget to sing Auld Lang Syne!

We followed this up with another pint, but then had a few problems. My friend who I was out with, and who I was going to be staying with, lives near Wimbledon so we left to the pub to get the tube back there. Unfortunately we got split up and decided to make our own ways back. I attempted to get into Charing Cross tube station, but they seem to have closed off all the entrances, and everyone was getting herded away from there. I decided to head north up Charing Cross Road to a station further up the Northern Line. This worked and I managed to get on a train at Goodge Street, but my friend hadn't been so lucky and was still stuck down on the Strand and had been corraled into a fenced off area by the police. I got back to my friends flat and was stuck outside for a couple of hours before he made it home. I had curled up and managed to get a bit of sleep on his doorstep, but it wasn't the most warm or comfortable time. I did have a good night, but it could have ended a bit better.