Top ten tens of 10: no. 10 – top ten ways to see the new year in

In which I list my top ten top tens of 2010, or meant to, until suddenly my house was filled with end of year guestiness and food and laughter, and I didnt have time for the tenth ten

My top ten things to do at new year, based on things that I have done
Stand up, shouting, in a bar full of braying ninnies, wondering why you bothered.
Be asleep.
Watch people pretend to be all jolly on the televsion when youre perfectly aware they filmed the thing youre watching in about August.
At a party filled with people you dont know.
Eating a lovely romantic meal you cant really afford and is merely icing to the thirty-tier cake your stomach has consumed over the last week.
In a hot tub, while tiddly. Against the manufacturers instructions.
On the toilet. Ive only done this once, but Id been queueing for AGES and it was totally worth it.
With friends, around a table.
In a very packed crowd, trying to see over peoples heads in case something is happening.
On a beach. I had not done this before. Or even considered it, apart from the kind that is covered in white sand and has balmy waters and cocktails. But last night, our assembled party left the house at quarter past eleven, headed on the road down to the sea, realising quite quickly that 80% of the people on the streets were doing the same thing.

When we got to the sea, we sat down on the pebbles – it was warm – and took out our wine and glasses and talked. People kept coming. People and people and people. When we arrived, at half past, it wasnt so busy – by quarter to, the beach was buzzing with people. People were setting off fireworks, people were having bonfires, and more, so many more, were sending up paper lanterns – the South-East Asian kind that float gently up, like slow stars, then burn off and disintegrate. I love them.

I loved it. I loved cooking good food and having nice dinner with close friends and playing board games, and then being on Brighton Beach, talking to strangers, watching lanterns and drinking champagne. It is basically the pinnacle of the new years I have been trying to attain all these years.

Some idiots sung. Some other idiots went swimming, naked. Some strangers I offered to send a photo of them at new year turned me down on the basis that they werent meant to be there together, but gave me half a bottle of champagne anyway. Lanterns floated, and people laughed and cried, and fireworks popped.


I have a feeling that in other, future years, I could say Remember that year we just hung out on the seafront at Brighton for midnight on New Year? It was great. I wish we were doing that.

Im glad I did this time.
It was lovely.

NB: The thing I forgot this year: Anywhere, as long as youre wearing red underwear, as my dearest late Italian-living aunt instilled in me. I therefore resolve to wear mainly red underwear throughout january to make up for my non-red new year faux pas.