New Year’s fireworks were a bit of a fizzle when you consider the amount of time we spent waiting (four hours). We probably didn’t pick our vantage point as well as we could have: the west side of Waterloo would probably have been better. However, it was a funny and quite social night, with odd conversations with security guards and strangers. When the fireworks went off, the woman behind Paula pushed foward so hard that she was convinced that she was being hit on, and the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ of her assailant made it rather too realistic! Typically of the English, the longests queues were not for hot food or even the loos, but for tea.

The wander back to the station was complicated by the closure of every Tube station around the Embankment and the huge crowds spilling onto the streets. We had to walk through the City, streets empty of cars, all the way back past St Pauls before we finally could get a train back to Bank and ultimately to Limehouse.

New Years Day saw us make a late start, so after a walk we wandered over to Trafalgar Square to watch the New Year’s Day Parade. We were completely ignorant of the thirty-year history of the event, but after some searching and squirming, we were able to spend about an hour (less than a third of the parade) watching a combination of American High School cheerleaders and marching bands (very good if sometimes very strange in style) and eccentric English contributions (the donkey breeders association was one of the saner examples).


This particular band not only looked like Trekkies, they marched liked Leonard Nimoy and gave the distinct impression they were having as much fun as Spock at a comedy festival. The fifty years of police cars were good fun.

The day got colder and we ended up in the Comedy Pub in Covent Garden for a late lunch before wandering home for an early night after our New Year adventure.