I’ve never been a great lover of New Year’s Eve. I think it must be something to do with having to work every December 31st in my teenage years at a posh hotel where we had to do everything we could to make sure everyone was having the best of times. I look back on it as some sort of sacrifice.
By 2am when everyone had gone home we were left to clear up.
I really don’t understand how people could make so much mess out of practically nothing. They only had party poppers and paper hats, but we seemed to be brushing up mountains of rubbish.
I see the same thing today when heading down the aisle of an aircraft after a short flight. Where does all that litter come from? Do people save it up to dump on the plane when they go on holiday? One day I’m sure I’ll see an old mattress lodged under a seat next to a life jacket.
These days New Year’s Eve for me is like any other evening (apart from Christmas Eve which is the most magical night of the year), so I headed to bed about 10.30 as usual and left all the partying and subsequent tidying up to the rest of the country. I soon fell asleep listening to a programme about intimacy.
I woke just before the chimes of midnight rang out on BBC Radio 4. The presenter suggested we all listened very carefully as we would be able to hear the party goers on the banks of the River Thames. I only heard the first couple of bongs as the new year much closer to home erupted into a cacophony of whizzes, bangs, crackles and dog barking.
This morning I woke to discover a stick from a rocket lodged in the lawn, the only evidence of the previous night’s pyrotechnics. It’s litter just like all the bits strewn over the garden after 5 November.
Forty years on and I’m still clearing up other people’s mess.
Happy new year.