Last night I joined the 350,000 other people in London to welcome 2008. The police were there in droves as were the crowds, with children tucked into pushchairs, some on the shoulders of their papas, some running around, people with blankets, chairs, nachos, olives, beer, horns, hats, sparkling headbands, high heeled shoes, thick winter coats, caps, mittens and umbrellas. London had stepped out to party on the streets.
The London Eye was the center of attraction, with fireworks fixed, ready to be let off. It was a fantastic fireworks show. The music was bad, the lighting was good, the people's spirit was high, the children were happy, the weather was warm, and then it rained...as usual. But onwards and upwards, the New Years Eve fireworks in London were as spectacular as it comes*.
The party was on the Embankment in London, with people filling up the good spots to view the fireworks from about 5.30pm. It was like a demographic pizza slice...people of all nations, race, religions being present. It was what London stands for..a mixed culture that welcomes and accepts. The tube stations got packed, and the party started...people danced, sang, petted the bomb detection squad spaniels, rubbed the noses of horses that the police came on, queued in a polite British fashion for eternity for the porta-loos. And when the sound came on, shouted and sang along, waiting for the Big Ben to strike midnight.
It was a happy looking and sounding start to 2008...
*Apart from a die hard Edinburgh festival fan who moaned that the Scottish fireworks are better at the end of the fringe.