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New Year's Eve 2004

Sunday, January 02, 2005

It took an entire day of watching TV and sipping water, along with a Vegetable Thali from the local Indian, to recover from New Year's Eve. The Flight of the Phoenix also helped somewhat.

The evening didn't start off too promisingly - we had no calls from anyone, and so assumed that we'd be spending it alone. We went to Tescos at about 5pm and bought what we could from shelves that had been cleared by panic shoppers.

12 Cans of Kronenbourg
1 Bottle white wine
1 Bottle Champagne
Nuts
Crisps
Humous
Olives
Coca-cola

Also in the house was a half bottle of whisky, given by my auntie as a thoughtful gift. I eyed this bottle early on in the evening, hopeing that it wouldn't be necessary to crack it open.

Caro cooked and I started my fist can at 6pm or so, sipping slowly. Then the phone calls began, and within half an hour there was a plan to have a party nearby. Oz and X were on their way over. Much eating, runing around and two more cans of lager were consumed before we left.

The party was small, but it was what we all wanted. We chatted, drank, pulled party poppers and ate a lot of food. We tuned into Radio 2 for the chimes of Big Ben, but they messed it all up superbly by seemingly miss a chime, confusing us all, and then finishing before all 12 were heard. This resulted in some mild confusion and delayed kissing and champagne popping.

Ah, then the levitation. I don't know how we got onto the subject, but we were talking about David Blaine and I mentioned that I know how he did his levitation.

'Go on then.' Said Mr Beer.

I tried to explain that it took months of practise in front of a mirror, that the slightest miscalculation and the illusion was ruined.

'Go on then.' They said.

By now a crowd was around me, waiting for the miracle. Me and my big mouth, I thought. I was starting to get cold sweats.

'Ralph is going to Levitate!' I heard the rumour pass around.

I gave up. Slightly drunk, I agreed.

'But not here, no space,' I tried.

'Outside!' Went up the shout.

So, then, tne minutes later, a crowd of people watched me in the car park wobble slightly, go onto tiptoes and then return to the ground.

There was a, um, stunned silence.

'Is that it?'

Ah, but how we laughed.

Then, a couple of hours later, I had a phone call from G, who had put his girlfriend to bed and was intent on crossing London to see us. Dissuation didn't work, so I gathered by remaining beers (breaking the party code that you leave behind what you don't consume) and went home to wait for him there. You see, the party was breaking up by 3 anwyay.

G arrived and seemed to have problems following my directions. Either he was drunk, or I was. I wasn't sure which it was. I went to meet him at the station, the long walk doing a lot to clear my head.

Finally, back at the flat we drank beers and smoked cigarettes, the first ones lit up in the flat since our arrival.

It was all going so well, until Charlie put in a appearance and convinced us to go out and look for a party, at perhaps 5am.

Luckily, downstairs' party had finished some time ago, and the windows were black. However, the rastafarians a couple of doors down had lights on. We wandered over and knocked.

A surprised and wary looking man opened the door.

'Hi,' I blurted out, 'we live a couple of doors down. I know S. We wondered if you were having a party. Look, we brought whisky!'

He invited us in. He was alone, all his friends having left some time ago. We (I) rambled on extensively as we drank the whisky and coke with him. I alked a great deal of questons about rastafrainism and looked a pictures of haili selassi on the wall. The guy took this all rather well and witha great deal of forbearance before we left at something like 7am.

To this day, I still don't know how he took our visit. I must admit to feeling a little horror when recounting it to myself.

Ah, but the best is to come. I was lacking out now due to the whisky, and so couldn't find my house.

Ring ring! Ring ring!

'Wife?'

'Yes?'

'Could you come downstairs and let me in please?'

'It's 7am. Don't you have your key?'

'Please, it's very, very important that you come down and let me in.'

Sigh. 'Okay.' Stamp, stamp, stamp.