Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 dies screaming

It's about 6pm. New Year's Eve. I'm watching a 1960's Sci-Fi ('When World's Collide' - it's excellent - I've seen it about 200 times).

Managed to get out of an afternoon drinking with people who are all depressed about how rough they think last couple of years have been (they have no idea). I wouldn't have been able to cheer them up and I would have had to walk home. I also managed to avoid having guests - lovely people who I like very much, but again, I would have ruined their day. Additionally - I've spurned invitations to drinks in town tonight - which will be utter carnage as people with very little left to live for throw themselves into an alcoholic stupor. Also - I have avoided a 'champagne reception with tapas and a DJ at the bar that wanted me to design their branding and website, for free, I was invited to that one by accident. Neither am I going to a 70's New York style loft party in the bar below my studio and I've also made it quite clear I'm not going to the party at the Masonic, the one I usually work at - it has a Eurotrash theme this year. I am way past the stage where I can accept being abused by drunk snobs on the door.

I made myself a risotto - a very, very good risotto. I have spent years trying to get it right, and finally I have mastered the slow-cook route. I did manage to make it in the oven once and it was excellent - but was never able to repeat the exercise. This afternoon I watched the new BBC production of 'Witness For The Prosecution'. I'm a fan of both the book and the Charles Laughton film version, which was a reconstructed romp and great fun - but this was different. It got everything right, there were no winners, no nice people - just failure, guilt and remorse - they managed to match the black morality of last years 'And Then There were None' very well indeed. Everyone was guilty - and everyone punished in some way. Very good work indeed.

Before anyone says anything - I don't have a TV license and refuse to watch iPlayer without one - so I bought it for three quid from the BBC store, which frankly - is a fucking bargain.

My plan for later is to watch a 'good' film - probably the Baader Meinhoff Complex or The Counterfeiters - and go to bed. I loathe NYE and and am just coasting towards bed time.

When we were children - NYE was always about 2 or 3 days too late to retain any natural good spirit and was a forced, strained affair - regardless of what we did. It could have been something at home - or out at a family party - or with babysitters while my parents were off somewhere grim. It always ended in tears because everyone tried too hard. When I lived in Brighton I was dumped at some point between 10pm and midnight - 3 years running. I gave up trying after that. Brighton is a hellhole if you are single. Everyone that already lives there is either in a relationship with someone phsychtic or jealous - or devoted to bed hopping, or in the kind of relationship that they only consider temporary - and waiting for the next best offer - Christmas, when there would be more people out 'looking for something' was the time you were most likely to get 'replaced'. Additionally - anyone 'not local' (Which at Christmas is about half the population) had the advantage that they could behave with a complete lack of responsibility and leave whatever mess they created behind within a few days. For the next few weeks all bars and pubs would be full of broken and bewildered singletons crying into their beer.

Working NYE is fine, but once people have started drinking - they treat staff like dirt - and I no longer have such a thick skin and such low self esteem that I can take it on the chin any more.

Earlier today, I did something I've been putting off for a week, I checked my bank balance. The two invoices that I was promised would be paid before xmas - drumroll - were not. I think I knew they wouldn't be. This means that I shall start 2017 by defaulting on my mortgage. I have been trying not to think about this all week - now I have to, and it's really, really getting me down. Hence my reluctance to speak to anyone for the next couple of days. I've spent more than one NYE locked in a toilet cubicle at midnight - I really can't be bothered with another. I will probably go to bed early - but people here tend to set off fireworks at midnight, so there's no point.

Facebook is already filling with rather trite, poorly constructed smart-arse comments about peace and goodwill in a very obvious, competitive way. I have a feeling some people have spent weeks trying to craft the 'perfect' NYE message.

I'd love to have something bright, cheery and hopeful to say right now - but as I've just come across Donald Trumps latest tweets and had a personal Happy New Year message from Jeremy Corbyn - I'm all out of ideas. Here's hoping The Baader Meinhoff gang can cheer me up. (I'm watching Gene Tierney in 'Laura' first - I have a remastered social edition copy)

(ignore me, have fun - take responsibility for your hangovers and be nice to people)

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