Thirty Thousand Streets

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


It's Thursday the fourth of January, and I'm back at work. Indeed I started back on the second. Perhaps ironically I'm back at Start in Soho. What more fitting way to commence the year than this.

I don't think I've worked on the second of January since, well, ever. Returning to work is always something of a shock, but doing it this abruptly feels as brutal an introduction to the new year as being woken from sleep by crashing through a skylight into a pool of ice cold water, perhaps on the back of a giant concrete pigeon. Two weeks off seems just long enough to forget, utterly, what work is like (someone tells you what to do, you do it, a short while later a sum of money is deposited in your account).

Januarys truly are the Monday mornings of the year, and by that reasoning it's going to be three-point-seven weeks before lunchtime, when I can at least pop out for a sandwich from Marks and Spencers. The cheery, alcoholic bonhomie of Christmas has evaporated, ethanol-like, and once more the Londoners resume the daily grind, commuting in the gloom, hands feverishly questing for copies of the Metro, iPod earbuds inserted.

Although Christmas oficially ends on Twelth Night (the sixth of January) I really can't be doing with Christmas decorations after New Year's Day, and spying them is a bit like smelling a liquer you drank until sick in your teens: faintly nauseating. The corporate decorations above regent street will probably be here until March (it's just the way these things work) but otherwise most places seem to be shedding their tinselly skin pronto: good.

January is named after the Roman god Janus—the god who looks both ways—presumably as even then it was seen as a time for both reflection of the year past, and anticipation of the year to come.

Last year was.. ok. Some good things happened, but there were also a lot of disappointments I can't really be bothered dwelling on. I don't really go in for New Years resolutions, but apart from the usual guff (drink less, smoke less, be amazing) I am going to try and be a bit more proactive (whoah there!) and perhaps make a bit more effort to stay in touch with certain people. This has been the first Christmas in a while when I didn't see a couple of people I usually see at that this time of year, and it's all to easy to drop off people's Christmas card lists, so to speak.

As for New Year's Eve.. it was fine. After some Mexican food, much Cava, and a game of Pictionary (which my team WON) we walked round the corner to a party at a squat overlooking Burgess park, that seemed to be mostly populated by Spanish people. It was a nice flat too, apart from some predictably wonky new age graffiti of suns and moons, and a hole in the shape of Africa someone had carved into the kitchen ceiling. We had fun and my housemate Cecilia got more drunk than I've ever seen her before.There were a couple of DJs, including a Japanese guy who looked a bit like Towa-Tei because of his beret and oversized sunglasses (despite it being past midnight). He proceeded to play a couple of boxes of funk seven inches, badly if that's possible, though the tunes were good. There was someone else playing dub too, which made for a nice change. I eventually left when the house band came on and started jamming in a Spanish stylee. The rhythm was a bit fuzzy as the drummers and accompanying clapping kept slipping out of phase, and it was a bit like trying to dance to hail.

We sat up for a bit at home, where Marvyn tried to get people to rap along to Nas, some with limited success, but eventually the food and booze tooks its toll, and I crawled up to bed.

In years past, New Year's Day was generally something of a hedonistic affair, and I'd often be in the pub (or more likely The Bar in Chorlton) from one in the afternoon onwards, quaffing european lager with my partners in crime. Not so this year, as what with working on the Tuesday n' all, it wasn't really practical. Instead we went for a few beers in the evening at the Hermit's, then trotted off home for two hours of soaps.

And this week's been fine, really. Not much traffic on the roads, and the kids are still off school, so getting to work's a relative cinch. I'm reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman and really enjoying it. No real plans for this weekend, but it's Kay's birthday, so am meeting her for a drink in the Theatre Bar on Charing Cross Road tomorrow. Other than that, who knows?

CELEBRITY SIGHTING UPDATE: Ian Hislop in the offices of Private Eye in Soho on Tueday (so no real surprise there really).


Anonymous said...


That's my new New year's resolution "Be amazing"

Anonymous said...

Mine is "seize life by the lapels and scream into its cringing, gurning face."

The Eyechild said...

And I will be amazing..

just watch this space.