it was a verging on panic, run around and get everything done kinda day. being that it's new years eve and that i have one more sleep in london, i ran around with michelle getting last minute gifts. i even passed up an opportunity to join vyvy and nathan who went to the country for a daytrip. and we all know how much i love "the english countryside could make me give up being a city dweller" country. it would have been fantastic to check out idyllic shere, which was featured in the movie, the holiday. if only there was more time.
but i digress.
michelle and i headed to spend my last day at the covent garden/seven dials are for shopping. it would've been madness going to check out the last remaining stores at oxford circus, particularly today. again, if only i had more time.
buskers and street performers were up to their shenanigans in full force, as we walked through covent garden, then neal's yard and leicester square. michelle had to meet up with a friend, so we made plans to rendez-vous in a few hours, which was just purr-fect cuz i could power through the stores i needed to hit without worrying that it'd be a drag for her. i always get like that when i'm in my one track mind shopping mode.
being that xmas season draws every shopper and their dog to london, i hadn't much luck on clothes shopping this trip at all. except for an £8 adidas and £5 vespa tee, every other purchase has been accessories only. i bought like 7 pairs of tights.
i hit the jackpot at marks and sparks, of all places. i scored a £5 red patent leather bag and a truckload of biscuits and chocolates. yes, everyone will be getting food from me when i get home.
went to meet michelle at the national gallery and you could already see the new years revellers arriving to stake out a spot for the fireworks at midnight in trafalgar square. would i be interested? hell, if i didn't even go to times square for the ball drop the 2 years i was there, i surely wouldn't be partaking in the london equivalent. loathe crowds. so not my bag.
after heading back to the flat for dinner and a rest up, we headed out for stake our spot when midnight rolls around. like coming full circle, we decided to ring inthe new year where i first stayed upon my arrival - hoxton, the home to fashion designer alexander mcqueen, pulp's jarvis cocker and other young british artists and a place where londoners go to party.
when we exited old street station, the streets were teeming with hipsters, fashionistas and glamourous trannies. all the boys and girls looked like they stepped out of the pages of vice magazine, nylon magazine or an 80s era new wave music videos.
we went for our first drink at bluu in hoxton square. and the most hilarious thing happened. michelle got waved through but I got carded. i suppose at my age i should start taking that as a compliment. and although we hated the idea of leaving our primo table and seats, we decided to pub hop.
we breezed in and out of spread eagle. too techno-y for michelle, and went next door to shoreditch station pub. the flavour was just right, the bartenders tres cute and the crowd hipper than thou. being that this was a hipster crowd, there was no official countdown but when midnight struck, everyone cheered, sparklered hands in the air, dancing about. after happy new years all around, the dj started to play some northern soul tracks, my favourite. i didn't want to leave.
course no new years revels would not be complete without the annoying guy telling us his life story or tag team guys trying to make eye contact with you, oozing desperation for hooking up. yes, girls night out is not complete without that.
although i would've been up to staying out a little longer, michelle and i left at 1am. walking down old street, we were both ravenous and were flattered into going into a donair place by its staff for midnight takeaway of fries. we polished it off right when we got to the tube station. our first meal of 2009, ladies and gentlemen.
as we came down the steps to the train platform, there was a dread-locked rasta busker singing and revelers singing and dancing around him. he broke out into bob marley's three little birds. and then it was just one ginormous love fest with michelle and i joining in on the singing and dancing. is there a more PERFECT song to end the year and usher in of a new one?
(since i can't upload the video to blogger, i've uploaded it to my flickr.)
the train ride home saw packed carriages, passengers who at the end of the night were in worst for wear condition and appearance, the train inching along or delayed in between stops and even a fistfight between 2 groups of grown adults (in the front car). could be a new years eve anywhere in the world, yes?
happy new years everybody! wishing you the very best for 2009!