I can't remember all the ways and places I've seen in New Year, and I certainly can't remember which years, but since I've just finished my last gig of 2009 and I'm home in time to see in the new year with my beloved and my sad comedian friends on Twitter, here's a thinkback over some Hogsmanay (that must be the plural, mustn't it?)...
Up to 1977, Mum & Dad's legendary Hogmanay party in our house. Up to 80 people in our house, no-one allowed in till midnight, haggis, tatties and neeps and it goes only til 6 or 7 in the morning. My first one would be Aberdeen, then Evington, then Kibworth. As 76 goes into 77 I'm not old enough to drink yet and the golf pro detunes my guitar.
1977 into 78 Me & Steve babysitting in Pucklechurch, popping a bottle of cider and getting drunk for very nearly the first time
78 In Bristol with Steve again, feeling very sorry for himself as he canoodled girlfriend Denise and I had to settle for stroking a dog. Watching Old Grey Whistle Test with Meatloaf, a lasting memory.
79 For the first time I bring art college friends to the parent's Hogmanay and it is brilliant. 8mm film exists of them all sleeping on my bedroom floor. Legendary.
80 I bring art college friends to the parent's Hogmanay again, it is once more legendary. Pete Godwin called a local businessman a Nazi.
More art college years, more friends come to Kibworth (that's where the parents have Hogmanay). I recall one seen in in the Coach and Horses and one in the Lodge (then back to folks house). Coach & Horses is now an Indian Restaurant, not a pub, and the Lodge was demolished to become houses in the late 80s. Around 84 when Hev & I move to Leicester, I seem to remember a Hogmanay goes tits up cos someone didn't feel well.
86 must be the year Hev wanted to spend Hogmanay at home so I went to Kibworth and did my nascent comedy act in front of Mum & Dad's friends. Died on arse.
Late 80s become a blur. At least one is seen in in the Clarendon Arms with Alan (& Hev, obviously). Then we moved to the South West so a Hogmanay in Kibby would have involved travel.
One was seen in with Steve & Sarah in Yatton. Someone's brother was getting divorced, there was some unease there.
Returned to the parents circa 89 to find the throbbing buzzing crowd had become group of very old people. Quite depressing I recall.
One was seen in in an Indian restaurant on Whiteladies Road, under K&S's aegis, where the staff clearly weren't expecting things to go on after midnight so we heard the new year in on a transistor radio after the food had been cleared up then cleared off.
Saw another in in Junior Poons, again K&S's suggestion, where they showed off their sculpted carrots but you weren't allowed to eat them. Seem to remember the vegetarians amongst us felt we didn't get the best deal on the food and said we wouldn't do that again. Oh god, I officially became middle aged in the mid 90s.
We had a Hogmanay in our flat in Clevedon, maybe two. I would like to believe they were the best that could be had. I bet they weren't, but I'm not listening.
99 into 2000 was the Boycott Year. Because the English had decided to take New Year seriously for once, K&S decided to go big on fireworks, but chose to ask everyone to split the cost. Paying for Hogmanay was so anathemic to our constitution that we boycotted their party and saw it in with Mark & Gail. Silly really, as it ended up decimating our cosy social crowd, but that was what we did.
Saw one in with H&R. Bless. Watching Texas in Edinburgh on TV, not legendary.
Seen a few in with Felicity & Tom. Always the greatest effort put into their parties, especially the games. Never what you'd call Rock & Roll, but always coothy. And actually New Year in the 2000s more often than not means Felicity & Tom I think. HNY T&F
Saw another in at K&S's, making up for the Boycott Year.
Worked a few, since Hev remained not that bothered by the event (did I mention she's English and I'm Scots?). One seen in doing comedy at The Tobacco Factory, at the behest of George Ferguson (coincidentally in this year's New Years Honours). One seen caricaturing up at the folly on the golf course (paying gig). One seen caricaturing at that hotel off the M5 between Bridgwater & Weston. This year seen caricaturing at a private party near Taunton, then home in time for the bells.
Then in 08 into 09 I saw the New Year in in Edinburgh, actually in the thick of it all in Princes St Gardens, having been performing all month with the Socks in the Spiegeltent as part of Winter Wonderland. It was fun, we saw some fireworks. But really I expected something more.
Maybe nothing will ever come close to Mum & Dad's Hogmanay from my childhoods. Look at me, I'm sat at my laptop, watching Jools Hootenanny, blogging about my last 30 years of Hogmanays while getting quietly drunk. Okay, next year big party in giant country house with rich & famous people who want to be there rather than somewhere else. Actually no, sounds awful. Let's do it somewhere surprising.
Happy New Year.