Monday, January 1

New Year's

2006 ended on a pretty high note for me - that dinner with university friends became dim sum today (yesterday?), after which I raced to have tea (or milk in my case) and cake with some family friends. But the highlight of the day had to be celebrating New Year's Eve with the school lot (and others) at Halaliano's.

I'm not a fan of Halaliano's. It's smoky, dark and sleazy and basically somewhere people (usually students) go to legitimise what others just stick to regular bars to do. But despite that, I've had a few genuinely good times there, mostly 'cos of the company I was with, but also because it's nice not to have to worry about sitting on somebody's spilt beer or have drunk ladies continually hit on you. Phnaar.

But anyway, now that the Halaliano rant is out of the way, let me tell you about New Year's. I believe it had originally been organised for 20-25 people but it had hit around double that on the day. It was a Muslim affair, and as is always expected with these kind of numbers the evening started out with the girls and boys on opposite ends of the room talking within themselves while eating their pizzas. It was pretty amusing in a "some things never change" kinda way. We even had some minor party injuries: shisha burns abound, and one dufus even slipped on the stairs. It's ok though - he only went away with a bruised wrist and ego.

Many people left before the ball even dropped - curfews kicked in for some, while others decided to ditch Halaliano's for the fireworks being held at the Victoria Embankment. To be honest, the whole thing was looking more and more like just another dinner party.

But, ironically, it was as the group became smaller and so more intimate, that the New Year's vibe also kicked in. The conversation (not without the inevitable Talk About Marriage; oh and by the way, we're all getting married this year) and personal jokes-cum-insults began to flow without effort - we even played a passable excuse for Truth or Dare at one point.

So yes. It was probably the two hours after midnight rather than the four before that I enjoyed the most, but the night as a whole flew by in the way good times usually do. My only real disappointment was how early the last of us eventually packed it all in - I'm no night owl but I a part of me wanted to party till dawn. Nevertheless it made a brilliant change to my usual New Year's Eve plans (which usually consist of being in bed by 12:15am), and definitely paves the way for future events.

Can't wait. Only 365 days left till the next one, eh?

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