Man about town


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This evening, I shall be staying in. I can't deal with New Year's Eve.

I can barely see the point of it. In an ideal world, I will have gone to bed before midnight. If I sound like the New Year version of Ebenezer Scrooge, then humbug.

Once, perhaps, New Year's Eve was a rare diversion from the toils of winter's labours. But today, the nation's partying classes spend most weekends worshipping the giant booze tap in the sky, worried that if they don't prostrate themselves fully, its bounty will run dry.

Add to that already overpowering mix the part-time partygoers keen to honour this holy night, and the evening becomes unbearable. In the towns, the streets are filled with the aimless, the desperate and those who would be proud to end their night vomiting into a bucket in the local accident and emergency.

Venues that you wouldn't normally dream of patronising set absurdly high prices just for the privilege of drinking some cheap fizz as the clock strikes midnight. You can spot those who have paid those prices as they sit around with forced grins, knowing they have to try their hardest to have a good time.

But it's not the embarrassing countdowns, nor the expensive taxis, nor even the abbreviation "NYE". My principal gripe with New Year's Eve is that it's all so late. I don't mean late at night – gone is the excitement of youth of staying up until twelve o'clock – but late in the year.

The timing only adds to the already overwhelming pressure to have fun. And while you may be desperate for a final chance to let everyone see how funny you are/wear that outfit/ have that drunken fumble you've been planning, it's unlikely to go as you hope it will. This is partly because everyone else will be too focused on their own plans, but also because – like starting your revision at the last minute – it's too late by this time to cram in all the things you should have been doing.

So join me in staying in and make sure that one of your resolutions is to try and have more fun throughout the year. And while I may tonight be visited by the ghosts of New Year's Past, present and future, I'm pretty confident I'll get them round to my way of thinking.