On the agenda: East 17 redux; Hustle hair; New Year's resolutions; animal hats; 'lelfies'


Middle-class problems: New Year's parties

By Robert Epstein

Woop-woop! That's the sound of the police. Ha-ha! Of course it isn't, silly. Number one, because we don't live in New York; and number two, because the police will probably have far more important things to do on New Year's Eve than answering our plaintive calls for someone to turn that bloody racket down.

Erm, ha-ha?

We love a New Year's party, we do. Only, we are going to one just around the corner, aren't we, love? Because I want to be able to get home pretty damn sharpish if my feet start hurting, or if the prosecco runs out, or if they're not watching the bongs on the Beeb. I mean, we're not animals.

The perfect solution would be to host the party ourselves. And of course we would. Only we're a bit worried, because we've just bought a vintage-style table and we don't want any nasty marks on it. And we don't want to upset the neighbours, because they're lovely people, they really are.

Hmm, invite them, you say? Well, we would, but… the thing is, you see, we moved into this area only recently, and it really is very up-and-coming, only not everyone has realised that it's gentrified now.

All of which is, obviously, just a bucketful of nonsense excuses. You see, it's not that we don't want to come to your party. Nor that we don't want to host one. We're just fishing for excuses while paralysed in a sea of mixed-metaphor anxiety because we have that ancient fear that wherever we are, next door someone will be having a better time than us, what with their loud music, glass clinking, cheery chat, midnight countdown and all…