Sunday, 5 January 2014

new year's eve; new year's day

On the afternoon of New Year's Eve we went to the National Gallery, having picked up Naomi and Clive from Marylebone. It wasn't as busy as I thought it might be, though had picked up a bit by the time we were leaving. I have been in the new wing most often recently, where a lot of the older stuff is, but we did a circuit of a set of more modern rooms, 18th and 19th century mostly - including Gainsborough, Turner, Monet, Manet, Van Gogh. Never get over seeing these massively famous works of art so close at hand, and for free. Though continue not to get Van Gogh, and why this is great art.

Later we left home - with Laura and her parents, who had also joined us for the evening - about quarter past eleven and got to Lambeth Bridge about twenty to twelve. It was very busy, but only rained heavily for a short time while we were waiting on the bridge. We had a pretty good view of the fireworks, though side on; we recorded them on the tv and watched them again when we got home, and they appeared quite different I thought. But then, I'm not big on fireworks. Left to my own devices, I would neither have gone out to see them nor watched them on tv.

It rained steadily and sometimes very heavily on New Year's Day. We had planned on going to see the New Year's Day parade, but not when we saw the weather. What we decided we'd do was get the bus to this side of Westminster Bridge (where they were terminating) and then walk up Whitehall past the parade as it came towards it, so at least we'd see some of it, on our way to get some dim sum at JKL in Chinatown. In the end we stayed watching the parade at certain points, when the rain wasn't too bad, as we went up, though some of us stayed longer when the rain did get heavier. The American marching bands and cheerleaders were certainly the best things in the parade, worth seeing, and admirable, as they continued with skill and good cheer while getting drenched, in what may have been their third hour of parading. It gave you increased respect for cheerleaders in particular.