Thursday, January 06, 2005

Hogmanay 2004

Here we are already the fifth of January and I have not even thought about writing about what happened on Hogmanay. I am going to try to remember everything that happened. I may not get to everything so this will not be a complete or even accurate accounting of what happened.

Most of the day we lounged around the flat recovering from the various stuff we did earlier that week. We had invited the eldest daughter of our librarian friend to come with us since we had an extra ticket. So we agreed to pick her up at the movie theater near one of the entrances to the street party.

I decided that since last year was so cold that I would put on my thermals under my clothes. I had on my heavy jacket, a sweater, jeans and a shirt plus my thermals on. I was armored against the cold. Armored I say! Armored! Anyway, we went down and met our other friend at the theater. From there, we walked up to the gates that blocked off Princes Street. You had to have a pass to enter.

We were there two hours early since we did not want to miss any of the action. Well, it ended up being very boring. We walked down Princes Street from one end to the other. My friends started to joke with me about silly hats since I just refuse to wear them (no, do not ask). About half way down we ended up seeing a famous person. She was from Dundee and is some sort of "nice" morning presenter person. I cannot remember her name but the Scottish friend was going on and on about how "nice" she was. There was also a guy there yelling up, "You get me up in the morning!! I just popping down to the chippie; do you want anything?" Everyone laughed at this. We went down to the end of Princes Street and then started back the way we came. By this point, the joking about silly hats had gotten to me. I am rather sorry about that now but at the time I just wanted them to stop.

My roommate then suggested that we go down Rose Street. So we went outside the barriers and up to Rose Street. The street itself was fine but all the pubs along it were completely packed with lines waiting to get in. I took this picture while we debated where to watch the fireworks from.

Once we got to the end of the street we came back to Princes Street and found that they were giving away free stuff. Yea! Free Stuff! So we all got some free stuff then went back inside. We were down at the other end by the time everything started. We watched the Latin/Caribbean music stage for a while then made our way up to the Moder music stage. This is where we spent most of our time. By this time, the crowds had built up. Instead of going around the crowd people just plowed their way through. It was very annoying. One guy decided that the best thing to do was put his head down and throw his elbows around. Well, he hit my roommate square in the ribs (thanks ASSHOLE) with an elbow. It was then that I wanted a blackjack (a bag with lead pellets in it used to hit people in the head and knock them unconscious) because noone would have seen me hit him and I could blame any fall on his drunkenness. One of the best parts about the modern stage was that they had a group of drummers from India who live in Leith and who dress in their traditional headgear and kilts. They were great.

After they left, we decided that we would go to the Celtic music stage. We were going to go around the back of the Latin music stage but we were told that since it was so close to midnight that we might not get back in. So we went all the way around through the crowds of people. Well, we did not quite make it but we got on the mound just down the road a bit from the stage. We had a great view of the fireworks since we were right on top of them. It was the best display that I have ever seen. Once we did that, we went up to the Celtic stage and sung Alde Langs Syne, which interestingly enough I can remember and sing all the words now. Alde Langs Syne is not only sung at New Years but at the ending of any large gathering in Scotland. You are supposed to cross arms and hold the hand of the person next to you as you sing it. Then you are supposed to hop up and down (I am NOT kidding) while you sing each verse faster and faster. At the end, you release the hand of the person next to you forcefully. Well, we did not do that this time. Although, I did see someone with an entire sheep hat. Yes, a sheep hat. I did not think anyone ever would have made one of those.

We stuck around for a few songs then made our way up Mylnes Court steps to catch a taxi. Well, I had reservations about this plan from the beginning. My roommate was confident that we could catch a taxi back to the librarian's house. So we made our way back up to our place. We then waited outside for what seemed like forever as people just in front of us would catch a taxi before us. Well, we finally came up stairs and I called a taxi. They rung us back and we started down stair just behind a troop of girls going out. Well, we went got outside there was no taxi. We figure that the girls stole our taxi while we were right behind them even though the taxi guy had my name and where we were going. So we went back up stairs and called the librarian. We did not want to have her driving all over Scotland on Hogmanay but her daughter told Nan after speaking to her mother on the phone that "We had better come" to first foot (warning: link is not a complete guide) them. So we waited outside again and got to see a crazily drunk guy yelling obscenities and kicking cars. I went back inside while they waited outside. The librarian arrived and we were off to her place.

They had a huge amount of food including a huge chocolate cake. The librarian's father who is a famous band bagpiper played for us, which was a special treat. We stayed until like 5:30 am when she took us home. It was an exhausting night. Anyway, I hope everyone had a great New Year!

posted by Chris  #6:08 PM | 0 comments |