Stories from 1996 Chapter 41 A Britpop Journal The Epilogue


December 31st 1996

A quiet moment of reflection before the carnage of New Year’s Eve begins.

1996 – a year of maximum highs, great escapes, stupid girls and charmless men. I am relieved  to be far away from where I was this time last year but can’t help feeling not far enough away. I am in a the fortunate  position of being blessed by fabulous friends, excited by the prospect of a new man and yet frustrated by a non-starter of a career. Still 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

So to summarise – I still feel lost but there is hope. Here is to 1997 and beyond.

Right let’s get a sparkle on, its New Year’s Eve and I want to party.

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Hello world of hangovers and high hopes! It is officially 1997  but felt this entry deserved to be my epilogue to 1996. The final hoorah.

And what a hoorah it was. I don’t care how much the room spins this morning and I can tolerate the stomach lurches. I can live with shaky hands and sunken eyes. Last night we partied like it was 1999. It was the perfect concoction of fantastic mates; Maisie and Rhys, Ruth, Harry, Ben etc, a superb venue; Clancy’s in Roath which was chosen at random but ideal because of cheap drinks and an excellent jukebox and the cherry on the cake; a surprise visit by Will.  This was a daring stunt on his behalf and could easily have ended in tears. Gatecrashing a mates only night out hoping for a shag can have catastrophic consequences. But I was thrilled to see him and his mates and even if his intentions weren’t entirely honourable what can I say? Will broke the rules and I liked it. This might have potential. Ever since the Shed Seven gig before Christmas he has been dominating my thoughts constantly. The daily phonecalls over the holiday built on that initial knee trembling spark and I could not wait to see him in the flesh, I suspect that he felt the same.

The evening in the pub was spent in a trippy whirl of merriment and love. We commandeered the jukebox and danced on the tables until the drinks were all drunk.  Then came the point in the evening, after midnight, when the New Year’s Eve fun deteriorates into a disjointed mess of half-hearted plans and goose chasing. But, last night, this was not the case as myself and Ruth had thought ahead and bought in a variety of supplies for the house. As seasoned party goers we knew that there would become a point in the night where everyone was all dressed up with nowhere to go. Therefore, the party staggered, noisily through Cathays to partake in more celebrating chez nous.

I must admit that in my rough as a taxi cab floor state this morning there are moments of last nights joviality that are slightly vague. I remember saying an over emotional goodbye to Maisie and Rhys when they decided to brave the freezing early hours and walk home; I have a recollection of Harry not so subtly disappearing into her room with a ginger friend of Will’s. My overriding memory of pure joy from last night is myself, Ruth, Alan and Will jumping on my bed singing/shouting our hearts out to Shed Seven and Pulp. For Christmas, Maisie had made me some oversized Rick Witter maracas from paper mache and these were being abused by each of us in turn. I have a horrible feeling that someone had a disposable camera.

I think most of us crashed about 4am. Will is still crashing and I have no desire for him to leave. This does feel different.

So, here I am, halfway through the first day of a new year, content, hopeful and without the energy to even make myself a cup of tea. My new diary sits on my desk beckoning. Its clean pages full of promise and what, when, why and whos?

Bring it on ’97.

nme 1997