This New Year’s Eve we watched London’s fireworks from the Embankment. We’ve seen them on TV before, and oohed and aahed through a plasma screen, but we thought we’d like to experience the noise, vibrations and crowds first hand.
It took an hour and a half to get to Westminster, where we walked with the crowds to the Blue section. We arrived just before 9pm. We waited for three hours for the fireworks to start. They lasted eleven minutes. We sang Auld Lang Syne for three minutes and started the two-hour journey back to my parents’ house. Six and a half hours of travelling and waiting for an eleven-minute show and a three-minute singsong . Was it worth it?
The view from the Embankment isn’t as good as the one on TV, but nothing beats the anticipation, the smell of fireworks, and Gabriella’s eleven minutes of enthusiastic screaming in our ears. It felt as if we were inside the fireworks.
In addition, the kids and I learnt Morse Code while we were waiting. We practised by tapping on Ian. He said that to us it was Morse Code, but to him it felt like being hit.
Here’s the BBC’s version of the fireworks. Happy new year.
(For those that wonder how we learnt Morse Code in three hours, these photos show how. And it took a lot less than three hours.)