The day didn’t get off to the best of starts for me though. I don’t know if it was the effects of the cold or something I ate, but I had felt ill throughout the previous night.
I promise you it wasn’t caused by alcohol though and I spent most of the day generally feeling sorry for myself, missing out on trips to Edinburgh Castle etc. But I rallied in the late afternoon and we ventured on to the Hogmanay streets.
There were plenty of people milling around, but it was still reasonably peaceful. We made our way to George Street where I took the photo on the right. It shows the entrance to The Dome where the beautiful people go to see in the New Year and I like the shot for the wet cobbles reflecting the very tasteful lighting round the Corinthian columns.
We were there because close by is The Hard Rock Cafe. Mrs and Miss P are Hard Rock aficionados (Miss P has a growing collection of glasses from around the world), but it was the first time for me and my dodgy stomach survived the test of a 12oz steak.
Suitably refreshed (at a cost) we returned to the streets and visited one of the Christmas entertainments that included an ice rink, or rather an ice circle in the middle of which was the inevitable bar. I decided to give that one a miss, but the others in the Parrot party had to give it a go.
The temperature had really dropped from the previous night before and once my lot had finished their battle with friction and gravity, we headed back to our apartment to add more layers of clothes.
As I said at the start, the official estimate of visitors was 75,000 which is about the size of a major football crowd and that is exactly what it felt like, but without the same sense of purpose and direction. There were great swathes of people heading this way and that, most with a bottle of something warming in hand or pocket. And so many languages being spoken, although I would say the most common dialects were North American and Chinese.
The crowd thickened by Princes Gardens and we simply swept along by the tide. In fact, as we tried to leave the park, we instead found ourselves corralled by safety barriers because we have overshot the exit that was hidden by the wall of bodies.
We finally joined the queue for the Concert in the Parks and got to a spot on a muddy hillside in time for the start of the Biffy Clyro set at 11:30 pm. Now I must admit that I had no idea who they are and can’t say I’m much wiser now, other than they are quite loud and like lots of flashing lights and clouds of smoke. The two questions that occurred to me as we watched were: 1) why don’t they sound Scottish when they sing? and 2) why the name Biffy Clyro?
I’ve had to rely on Mr Google to answer the second and it seems that it is that QI favourite – nobody knows. The various theories as to the origin of Biffy Cyro include:
- After a Finnish footballer who played for Ayr United
- A spoonerism of Cliffy Biro, from a Cliff Richard pen one of them once owned
- The nickname of the spy who inspired the James Bond stories plus the name of a town in Wales
- An acronym from ‘Big Imagination For Feeling Young ‘Cos Life Yearns Real Optimism’
None of those explanations convinced me in the least, but it kept me entertained as we waited for The Bell and a New Year message from Tim Peake on the International Space Station.
And so the clock struck twelve to signal the start of the most spectacular fireworks display I have ever witnessed first hand and I leave this post with a short video of the last sixty seconds or so. Happy New Year to you all.