For the first time for many years, Mrs Stodge and I stayed in on New Year's Eve. The problem is while you can be cosy within your four walls, you can't easily avoid the rest of the world. Close to home, you have the drunks, assorted entertainers and every Tomasz, Pavel and Harry letting off fireworks (which I don't remember from my youth).
On the tv, you have the politicisation of New Year celebrations, In the past, people would crowd into a deserted Trafalgar Square and wait it out until midnight. New Year's Eve 1999 brought the disastrous "river of fire" display but the pyrotechnic world has vertainly moved on and the display to welcome in 2013 was spectacular in every regard.
What was much less welcome to me was having to endure the "pep talk" from both David Cameron and Boris Johnson wittering on about "the Olympic Spirit" and generally using the festivities for their own shameless political ends and self-promotion. This was a process which began under the last Labour Government and needs to be stamped out.
The use of public festivities for self-promotion and social control is as old as the hills but we neither need nor want to be told what to think and how to celebrate. It's our free time and, perhaps like myself and Mrs Stodge, the likes of David Cameron and Boris Johnson would be better off enjoying the entertainment rather than providing it.