From the balcony you could here 1000's of Londoners counting from ten down to the year 2006 and then the heavens EXPLODED, there's no other way to describe it.
1000's of 1000's of fireworks soared into the midnight sky in one mighty explosion to the horizon of the city, for 25 miles in every direction you could see, at midnight and on and on it went, like one massive prolonged orgasm... the noise of it would have eclipsed the noise of the Battle of Trafalgar to shame.
You could see countless people standing on their balconies, watching in amazement, as I was, the sheer number of fireworks. Girls were screaming at the top of their shrill voices historically and men were whistling long and furiously with their fingers between their teeth, in the balconies of the high rise blocks looking over the city.
People stuck down below on the streets were looking up at the people looking out at the fireworks on the balconies and shouting up at them in encouragement!
Tears of excitement streamed down my cheeks and I wondered what London must have looked like from outer space. There was a major firework display in central London on the River Thames, on and around the Millennium Wheel. I'm sure you'll see pictures of it on the news if you haven't already. It was the biggest fireworks display I've ever seen, in real life or on TV. It was simply beyond words to describe. It was just one of those experiences you had to surrender your mind to.
There weren't many fireworks within the North and South Circular Roads of the city, about 15 miles in diameter across because the city is too urban and built up, so from space, this area would have looked fairly dark in contrast to the centre, with it's "river of fire" firework display on and around the River, between Westminster and Waterloo Bridges.
However, beyond the ring road, in the suburbs of London, myriads of fireworks were going up like there was no tomorrow, in every direction of the horizon of the city. From space, there would have been the spectacle of a glistening ring or wheel of about 40 miles or so in diameter, of colourful light explosions around the central hub, namely the Southbank and River super firework display.
The outdoor loud whistling and uncontrollable screaming, coming from all around, went on and on for about 10 or 15 minutes and then the racket of bangers and louder rockets began to subside naturally, as it coincidentally began to lightly drizzle.
Well, if Londoners had any repressed energy to release, built up over the previous year, tonight was the night to release it and wasn't it just! The effort gave the impression of a collective synchronisation, an event to demonstrate and celebrate ones individuality with the whole. This was on the same emotional scale, albeit shorter lived, as the collective mourning for Princess Diana, leading up to her funeral in '97 but on the positive, joyous side of the scale.
It's been a new tradition to let off fireworks on NYE in London for about 12 years now and each year it's becoming more and more spectacular but this night's NYE firework celebrations were a major advance on last years, even easily surpassing the turn of the Millennium's firework display.
What it'll be like next year, I can't imagine because I could not ever have imagined or anticipated what happened tonight but at least next year, I'll be certain to have my camera battery charged!
2006 has arrived with, hopefully, a new and different way of seeing the world.
If I may make a prediction for the coming year, I think we'll all be surprised at how much our awareness will grow and develop over the coming months that will definitely make us feel more alive. Information and awareness will continue to flood in at a greater phenomenal rate and after several years of public debating of ethics, the questioning on an unprecedented scale of public decisions and after many years of a tsunami of information flooding into homes across the world, there's a great but unfamiliar buzz in some quarters of society for discerning patterns and gaining an overview for what's going on globally and cosmically. People are wanting, more and more, to be demystified. I'm noticing this happening on a lot of message boards recently across the World Wide Web that I've been monitoring for a long time, to get an idea of trends and movements and how independently minded people are collectively thinking.
Anyhow, noisy, cheering and drunken people are now wending their way home in the lamp-lit city streets. For the year ahead, a peaceful year I hope, as much as we can expect...
Midnight. Not a sound from the pavement.
Has the moon lost her memory?
She is smiling alone.
In the lamplight
the withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan.
Memory. All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days,
I was beautiful then.
I remember the time I knew what happiness was,
Let the memory live again.
Every street lamp seems to beat a fatalistic warning.
Someone mutters and a street lamp gutters
and soon it will be morning.
Daylight. I must wait for the sunrise,
I must think of a new life
And I mustn't give in.
When the dawn comes tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin.
Burnt out ends of smokey days,
the stale cold smell of morning.
The street lamp dies,
another night is over, another day is dawning.
Touch me. It's so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun.
If you touch me you'll understand what happiness is.
Look, a new day has begun.
(from the musical, "Cats", by Andrew Lloyd Webber; lyrics by Trevor Nunn, based on poems by T.S. Eliot)