Fact: Londoners hate waiting. Tubes more than two minutes away, be damned. Slow walkers, we curse you.
Yet, the atmosphere was incredible. Dancing, singing – cheering when Boris Johnson appeared, hologram-style, on a huge screen across the river.
The main event, of course, was the fireworks – a show devised by Vodafone, the Mayor of London and food design geniuses Bompas & Parr. We were promised peach flavoured snow, edible banana confetti and huge orange bubbles during the display – so far, so Willy Wonka. So fantastical you think to yourself, this couldn't work. I couldn't even picture it - it sounded like something out of a children's book.But Big Ben banged in 12am and off the fireworks went – a relentless 20-minute show of whizzing fire and light that dared you not to blink. The smell of peach announced the snow and down it fell – like the real stuff except much nicer. We were doused in the scent of strawberries and huge orange bubbles floated out over the crowd – great big popping zesty spheres.
Then we all sang Auld Lang Syne and it was over for another year. Everyone dispersed at high speed – the tolerance for waiting replaced by the need to sort out numb feet – and that rare thing of London celebrating as a city finished until next time.
I never understood the appeal of standing in the cold for all that time just to see some fireworks. But if they do it like this again, I can say hand on heart, I can't think of a more fun and uplifting way to bring in the New Year.