The month of January was an exciting month, mainly because the 22nd was
my birthday. I am lucky as, while most people find January to be a
depressing aftershock following the joyous festive season, I see the
month more as a continuation of the Christmas period. It is for this
reason that January always seems to turn into a never ending party. I
must be one of the few people who actually look forward to this month.
Here’s a run down of what’s been happening, let’s start with New Year:

It’s funny as I actually anticipated New Year’s Eve 2004 to be a bit of
a let down. This was due to the fact that practically all my friends
had gone away to what seemed like much cooler places than London to
celebrate it. To be honest, I would have gone with them if it hadn’t
been for the obligation of being back at work the day after Boxing Day.
How cruel, you may think, that my Christmas break was so short. But
this was a blessing in a (very) big disguise as staying in London for
New Year turned out to be one of the best I have ever had. Infact, this
one almost topped the millennium off where I celebrated it in a Swiss
ski resort with 20 professional rugby players who bought me a bottle of
champagne that was almost as big as me (and that’s quite big as I am
5’8’’). Anyway, that’s another story, back to London. I decided to
invite the friends that hadn’t deserted me round to my house for a
couple of drinks. It was supposed to be a quiet affair but I realised
that wasn’t going to happen when Nick (boyfriend, see last month’s
article) arrived at my house after work on New Year’s Eve. He had
bought £100 worth of flashing disco lights for a tenner off a man was
selling them off cheap down in East Croydon.  There were metres of
flashing blue tube, yards of neon red chain and huge fairy lights that
could flash with a multitude of different settings. He got straight to
work fixing them up around the kitchen (always the most popular room at
a party) while I downloaded “Auld Lang Syne” and the big Ben chimes for
midnight.  At 6pm the first guests arrived and by seven the party
was in full swing with all of the 12 invitees! One flat mate pulled out
a case of champagne as a surprise for us all and by twelve we were all
dancing under the glow of the disco lights and did not even care about
the big Ben chimes or in fact anything apart from opening the next
bottle of champagne and what the next disco track would be. And so, the
party carried on like this until 4 am when, just as we thought we
couldn’t carry on anymore, Nick discovered his computer had a built in
karaoke facility! You can imagine what excitement this caused and this
consequently led to bit of a scuffle over whose go it was next on the
mic to sing Britney’s “Toxic”. I went to bed at 7am and left my friends
singing along to “The Phantom of the Opera” (definitely a good sign a
party is well and truly over).

Now to my birthday. It was on a Saturday but it kicked off on the
Friday night. I went to Brixton and met my friends in a cool bar called
‘The Living Room’ (Cold Harbour Lane). The drinks were quite pricey but
they put on free sushi at the bar so that won me over. We then went
onto a funky noodle bar round the corner called ‘Fujiyama’ (Vining St).
I couldn’t believe how cheap it was, drinks included. This was lucky
really since one of my friends was running late so we got stuck into
the Japanese beer while we waited. The food was delicious, it’s
definitely worth a visit. We then headed down to ‘Bar Lorca’ (Brixton
Rd) which was holding a concert for a tsunami appeal. It was packed as
tickets were only £7 and there were big names playing like Asian Dub
Foundation. Apparently, Bar Lorca is a place to watch out for as it a
cool venue for concerts and often has some big names playing. Then on
Saturday I went away to an incredibly posh and funky hotel in Marble
Arch. It’s called ‘The Cumberland’ and has transformed its reception
into an art gallery. The flooring reminded me of Saturday Night Fever
with its different coloured, lit up squares, the music was also perfect
for the setting, Groove Armada and Zero 7. The Sculptures were
awe-inspiring. You should visit the reception just to see what I mean.
Lunch was taken care of by ‘Leon’, a very hip eatery in Soho. It’s
taken the fast food concept but made it really healthy. You order your
food from the counter and someone makes it fresh for you and then pops
it down a shoot. You are then handed your meal in bio-degradable
cardboard packaging instead of that ‘nice’ polystyrene you get in your
average fast food restaurant. The menu makes you feel saintly just
reading it. Choose from chicken in aioli with brown rice, pumpkin seeds
and salad or just a simple wholemeal roasted vegetable wrap. Totally
yum. ‘Leon’ is opposite Liberty’s in Great Marlborough St in Soho.

My actual Birthday was lovely and gave me the chance to discover some
great places in London. I decided to have a huge party the weekend
after as well, so all my friends could get over their January blues and
join in the party spirit. I hosted a ‘proper’ house party, New Year’s
Eve style, just on a grander scale. Someone who knew exactly what I
liked bought me “Sing Star” as a birthday present so there was a
karaoke room, a dancing room a fireworks display and a bonfire. So,
there we have it, the month of fun gone by in a flash. I wish I could
have invited all you party lovers to my party as well, to cheer you up
in that cold month. Unfortunately though, there would have been no
point. You see, I wasn’t a very good hostess as I got really drunk and
hogged the karaoke microphone ALL night. And you wouldn’t have been
able to fight me for it either, as, after all, “It was my party and I
sang because I wanted to.”