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We only went onto Waterloo bridge just before eight to see the wheel move. It was obvious even at this time that the crowds were immense. By luck we managed to get a front row view in the centre of Waterloo bridge looking towards Blackfriars. We could see the seething crowds on the embankment and the South Bank and decided to stay put. Lizzie fell asleep in my arms - I tried to keep still for half an hour at a time to try to give her some sleep. We were well provisioned, a flask of soup, French bread and a small bottle of brandy kept us going. The Bridge was cordoned off sometime before 10pm so it was less crowded than other spots. People who's companions went off in search of sustenance or a semi-private spot to wee never returned.
The count down and fireworks were well worth
the wait. It may not have been a river of fire but it was an impressive explosion of
light and sound that I will never forget. It was a real 'lets chuck all of the
fireworks on the fire' type of display. After a few minutes we were in a cloud of smoke
with bits of charred debris drifting down on our heads.
The only hairy bit was getting off the bridge
as an equal number of people tried to get onto the bridge. The atmosphere was
good-humoured and with Lizzie on my shoulders we manage to negotiate our way up to the
Strand, Once back in Annemarie's office on Fleet street we had a sanctuary where we could
brew up a welcome cup of tea and let the girls have a rest. Annemarie's testing all
went so smoothly we ordered a taxi for 2:30am. We then had a glimpse of what
it must be like to be pop stars. Fleet street, empty of cars, was still seething
with people. Computercab phoned to say that their man had made it past the
police barriers and 'his blob was flashing on Fleet street'. When we emerged
downstairs there was chaos. The taxi was surrounded and the building's security
guard was fending off people trying to make it inside. I heard one woman
saying ' I know there's a party in there because I'm invited! ' The crowd
parted for me carrying Lizzie still asleep in the sleeping bag. The taxi driver was
very relieved to see us. The whole journey home was bizarre, we were almost mobbed
everytime we slowed down. Tottenham Court Road, for some reason, was full
of people walking north.
I think we had better millennium experience in
central London than anyone else I've spoken to.
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