The River of Fire - London Millennium Celebrations

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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.  

With 3 seconds to go the fireworks are launched

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 explosions on the stroke of midnight

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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