There’s one simple way to describe this parade – “soggy”. We left the house and it was drizzling. Then it got to be raining and at various times later it was definitely approaching pouring. But we’d spent a quiet day in on NYE, followed by a quiet evening in and I was in the mood to get out of the house and, more importantly, get the kids out of the house. Last year’s NYD idea – getting a coffee – had been a bit of a bust, so we decided to walk to the NYD Parade. Just because, in the words of 2013 Nathan, we could.
As you would expect, the crowd was a little thin. Still we couldn’t quite get to the barrier and Reuben was a bit grumpy about not being able to see, while Eva was in the buggy and could only see legs. So she came out and went on my back in the sling, Reuben went on Nathan’s shoulders (all tricky manoeuvres in the rain) and finally we were in position.
So, what was there to see? Well, Roo liked the marching bands and the horses made out of grass. I liked the Thunderbirds float, complete with Blue Peter-style Tracy Island. But Roo was grizzling again, so he got down, had an apple and found a place near the barrier where he could see better, thanks to some kind people who moved for him (and possibly thanks to the woman who fainted in front of us too…here’s hoping she’s OK). Then he was happy until he dropped his apple and then the whining started again. We tried to persuade him that his apple had run off to join the parade, but the magic was wearing pretty thin in the persistent rain and it was time to leave. Before we did, though, we spotted Roo’s favourite thing of the whole parade – horses in hats. Yes, real horses. Yes, real hats (straw boaters). Yes, it made him giggle for a long time.
OK, so it was a bit of a washout. The paraders tried their best to wave cheerily but we were at the end of the route and they were losing the will to wave a bit. One soggy morris man looked particularly cold. But here’s the thing – what else can you do on New Year’s Day? As far as I recall, family New Years always involved being dragged on a bracing walk around some kind of damp countryside, so this is just the Central London version. With morris dancers. NYD is inevitably grey and rainy, so you might as well just embrace it. We are British, after all.
Once more, Happy New Year!