Keeping it simple for the new year

from left, Nicola Jaques, Rachel Stansfield and Rachel Hurst
from left, Nicola Jaques, Rachel Stansfield and Rachel Hurst
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A man with an ill-fitting hairpiece, a troupe of cancan dancers and a group of Chinese men performing acrobatics with a seemingly endless supply of straw hats.

That’s how one French TV channel rang in the New Year. And, more alarmingly, how I welcomed 2013 too.

A sorry state of affairs you might think, sat in front of the box on what many consider to be the biggest night of the year. But you know what, it was bloody fantastic.

It was never the plan, of course.

A hotel room overlooking a medieval castle which, on the stroke of midnight, would be lit up by thousands of fireworks exploding in the night sky, was supposed to be the setting. Sold out.

Two tickets to the biggest nightclub in the neighbouring city, where all of the local cool-kids would be popping their corks, was plan B. Limited tickets, only available at 100 a go, before petrol, punch etc etc were a no-can-do after Christmas.

And finally the back up – enjoying the night in the town square, making the most of the entertainment on offer. But, as I was reliably informed, no events were being held locally because, and I quote, “the French don’t really do New Year’s.” Sacre bleu!

So, that was zero for three when it came to ideas of how to spend the first New Year’s with a boy.

Just the one boy of course, other males have been present on previous celebrations. And last year there was a boy too – but, typically of the GBF (gay best friend), he spent more time checking out a guy in gold lame pants than he did engaging in conversation with me as the ball dropped in Times Square, marking the beginning of 2012.

With options running out, there was really only one thing left to do, and it involved several candles, an expensive bottle of red and myself in an apron, slaving over a hot oven.

OK, the last bit is a lie. Swap the apron for a new tiered, chiffon shirt-dress and the slaving to preparing a salad and a couple of pieces of salmon and you have something closer to the truth. Still, it’s the thought that counts.

Turns out, keeping it simple was the key to my success.

Who needs crowds, a castle and fireworks, when you’ve got three home-made courses, fancy tableware and Miles Davies playing in the background? Not I apparently. Who knew?

So, with a bottle of Champers at the ready, and our friend and his toupee on TV, we counted down the last seconds of the year in my small apartment. Twice actually. Felt rude not to join in with Jools and the UK celebrations too.

Not exactly the glamorous start to 2013 yours truly had envisioned.

But would I change it? No way. It was a very happy New Year.