30 minutes before 2014, the tube is full of drunkards trying to get somewhere, there are pools of red sick on the stairs. 25 minutes before 2014, the carriage is dressed as if for an Essex nightclub, I have alas dressed as if for the allotment. 20 minutes before 2014, he pours vodka then tonic into a plastic bottle, she covets her neighbour's bottle of cava. 15 minutes before 2014, most totter slowly towards the crowds by the lift, the astute make for the emergency stairs. 10 minutes before 2014, humanity streams along Regent's Park Road; "did you seriously just piss in their front garden?" 5 minutes before 2014, an expectant swarm covers the upper slopes of Primrose Hill, the lower slopes reveal mud underfoot. 1 second before 2014, all eyes are on the pulsating Eye beyond the BT Tower; someone gets the countdown right for once. 1 second into 2014, a perfect view of exploding fire (bar the rain and the distance), a cheer goes up across the hill. 5 minutes into 2014, relentless Wonka-esque colours burst forth, but the fruit smells and banana confetti pass us by. 10 minutes into 2014, the distant finale earns a boozy cheer; it seems someone's brought some rockets with them. 15 minutes into 2014, crowds descend the hill via narrow path or squelchy grass, it'll be a while before everyone escapes. 20 minutes into 2014, police oversee our arrival at Chalk Farm, overlooking the party who've clearly nicked a Christmas tree. 25 minutes into 2014, a slow descent to the platform; would've caught that train if the stilettos ahead could walk faster. 30 minutes into 2014, the tube is full of early quitters trying to get home, above ground the New Year party continues.