Some time ago Mrs. Lear and I were invited to Geneva for " the Bells" as we call them in Scotland. I had been unsure whether we would really go, for a variety of reasons, but when I checked Easyjets prices last week, the prices via Belfast were just too good to resist.
So we spent two nights there - with everyone coughing and spluttering and generally making it impossible to feel safe.
Still the weather was lovely and - because I turn brown very easily - an hour's walk brought out a healthy looking tan.
The bells theselves were brought in as I watched a Bavarian programme with huge jollity, Lederhosen, Drndls, Ompa bands and lots of coloured paper. As it was a Tcherman programme, midnight was properly counted down and everyone knew exactly when it was. Instead of Auld Lang Syne, however, they broke into the birdy song, which slightly confused me ( being overseas I had drink taken).
I was reminded of my favourite New Year of long ago, when the BBC invariably did it from Aviemore. On this particular occassion, Chick Murray was supposed to appear at the stroke of midnight and do a worthy recitation. Of course, what the BBC had not realised was that the vast majority of those present would have been drinking since lunchtime, and as a result come midnight had no interest in listening to any more drivel. They went wild. Chick appeared at the top of the stairs, looked about, mouthed " F*** me" and went backstage.
" AHAAAA!" gabbled the Commentator." Chick is always so amusing!!"
He appeared about half an hour later having presumably drunk non-stop since his first appearance, uttered the first line, and promptly fell down the stairs amidst rapturous applause.
They don't make 'em like that any more.