A Temporary Lapse Of Reason


New Year's Eve in St. Ives, Cornwall is one of those events, rather like wars and natural disasters, that are absolutely fascinating to talk about after the event but not much fun to actually experience. What used to be a good laugh has now become a sort of legal riot.

Come to think of it, it is a legal riot. Leastways, no one in authority seems much interested in what's going on. Some might suspect that having 20,000 people (mostly pissed as farts before 9pm) descend upon a town about half that size could cause some serious problems for the residents. Luckily, the powers-that-be get around any potential problems by de-criminalising everything. Thus, very few people get arrested or fined during the New Year's Eve anarchy.

I'm not sure that's necessarily a good thing but, hey, it makes life easier for them and that's what it's all about isn't it?

New Year's Eve traditionally starts with the whole world and his dog trying to drive into St. Ives at the last minute. This results in total gridlock and lots of frayed tempers. The latecomers complain vociferously as this is, of course, somebody else's fault.

Having taken the good time and trouble to choke up the town with carbon-monoxide our gracious visitors are determined that they will exercise their 'right' to park anywhere they damn well please. This is, of course, somebody else's problem.

St. Ives streets get congested on New Year's Eve.

It is believed that the medieval sport of jousting originates from the stand-offs that ensue in St. Ives as two cars vie for the single space left between all the illegally parked vehicles.

Every car parking space in St. Ives has long since disappeared. A spokesman for Penwith District Council said that he was not going to book all the cars that were illegally parked as "that would take all morning". 

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