Y2K – remember that? It was going to screw-up the world’s computers on New Year’s Day 2000, and we’d all travel back in time to 1900. It never happened. Mind you, a lot of things never happened as the twentieth century passed into the twenty-first. Fifteen years we’ve been here now, and it’s not really been that brilliant, actually.
I’ve always loathed the fake, enforced jollity of December 31, so I spent that night in 1999 at home – with my dog and my cat. At the time, I was living on the ground floor of a house whose decrepit landlady had a Rigsby-like habit of loitering in the hallway and letting herself into my flat when she thought I was out. I also had to contend with two sisters I’d previously lived with knocking on my door at all hours; they were both good-looking girls, but a bit bonkers. And off their tits on crack and smack. And alcohol. I had to arrange for them to be rehoused in a hostel, but they had a boomerang quality to them and I eventually had to call their mother down in Gloucester to drag them home. At one stage, I even enlisted the help of a Gothette friend who was also a white witch for some supernatural intervention. I was somewhat desperate! At the same time, I wasn’t entirely immune to what remained of their feminine charms, and it did get a little…er…decadent on occasions. Not a healthy place to be.
I approached the end of 1999 with an absence of cynicism, feeling quite grateful I’d been born at a time when I could have a foot in two separate centuries; I was moderately excited, if truth be told, aware not everyone I’d known in my 32 years had lived to see this event. I remember watching that live broadcast from the Dome – well, it was on the telly. As midnight was minutes away, I played ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ and ‘A Day in the Life’; I don’t know why; they just seemed appropriate. And then we were somewhere else, technically; but nothing really changed in my life until the summer of 2001 when I moved again. Fifteen years on from the moment when years stopped having ‘nineteen’ as a prefix, it does feel like things have changed; and in a lot of cases, not necessarily for the better. Mind you, fifteen years ago I was just coming to terms with my first laptop. And now I’m utilising technology to speak to all of you’s. That’s not a bad improvement.
Where were you, then?