We do the strangest things to celebrate the passing of a single second. We stay up until midnight to watch the year change. We travel long distances to be in the 'right' place with the 'right' people when the magic moment passes. We pay ridiculous admission fees to enter places that are truly ordinary. We open unnecessarily expensive bottles of bubbly. We shake the hands of complete strangers, lengthily, vigorously. And we mutter a peculiar Scottish verse which everybody knows but few people truly understand. Lunacy, obviously, given that this one tick of the clock has no intrinsic special meaning whatsoever. Whatever.
So this New Year's Eve I'm taking the plunge and heading somewhere they celebrate properly. To Edinburgh, to stand in the street with a hundred thousand other revellers and watch the fireworks erupt over the castle. There will be music. There will be alcohol. There will probably be gloves and woolly hats. I'm flying up because the hotel needed booking in August and it wasn't possible to buy a train ticket that far ahead. But I'm reducing my carbon emissions by making only one flight per year, because that'll help won't it? And I'm hoping for a celebratory end to what's not been the greatest year. Here's to a (possibly) better 2010. And Happy Hogmanay!