Seeing in the New Year always requires a helping hand, especially in Scotland. One of the best ways is with fire. A good blaze will help to burn off the last remnants of the old year and provide a warm and welcoming beacon to attract all the hopes and aspirations of a New Year.
And having seen the New Year honours list there is one serious omission. The guy or guyess who invented the hip flask. Now there is someone who had a vision and an idea which should be celebrated and rewarded way above all the handbag designers, tax dodgers and civil service paper shufflers.
When local pubs are chock a block with hooching and wheeching revellers inside passing drinks through the windows to friends outside, others can be left in the dry. Literally. In such crowded conditions the prospects of relief can be quite bleak. And as the damp cold from the stone cobbles seeps inexorably up through the human parched and sober frame, those who come prepared can feel quite smug. With no chance of getting anywhere near the bar to purchase one's internal embrocation of choice, there is yet one last resort in times of dire desperation, the hip flask.
The choice of contents is always personal, but at this time of year a sipping whisky is infinitely preferable to a drinking whisky. In this case 18 year old Lagavulin. And you know, sometimes one flask just isn't enough. Besides a hip flask in each back pocket provides more balance and ballast than one. One other point to note, big pockets require big flasks. Hence the sair heid.
So here's to 2017 - to fast hands, fast feet and fast cars, may the pace be with you.