?Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? ?Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne. WTF does this actually mean..?


Do a gazillion people hail the new year with this unintelligible song?

At least in the previous week we have had some variations with Christmas hits of years gone by, but when it comes to the New Year this Scottish caterwauling is all we can summon up.

It might be justifiable if anyone could actually remember the lyrics but like a few other songs (most notably Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something, Or Blinded by the Light by Bruce Springsteen) I can only remember the song title which I loudly sing out... then mumble through the rest. So for once, this New Year I am somewhere where I will be spared this song.

As you read this, I will have spent a week trying to keep up with my wife trudging through Nepal. Whilst in the sweltering heat of a Maltese summer, I admit a few days amongst the ice and snow of Everest had a certain appeal. I fear as I stand here at midnight with a wind chill factor so cold my pubic hair crackles, I might have made an error of judgement.

All day I was sure I had ice in my veins. As midnight approached I had just had my first shot of local hooch Aila. It had an interesting effect on my stomach, tasting like something between Draino and molten lava. It has had the desired effect. My body is glowing, my cheeks the colour of condemned veal and hot enough to toast a crumpet... but I wonder if the fire will continue all the way down the alimentary canal and result in a sprint to the bathroom. Difficult in yak boots.

...and another thing

2019 and once more the final year of a decade. At least we can get back to decent terminology of calling the next decade the twenties as opposed to the ludicrous noughties and teens of the last two decades. History has a tendency to bracket decades and I wonder what the twenty-teens will be best remembered for? Democracy devouring itself with populist politicians defeating the establishment, the encroachment of Internet tech giants into our very thoughts and soul, the release of Cannabis from the holdbacks of the past to unleash untold medical benefits or will it be something we have missed at the time, only to see its significance through the backwards looking lens of history?

If I have one wish for the New Year, I would like to go to a dinner party without anyone saying the word Brexit.

In fact, no one in Katmandu has mentioned it. I might just move here.

Happy 2019.

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