Hogmany party? Bah, humbug!

AS a swimmer, I can just about manage a few lengths of the pool.

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These days, the fear of drowning has been overtaken by concerns about my blue limbs giving other bathers heart failure.

I've cycled only once in 20 years, and that was on holiday in Valencia when I careered down a diverted riverbed, far removed from worrying about wobbling through traffic.

And I can just about run the length of myself before my clacking knees become louder than my panting.

As a triathlete, I'm no Helen Jenkins.

As a 'Dryathlete', however, I'm going for a gold medal.

The deed is done and the bet has been made – not a drop of alcohol will pass my lips in January.

It will cost me four nights' accommodation in Copenhagen if I lose, so not even Carlsberg can brew a tipple good enough to risk this bet.

Yet I can't quite bring myself to sign up to Cancer Research UK's Dryathlon website to raise money through sponsorship of my 31-day teetotal endeavour.

Dryathlon is a great campaign idea and I hope millions of people sign up for their own health and to benefit others.

Only while there are still people motivated enough to climb Kilimanjaro, run marathons or cycle the length of the country, I can't see how my abstaining from the sauce for four weekends is worthy of troubling the overdrafts of my friends and family.

Maybe the money all Glaswegians save from swearing off booze this month could be put towards funding a Hogmanay celebration we can be proud of.

I loved watching the fireworks over Sydney Harbour Bridge, marvelled at Burmese people having their first public New Year countdown, and had my cockles warmed by the thought of Stonehaven residents going ahead with the firewalk despite horrendous flooding.

Watching the skies light up over Edinburgh Castle on TV on Monday night – plus seeing the Proclaimers sing in Stirling and Big Country in Inverness – did make me think what a damp squib our city's celebrations have become.

Jackie Bird was probably too embarrassed to be in the BBC's Glasgow studio and joined 75,000 revellers in the capital instead.

It can't solely be down to pennypinching that we don't have a mass outdoor gathering for the bells. Edinburgh's celebrations are thought to cost in the region of £1million and generate some £30million for the city's coffers.

We have a landmark resource in the River Clyde – couldn't a firework display over the Squinty Bridge help take the edge off our Bah Humbug status?

With a huge year on the horizon for Glasgow in 2014, let's have a little more fizz and fanfare next time.

Travel

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