THERE really is no such thing as 1995. The concept of changing a number on an office date stamp at the bong of a clock this morning is confined to the limited imaginations of a limited number of people and rural Scots who go off radar with a bottle for four days. Countless viruses, bacilli and spermatozoa careered through Creation at midnight without aid of a party hat or a whoopee whistle. The average cat and dog, water buffalo or Thompson's gazelle snoozed through the night without any notion that some signal point had been passed. In the human domain, if Pope Gregory had not tinkered with the calendar we would already be somewhere in February. The Thais are already somewhere into the 22nd century. Muslims, you will not be surprised to learn, will have no truck with our infidel way of counting and the Japanese, who kick off their official history with the Goddess of The Sun are, quite literally, light years away. Having established that 1995 is meaningless to half the globe and most of chemistry, we have to bear in mind the big midnight bong of a few hours ago changes nothing in the habits of men where it may matter. As the sun rises this morning over Bosnia-Herzegovina, somebody is taking aim. It is doubtful if most Angolans or Rwandans are particularly aware of which century they are in since they seem to have gone back a couple. On the depressing and frayed fringes of the Russian empire, good Christian men will have put their fingers in their ears and piled ordinance into each other, deaf to and three time zones away from the chimes of Big Ben. Even in Washington, the capital of Western values and Oh Christmas Tree schmaltz, it is unlikely the President will jog out of the White House this morning over to the Secretary of State's place, give the stringy old goat a shake and say 'Warren, from this morning, we are going to do everything differently. Isn't that great?' Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence that 1995 does not exist, we are supposed to make outrageously insupportable New Year resolutions in its honour. Admittedly this is a traditional preoccupation of the early middle-aged who, sniffing mortality, attempt to fend it off with a calendar commitment to a cleaner life. The young leave tyre marks on the road of December and just burn into the New Year. The oldies deceive themselves, of course. 'I am a drunk this month and sure as hell, I will be one next month,' said a realistic lady friend of mine, kept erect by three layers of face powder and her corset. Try as I might I could not, this year, raise any evidence of interest among contemporaries in the New Year resolution. Even a group of the hardest drinkers I know (drink is a favourite target of resolutions), people you sneak past in a bar wearing nuclear and biological protection suits, give up drinking once a year but not in January. 'Yep,' one said, 'when the kidneys start thumping their way through the bottom of your back, you have to lay off for a while to give the internal organs a fighting chance, but we do that in February because that is the shortest month.' A colleague, spittling fragments of a good Christmas lunch and half a bottle of port over my shirt front, came up with a laudable resolution applicable at any given moment but which he seemed to want to reserve for today. 'I will believe what I believe instead of what some sod believes who is supposed to know more than I am supposed to.' Excepting his syntax and circumstances such as open heart surgery or landing a 747, I thought that was an admirable approach to any situation and it fired me into the folly of resolutions. Since this column will be appearing with some regularity in what purports to be 1995, I resolve there will never be any mention beyond this of 'The Joint Agreement' or 'The Basic Law'. Even though Patten, Hurd and assorted apparatchiks on the other side of the net may go in for prolonged McEnroe/Chang volleys of accusation and counter accusation, it will go unnoticed here. Since none of it will alter a situation that has the historical inevitability of a runaway Hong Kong bus, we will find something else to talk about. Likewise, there will be no talk here about the legalisation of drugs. It may make the triads and the Colombian mafia suddenly seem respectable but a British expert on the subject attending a conference on the matter in Hong Kong recently made an analogy with something many of us may be more familiar with: it was, he said, rather like giving an alcoholic a legal and officially sanctioned half bottle of whisky a day and hoping his situation would improve. There will, in this notional 1995, be no mention here of boutique openings, smooth Europeans who flog scent and go to bed in a suit press or of visiting Frenchmen who stick fluted wine glasses half way up their noses, sniff the stuff and don't drink it. There will not be the slightest suggestion that to pay $250 for a bottle of plonk is other than grounds for certifiable insanity. Throughout this so-called year, restaurants that feature here may well wish they had not, the few decent hotels that remain south of Jordan MTR station will be looked at with a baleful eye, and there will not, I resolve, be the faintest reference to the three or possibly four local Chinese politicians who Westerners actually recognise. Socialites who throw staggeringly expensive theme balls for each other at The Regent in aid of black lesbian amputee infants can, I swear, crawl to the door of my shoe box in their designer frocks and still go unmentioned. Anything to do with sex or the police or both will, I vow, receive detailed coverage (Good morning, Chief Superintendent Lockeyear of the Police Public Relations Bureau and a happy new year to you). Of course, if we can get Government House involved on top, so to speak, I swear a whole column will be committed to it (Mr Kerry McGlynn, the Governor's information co-ordinator, the same to you too). Of course, if any member of the Preliminary Working Committee is spotted tiptoeing away at dawn in his stockinged feet from the apartment of any of the lady legislators, I will instantly break the resolution about local politicians whom Westerners recognise. Already I am a victim of heady New Year's Day enthusiasm. I must return firmly to my original thesis: 1995 does not in any philosophical sense exist. Proof of this came from an RTHK Hong Kong Today anchorman one morning last month shortly after 9.30 am. The chap announced the time and put on a record that would not play. Given it was something akin to Boney M, a nation rejoiced but he was clearly miffed. 'Well, we will try that again shall we?' he said. 'And the time is still the same as it was a few minutes ago.' A very Happy Last Year and see you yesterday.