SEPTEMBER is upon us and as far as I am concerned this is when the New Year actually begins.
New Year falling in January is just not my thing and even though it insists on turning up each year expecting to be celebrated, I stubbornly ignore it. The depth of winter is too premature a time for setting your mind to anything. For one thing, it is far too dark and gloomy to be making airy fairy resolutions and how in heaven's name can anyone be motivated to lose the excess Christmas weight what with it being a minimum three months before the waistline sees its way out of a puffa jacket or chunky knit. For me, the New Year starts in earnest in September.
Even Septamber's placement as the ninth month in the calendar speaks volumes. It takes nine months to hatch a human egg, at which point new beginnings are heralded and lauded. I see September in the same way - my birth into a new era and my embrace of a new time.
The drawback, however, of making way for fresh starts is that first you have to get rid of old loose ends. The chilled glass of white wine that has become a solid cornerstone of every summer's day has got to go. So too the barbecues because there are only so many burgers a tummy can consume before it adopts an entirely new shape. And then there is the clear-out.
I hate the clearout. I am not talking about financial affairs or kitchen cupboards here. I am referring to the clear-out of clothes, a process that is synonymous with the transition from summer to winter. This is a touchy subject in our house and has been since the heady days before the 'Tiger' surrendered its stripes, fell to its knees and keeled over. Traditionally, the clear-out involves two bundles - the stuff I will wear again and the stuff I won't. The thing is that the redundant bundle tends, more often than not, to outweigh its counterpart and this does not go down well with the resident 'accountant' - my husband. Mutterings along the lines of wastage, madness and ' Celtic' spending become the background hum to this all too revealing exercise. I must say, material accumulation is an altogether more subtle affair than material abandonment, which just plain screams at past follies.
But we do this every September and though my 'unwanted' bundle has dwindled somewhat, the mutterings still remain. He is an ambitious man, the 'accountant' and he has great hopes for a future in which his wife will only ever engage in sensible expenditure. And though I do support his aspirations, he really should know me better than to have an expectation like that. Regardless of new beginnings, January or September, it's one thing for a tiger to lose its stripes but it's different matter altogether for a leopard to change its spots!