Jayne Dawson: This is the real new year, let no one tell you any different

HAPPY DAYS: The world is gearing up again.
HAPPY DAYS: The world is gearing up again.
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Exciting, isn’t it? A new year about to begin and everything getting busy and interesting.

Sorry? What?

Nope, no mistake here. I’m not getting ahead of myself, I haven’t leapt four months into the future.

That Dec 31 nonsense, that’s not the real new year. That’s just a miserable, tired anti-climax which happens when we’re still reeling from a traumatic day exactly a week before. There is nothing new about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. They’re wrongly named. They just signify a few hours when we all feel a bit, a bit scared, a bit maudlin, before life continues much as before.

No the real, cracking start of the year is this week. On Friday.

September 1 is when all the good stuff pours in and piles up. When the world revs up again and the fun starts.

You can smell it, can’t you? Go on, you can. That crisp coolness in the mornings is more delicious than any perfume. That’s the smell promising all the glories of autumn: the sunny days, the lovely flourish that is nature putting on her final, frothy frock before chucking it on the floor, giving us all those lovely leaves to swish and crunch through. If you don’t have a three-year-old child in your life, borrow one from a friend. They are leaf scrunchers extraordinaire.

Sometime soon after Friday you will step out of your door in the mornings to the sight of heavy dew on the engineering wonder that is a spider’s web, to toadstools dotting your lawn and berries breaking out on that bramble in the lane. I know, I sound a bit Sound of Music, a bit “these are a few of my favourite things”. But they are.

And we can get all covered up again! No more bare-legged, bare-armed days that cause we women so much angst. From Friday, there or thereabouts, we can stop worrying about our imperfect upper arms, about are pale, patchy, veiny legs.

We don’t need to artfully create a no-makeup look anymore; we can kiss goodbye to sunkissed skin and all the products needed to achieve it.

Summer is meant to be the season of freedom, but that’s all illusion. The real freedom starts at the end of the week when we can climb back into our thick black tights and cover ourselves from head to foot.

And we can wear our favourite clothes, our winter clothes, the ones that have been pushed aside for months. Have you done the wardrobe swap yet? I think some organised sorts will have spent the bank holiday switching coat hangers around, putting thick black things to the front with happy sighs.

Don’t forget the hats and gloves and, this autumn, if you like to be on trend, add a belt. Add it to anything, including your winter coat. Just cinch it all in. Wide belts make your waist look smaller. Just saying. Just in case you want to know.

It’s television new year too. No more The One Show Goes on Tour, or any of that summer dross. The riches of the autumnal new year have begun already. The young Victoria is back already and there is a new JK Rowling drama. Talk about mellow fruitfullness!

I know, it’s not like it used to be. We’re not all going to huddle round at the same time, drawing ourselves close to the warmth of the family television but it doesn't matter. Catch-up is allowed in the joyous frenzy of the real new year.

Most importantly, much more momentous than any of that, is the moment we fire up the heating. If something as elemental as switching on fires across the land doesn’t prove that autumn is the real start of a new year then I don’t know what does.

It’s what life is all about, isn’t it. The argument every couple has about when it’s acceptable to turn the heating back on and give the living room fire a whirl.

I say that time is now. This week.

Autumn is here. That means the true new year has arrived. Kick back, kick up, enjoy. Turn that heat up to blasting - and have a good one.