It surprises me when people call with ‘Happy New Year’ wishes. Even my parents are enthusiastic about the whole thing. But it doesn’t feel like an occasion to me. It never has. When I was a child, there were few signs that the year had changed. There would be a few new calendars hung up and I would spend the whole of January and parts of February getting used to writing a new number in the margins of my school note books. But that was it. ‘Real’ new year was in April because there were more signs to recognise it as a festive occasion. For one, the food was different and one had responsibilities to shirk and traditions to rebel against.