There are days on the calendar that we like to imbue
with some kind of unworldly power. Often, these are religious feasts such as
Christmas and Easter. For the increasing numbers of us who don’t subscribe to a
faith, these are days we join in for reasons of convention (or just for the chocolate).

But for me, there are days of the year that do have
a special kind of magic. They are these nameless, quiet days in between
Christmas and New Year’s Day. The lights and greenery still decorate the house,
but the sense of anticipation is gone and the busy-ness has died away.

I know that some of us get wrenched straight back
onto the work treadmill. But for many, these are strange days that feel somehow
out of normal time. We forget what weekday it is. We sleep longer and we drop
all rules about what we should eat and drink and when we should do it. There
are often days when it barely gets light before it’s dark again – as I write,
it’s just after two in the afternoon and it’s definitely dusk.

That closed-down quietness feels nurturing. Not
having to read other people’s writing has cleared my mind and I have written
more productively in the last week than I have for much of the year.

And there is the feeling that we’re all about to be
somehow renewed. 2016 is shutting down. Our rational minds know that time and
the calendar is an artificial construct, of course. Although those terrible
events and losses were nothing to do with some sort of cursed year, when the
clock ticks past midnight we will all feel that we can, in some sense, close
them off. January the First is all about promises and possibilities.

Whatever we did or did not achieve in 2016 belongs
to the past and we are on a clean, blank page. And for a writer – what could be
more exciting?

May 2017 bring you everything you wish.