I’ve written about this before. After Christmas Eve, this is my favourite day of the year. I look forward to it for weeks and, the night before, I go to sleep cradled by the joy of genuine hope and anticipation, my head brimming with projects, intentions and promises to myself. It’s my once-a-year opportunity for a fresh start and I mustn’t waste it. I just put all my clocks back by an hour just before going to bed and the following morning, like in a magic spell worthy of Harry Potter, I get a 25-hour day. Think about it, it’s not the summer solstice that’s the longest day of the year; it’s the day British Summer Time ends. Yes, I know, technically speaking, the extra hour isn’t a gift; it’s no more that a fair refund for the hour the authorities stole from us eight months earlier, but on this day I am willing to forgive them that first week I spend grouchy and disorientated. Because, strangely, I’ve never had jet-lag but that first week after the clocks go forward in the spring always throws me. I resent it.
Needless to say, I don’t use this precious extra hour on sleep. It’s my miracle hour, a fleeting window of opportunity when I can do anything and anything can happen. Like a banknote you unexpectedly find in the house and allows you to buy something you hadn’t budgeted for. A treat.
An extra hour pregnant with possibilities, like a blank cheque waiting for you to write, inserting any figure you like. A gift.