As the end of the year draws close so too does a number of “traditional” milestones – namely Christmas and more importantly Dee’s 30th birthday.

30 has always been one of the big ones — the first birthday when you start counting in decades rather than years, something to be dreaded, especially for women. A big one; the last one similar was 9 years previous, then 3 years before that, then 2. Not prime-number intervals, which are my favourites, but I do see the symbolism and desire for a big celebration.

I hope she likes her gifts. I hope she reads this before her birthday, too — it will drive her mad.

And Christmas, supposedly a birthday celebration too but more likely modelled on an existing “pagan” celebration; hijacked to make the religion easier to introduce. We went to Bath last weekend and heard about how the Romans found the natural spring worshipped as blessed by Sulis, a Celtic Goddess of healing. Healing? they said, That sounds like Minerva! And so the Goddess “Sulis Minerva” was named.

So what are you doing to celebrate the new year?