Welcome to Spring… 

Perhaps not quite the start we expected, and more like an Attenborough Artic documentary with driving snow and wind chill factors to match. The end of March was also mixed in what Charles Dickens once perfectly described as, “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade. 

Spring calls us to venture outsideLonger days with lighter evenings offer the chance for patio firepit chats over drinks, perhaps even a barbeque. We might even have the opportunity for family and friends to join us soon!  

I have rediscovered the benefit of going out in the evening if the sky is clear and looking up. Once my eyes grow accustomed to the light, I can find myself lost for a whiletrying to recall the sky charts I used to read over and over as a kid. I once knew the names and positions of various stars and would demonstrate my encyclopaedic knowledge to my ever-patient parents and siblings before they suddenly had something else to do and escapedEnough nostalgia Let’s get to the really exciting bit, the scientific explanation.  

Spring is determined by the spring or vernal equinox. Spring therefore is a moment in time, at least in astronomy circles (or should that be orbits!). It happened at 9:37 a.m. GMT on March 20th this year, to be exact. The spring or vernal equinox occurs as the sun crosses the equator, causing all parts of the globe to share almost equal minutes of daylight and darkness; see the diagram below: 

Leo Tolstoy in his classic novel Anna Karenina wrote, Spring is the time of plans and projects”. I wonder if that recognises the urge to clean, declutterrefresh, and tidy up. Spring cleaning is a real event for many. I can still remember my Grandmother moving all the living room and kitchen furniture out into the garden so she could have a proper “Spring clean”.  

Cleaning a house, especially with children around, is a never-ending chore. Clothes, toysand especially Lego blocks left lying about are deadly. Each block seems to have an uncanny ability to find its way under your foot. Tax can be similar; if we don’t keep up to speed with changes it can be the equivalent of standing on that one Lego block in bare feet. It can be financially costly as well as frustrating to realise that one small action could have avoided the pain.  

The end of the tax year coincides with the beginning of Spring and offers us the same opportunity to get things in order. It is always a busy season for us cleaning up any unused tax allowances and exploring planning opportunities. 

Perhaps my Grandmother had the right idea. Clear out the furniture, find anything lurking in the corners, and put everything back where it should be. No surprises.