There is a strange glow in the sky as the old year raises its shoulders, takes a deep breath and then yawns rather loudly. It stretches its arms to touch 2016 with its fingertips.
‘Hey you,’ it says. ‘I’m consigning myself to history. It’s time for you to take over.’
And the new year, so eager and so full of youthful promise, is raring to go. But not before the old one is given a proper send-off in true Dorset style at the end of this week.
Tipsy locals will be arm in arm, dancing in the village square as the church clock strikes midnight. And then the Mummers, that ancient band of brothers (and sisters), will descend some twelve hours later, doing what only Mummers do: re-enacting strange tales of Father Christmas, St George, a hobby horse and a reviving doctor, in amongst the party streamer debris of the night before.