There’s no doubt that in the ‘good old days’ we knew where we stood with the seasons. Autumn clocked in around October – very reliably in time for bonfire night as a rule. We’d have dampness and leaves fluttering down for a couple of months and then winter would really make an entrance just before Christmas. Here we would suffer the ravages of really bad rain, freezing temperatures, icicles the lot. Once spring returned in April, the spring clean started in earnest to prepare for the summer months. We didn’t have central heating or fitted carpets so the cleaning always involved lugging the large rugs out and over the long washing line, to be given a seriously hard beating to remove a years worth of ingrained dirt, coal dust, ash, dog hair etc. Our primitive vacuum cleaners weren’t very effective. It was jolly hard work and took days to carry out. Now we vac the carpet often and hire wonderful carpet shampooing machines to do the work in a trice!