The Proclaimers once sang that ‘the question doesn’t matter, the answer’s always “AYE”…’ It can similarly be suggested that the number of the year is not important, or even relevant, really, except for appointment purposes: it is always NOW, with all the urgency and opportunity for immediate action that the word suggests.

I note this because the last couple of weeks has seen the usual new year string of strongly-worded and idiotic letters and comment to papers, chat rooms and so on about how this is not the first year of the second decade of the 2000s, or that it is the 10th year of the twentieth century, and that Jesus was not born in the year 0, and how we perhaps should never have abandoned the Julian calendar anyway.

The year 1990 was not in the 1980s. (I understand someone commenting on the Guardian’s website made a similar point invoking Italia 90, the ‘best world cup tourney of the 1980s’, but I’m having to go on Mr Breeze’s say so and can’t be faffed finding the link).

So happy new year, happy new decade, if you’re on Western time, and farewell to the opening salvo of the 20th century. 2000-2009, if I look back to all the gleeful anticipation of the millennium – another step along the timeline from barbed wire and carnage, a bit closer to the silver jumpsuits and floating cars, perhaps – was a bit of a fucking disaster as far as enjoying the moment was concerned.

Anyway, that was then… 2010, the year we make contact. Or the twonty-throos, as they must officially be termed.