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My poor mother was surrounded by Virgos.

Both her husbands, her father and me, Virgos all. Critical, picky, unbelievable perfectionists. Her poor old Capricorn goat assumed a pretty permanent mantle of low self esteem in the face of such a barrage of nitpicking.

Being a September baby has great advantages. Number one, you are probably the youngest in your year – this is useful in later life when you tell people you graduated at the age of 20 and had your first job at 21. Life is completely different for today’s students – we are offering up some ideas in our New Directions Education Guide this month which I hope might open minds to different careers. Number two, September is a great month, it’s still warm with Indian summer and you still have a sunkissed glow. Winter despair is still some way off – and hey, yes, Virgos do start to think about Christmas!

Disadvantages are that your birthday probably falls in the school holidays so your chums are likely to be away. If you are at boarding school then this is worse as your friends, as mine, were scattered to all four corners of the earth and not around for celebrating.

Perhaps this is one reason why Virgos do stick together. We are all around for each other in those empty days. I went to a Virgos’ party a few years ago on the London Eye. There were 14 of us. Needless to say, ours was the tidiest, shiniest pod with glistening windows affording us the beautiful view of London.

Sticking together is a good theme for the approach of winter too. Keep warm and stay safe. It is the community that strengthens us and the community that holds us together. No man is an island, especially not if we preserve our local life and celebrate all the good that it brings.

Stick together and we’ll all survive. And Happy Birthday to you fellow Virgos. And happy birthday to me.

Sarah Hodgson is Editor-in-Chief at Time & Leisure Media Group