It’s that time of year again.

As some readers may remember from my previous columns, I am colour blind, and I am usually grateful for the interesting viewpoint this gives me.

But in autumn it’s almost as if Mother Nature wants to rub my nose in it.

For a start, the weather can’t make up its mind, so we get alternating spells of rain and sunshine, and therefore rainbows.

Everybody loves a rainbow - even me, who can only see three bands of wishy-washy orange, yellow and blue.

I was admiring one the other day while stuck in roadworks, so also had plenty of time to think about that other great exhibition that nature likes to put on around now, which is the changing colour of plants, and especially trees.

I should explain that I was about 18 before I even knew this happened.

My (also colourblind) twin brother came home one day and said: “Hey! Did you know trees change colour in the autumn?”

I was amazed. No-one ever thinks to tell a child what they assume he or she must be able to see with their own eyes, so how could we know? As I got older, however, a few people occasionally gave me their opinion on the beauty of autumn trees, and I have to politely explain I can only take their word for it.

What I always want to ask them is why they don’t seem to notice the trees during the rest of the year, because to me their beauty is a constant. Perhaps they need something to change before they can properly appreciate life’s blessings.

This year I have been thinking about this even more, because unless I am mistaken, people seem more bowled over by autumn colours than ever before.

I am losing count of how many friends have stopped to point it out this year, many of them also taking to posting pictures of trees on social media.

I am putting it down to the extraordinary year we are having, and the impact of a lockdown and changed routines and lifestyles that made many people stop and think more about their lives, and recalibrate.

Plenty have missed the point, naturally, and we knew who they would be, but generally the slower pace of life that many of us now enjoy, plus the extra time on our hands, has made us more observant, perceptive and thankful.

So it follows that another symptom of 2020 is the extra value millions now attach to the arts, having discovered new priorities and creativity inside themselves.

Hopefully they also realise that this is not just temporarily life-enhancing, but could be a permanent inspiration. Just like the trees.

So it’s especially disappointing that certain politicians seem to be on a mission to downgrade the arts, insinuating that professional musicians, dancers and other artists should get ‘a proper job’. Surely that goes against every lesson this crazy year has taught us - and it’s enough to make even me see red.