Thursday, January 03, 2008

January blues

January is not my favourite month. Looking at it from a number of different standpoints and trying to give it the benefit of the doubt doesn't help: it basically has very little going for it.

The first few days are the hangover from the festive period; Christmas trees are drooping, lights and glitter that twinkled in an otherworldly, expectant way last year have now lost their magic; similarly, shiny things in shop windows no longer sparkle or tempt, but appear tired and tawdry. The start of January is the deflated party balloon in the corner of the room.

I don't like the Puritanical mood of the month either. I have known a number of people who detox or give up chocolate or alcohol for the whole of the month. By 31 December I am sick of festive food and longing for fruit and salad, but I don't deny myself the right to reach for a drink or comforting stodge for the next four weeks.

I don't make New Year's resolutions either - I'm glad I don't have to think about stopping smoking anymore, and there's no other major changes I want to make. Perhaps I'm becoming more comfortable in my own skin as I get older. The infamous Jerry Springer apparently resolves to do more of things he enjoys each January; that's the sort of resolution I like.

The January landscape tends to send my spirits sinking down into my shoes. The overbearing hue is mud brown, the trees are naked and damp, the grass is colourless and the rain is relentless. The earth seems to have given up completely and at this point the transformation that will take place in the next few months seems utterly impossible.

Sometimes, the mud is disguised by an enchanting blanket of snow; the magic and twinkle of late December returns briefly. Then you receive text messages from three well-meaning friends and family members to inform you the A1 is closed north of Gosforth and they're worried you won't make it home from work. I hate driving in snow: another reason not to do January.


Beth said...

My birthday is a week after New Year and it's a really bummer of a time to have a birthday that's for sure!

Winchester whisperer said...

The worst bit is taking out the Christmas tree and finding pine needles engrained in the edge of the carpet well into March.

ziggi said...

here bl**dy here!
and it's still too dark to do anything before or after work and the sales are cr*p!

elizabethm said...

I do know what you mean (and today has been the worst kind of January day up here with wind to take your skin off) but I try to notice that the days get just perceptibly longer. You have to concentrate quite hard admittedly.

Gill said...

I think we are naturally supposed to hibernate and not come out of our caves just yet. We should be inside dreaming by the fire and telling stories.

occasional northerner said...

I, unusually for me, had to drag myself to Northumberland this weekend. The journey was unpleasant and our house cold. I had to drag myself out on Saturday afternoon to walk, however, if you had enough on, it was restorative. I too spent much of the time looking at grey coutryside wondering about its pending transformation - the change from dull browns and grey to fresh greens and whites is fantastic and not that far away really.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Beth, I hope people do still buy younice things. It would be most unfair if they didn't.

WW, that's the beauty of having a fake one - but mine actually came down on boxing day because I'd had enough of re-dressing it daily because the cats nicked the baubles..

Ziggi, we must start dreaming of when we can ride after work ..

Elizabeth, I think they're supposed to get longer by about 10min a week?

Gill, you are, as usual, so right!

ON, today has actually been rather gorgeous = the sort of January day that makes it worthwhile. But Saturday wasn't too wonderful, I must admit!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

I'm right with you in the January Doldrums...and i may try and live by your defiant 'i shall not be denied alcohol or stodge' creed.
Happy Bloody New Year!

@themill said...

Not as bad as November - the days get longer and I have birthday.

Marianne said...

I don't think people were made to 'do' January M&M!

BTW, The Man in The Woolly Jumper is The Man in the Pink Shirt!