For those of you who didn’t notice, or those who are uninformed, this news: Blue Monday is behind us for another year. Blue Monday is usually ‘celebrated’ on the third Monday in January as the most depressing day on the calendar
Celebrated? That may not be the appropriate term: endured, maybe? Slept through? Survived? If you are still with me, then, welcome. You are a survivor, and things can only get better! If you aren’t, I presume it will be no flowers by request? Unless, that is, you have a predilection for leaves, branches and berries. There can be nothing worse than being borne upon your last winter journey into eternity amid a forest of teasels.
Oh, and if you have just joined me in expectation of an uplifting, life-affirming experience to begin your day, well, now you know the truth: nevertheless, I feel I owe you an explanation for my dolorous state, and it is this.
Firstly, as a part of my New Years’ resolve, I am on a diet. Actually, it started before the New Year, but I am happy to include it in my accounting, because it is a good diet. Without injecting too much of a personal note, it has helped me to shed 42lbs, so far. Grateful thanks to Rita Roberts, whose very interesting blog drew my attention to ‘Low Carb for Life’. This is not so much a dietary regime as a lifestyle choice, and as such does not leave me wanting, as so many diets have. Why am I miserable about it, then? Because! Because every time I pass a cream doughnut, every time I watch someone slurp from an ice cream Magnum, each morning I sit in my office nursing an alimentary canal porridgeburger I curl. I have to put my head under a towel so I shall not be seen to weep! That’s why!
Secondly, it’s official Winter. The solstice may have passed, the mornings may be brightening as the sun moves north, but they’re not. I’m not. Beyond my window, the world has quietened, pulled its raiment tightly about itself and hunkered down to wait for Spring. Leaden grey skies, baleful rain, imprisoning snow, all these things I can survive; it is the inaction, the stultifying boredom of these incarcerated hours I cannot stand.
Oh, and then there are the Memsahib’s experiments with cryogenics. After so many years of marriage I can hardly complain – when I popped the question (all three copies, one of which remains on file) I knew what I was getting, and for a woman whose immediate antecedents were raised on a Polish mountaintop in a house with no doors, a reluctance to regard central heating as more than an optional extra is understandable. And I am understanding – more so than our dog, who moves to her outdoor kennel for the winter months on the basis it is warmer…
What message – what crumb of comfort – do I derive from my English Winter? Watching the birds outside my window, their feathers fluffed against an icy blast as they chip away the fat balls my wife has hung from the holly bush I can reflect that I am more fortunate than they, although it is also true they are better fed. ‘What sign of the Spring of the year, not a stir, not a shoot, not a breath…’ those grey skies seem to stretch into infinity; but they must end soon. They must end somewhere, mustn’t they? On a sunny Spanish Isle, perhaps, or a land where it is never cold, or damp; where, in short, Blue Monday can only refer to the color of the sky…