January really is a hateful month isn’t it? I started on the first in a relatively chipper “Go me!” kind of a mood but by Tuesday as the rain and wind lashed at us, I was more in a “woe is me” mood instead.
I developed a desire to climb under my duvet, lift my book from the bedside table and to stay ensconsed in the cosy confines of my bedroom until the nights got a little brighter and the wind was less hurricane-like.
I figure, by mid-February, I might just be in the form to face the world again and would emerge from my cosy cocoon ready to kill dead things.
Oh it would be bliss to forget about the early morning routine, the battling with traffic, the running through lashing rain to the school gates, the over tired toddler and her pleas for just “five more minutes” of snuggles when I would love to but have to get to work. It would be bliss to turn off the news, stick my head firmly in the sand (or the duvet) and lose myself in a great, made up and ultimately positive, story.
I would emerge from my place of hibernation only occasionally. To forage for chocolate and wine, of course. To tend to other less delicate personal needs and to shower occasionally, before slipping into clean jammies and back under (now miraculously) clean and fresh bedsheets to continue on my month of solitude and revitalisation.
No good comes from January. The weather is cold. The bank balance is greatly depleted. The credit card bills are intimidating. The tax man cometh and colds are a plenty as the horrible weather and Christmas excesses weakens our immune systems.
There would be great comfort in escaping from it all - in making the month one of quiet contemplation. (I know, with kids that’s really never going to happen... but we can but dream).
If I ruled the world (and if children came with mute buttons/ associated super nannies/ a separate annexe where they could be stored for a month) January would be a month off for everyone. It would be our designated hibernation month. It would be illegal to either send or receive bills. All food shopping would be free - to a reasonable value of course. No caviar and bottles of champers just because you could - but say, £100 of good, healthy, wholesome (non value) food would be delivered to your door each and every Friday evening, along with a bottle of wine, a bunch of flowers and a new pair of pyjamas (to save you washing the ones you’ve been lying in your pit in).
Heating oil/ gas coal for the fire would be provided so that everyone’s house could maintain a toasty warm quality without fearing the heating bills and the television would show nothing but comedies, uplifting movies and Grey’s Anatomy (my own personal favourite) for the entire month.
Much as it pains me to say this as a car carrying journalist, but for the entire month news programming would be banned. Or at least edited so that only positive, uplifting stories could be told. Bad news can wait til the weather is a bit better and our seratonin levels are a bit higher.
The words recession and economic crisis and Eurozone would be banished from the English language. Anyone heard muttering about such matters would be taken away and locked up in a comfy, yet soundproofed, padded cell until February dawned.
Chocolate would be devoid of calories for the entire month. In fact for the month of January alone our five-a-day would be made up of a chocolate biscuit, a Chunky Kit Kat, a Freddo bar, a Wispa and a Flake. Tea would be plentiful, milky and delicious.
In fairness, in that time, I might miss my children so they would be allowed in for cuddles and quiet time a few times a day. They could brings toys/books of their choosing as long as they weren’t electronic, too brightly coloured or noisy. No thudding of a football repeatedly against the back wall or cheery singsonging of a brightly coloured toy allowed.
To fight off the scurvy which would come with spending time in a confined, but cosy, space, I suppose we could all be allowed out every now and again. Perhaps for something nice to eat, or walk in the park (rain and sleet being temporarily banned) or a trip to the cinema for a showing of something again light hearted and lovely, perhaps with George Clooney in it.
In the words of Eliza Dolittle in ‘My Fair Lady’ - wouldn’t it be lovely?
However, we know that won’t happen. I suppose we just have to get on with things and count down ‘til the seasons change all by the themselves. And we can always remain thankful that at least we haven’t had a big clatter of snow yet. (Should a big clatter of snow fall between me writing this column and it being published, or indeed in the following two weeks I will not claim any responsibility for tempting fate).
And when we get the chance, however small that chance may be, we should all be a little kinder to ourselves this month. It’s tough out there - enjoy the peace and quiet when you can. Watch uplifting movies and read good books when you get the chance. Snuggle down in your bed and enjoy the cosiness and sure if you happen to sneak an extra chocolate bar or two into your diet you won’t really be hurting anyone.
Happy January everyone!