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Friday, January 25, 2008

January bleugh

The Last Word column from Day and Night in today's Independent

We're almost there people. Just six more days until stinky, dark, dreary, cold and broke January will be done with for another year. Huzzah! By my calculations many of you will be celebrating the first Feast of the Brown Envelope (i.e. pay day) of 2008 today, and are therefore probably too filled with joy and relief about having money once more to hold onto the memories of the lean three weeks that have just gone by.

But, by gum, remember you must, for those of us who forget history are condemned to repeat it. Burn into your mind just how you've felt for the past few weeks. Write it all down in great detail if you must. Go ahead, I can wait.

A friend of mine came out with a brilliant term to sum up the general January 'bleugh' feeling: "Christmas jet lag". All of December is basically like a foreign holiday. It's all parties, late nights and demented, relentless spending, where all your worries are put on the long finger, all your false energy reserves are called up into action, and all sense of reality is suspended. And to top it all off, you get a two week break at the end of it to either keep up that chaotic schedule or just retreat into high calorie hibernation.

No wonder we're all so discombobulated come the first week of the New Year. You genuinely feel about 11 hours behind the rest of the world. Everyone is in a slump. Nobody really wants to do anything. All around you — at work, on the streets, at home — people are just trudging around like mindless drones, their spirits broken, eyes downcast, and shoulders hunched by the shear weight of the January 'bleugh'.

It's so quiet everywhere in the country —- in pubs, clubs, even shops — that you feel like bursting into a rip-roaring, shrieking rendition of that Bjork song and begin dancing up and down the street with a man in a mailbox just to liven things up a bit.

Of course, there's a way to avoid all this, and if you're anything like me, you have at least 6 much smarter friends who made contingency plans for just that: they all literally fled the country. It's so simple, yet so ingenious, like all the best ideas always are.

For instance, I know a couple who have hightailed it off to Australia for the month. Another friend was in Brazil for New Year's, and engineered it so he’d be there until last week. A colleague went all Darjeeling Limited and decided to get lost by finding himself on a journey through India. Others are making tracks to Gran Canaria and New York, while several more are gone "on the piste" on the slopes of Andorra.

So what the bleedin' heck was I doing here, I found myself asking? And my answer was: I honestly don't know! Kind of like a Finance Minister in a Tiger economy, I got so caught up in the heady debauchery of the period that I never thought to make plans for when the party ground to a buzz-wrecking halt.

But, boy, January 2008 has been enough to give me the kick in the behind I need to ensure I ain't around for the festive fallout next year. Oh no. This time next year I'm going to make it my business to see that I'll be sequestered in the metaphorical nuclear bunker of the Caribbean or South America, or anywhere where the sun is shining, the days are long, the colourful cocktails are flowing, and January becomes the month that time - and I - forgot.

1 comment:

Kiran said...