Issue 187: 2019 01 31: No Ds in January

31 January 2019

No Depressing Ds in January

Time to be upbeat.

By Lynda Goetz

January in the UK is undoubtedly Dull and frequently Damp, but why do we seem to want also to make it Depressing?  Why on earth would you choose this time of year to start a Diet or go Dry?  Granted it is the start of a new year and therefore possibly time for a new start, but unless you are obese and need six months or more to shed some weight before your summer holiday or are an alcoholic and need to forswear alcohol completely, why choose this decidedly Downbeat time of year for abstinence?  Charitable causes are, on the whole, a good thing, but is midwinter really the time to Declutter, Marie Kondo style, and Donate your hoarded memorabilia to charity shops or the Dustbin?

January in Britain should be a time to hunker down, perhaps to be self-indulgent and as far as possible to hibernate.  Alternatively, it is a time to go on holiday.  Neither of these marry well with Deprivation. Sitting huddled in front of your (perhaps soon to be outlawed) wood-burning stove with a good book, a decent brandy, a home-made sloe gin or a creamy Baileys adds so much to the experience.  Throw in a few good chocolates and the pleasure is increased still further.  Most of us have at least two of these items left over from the festive season anyway, so why Deprive yourself of them throughout January?

Should you decide to take the holiday option, there must surely be no question of abstinence or Deprivation?  What sort of ski holiday can you have without at least the odd glass of alcohol?  What sort of cruise or trip to sunny beaches without the obligatory cocktail?  Unless for some reason you have imposed a spa retreat on yourself, it is clearly somewhat joyless to take a holiday where you cannot allow yourself access to the cheese board at dinner or enjoy the odd cake or pastry.

January in this country is clearly not an exuberant month, not a bountiful, joyous month.  It is frequently grey and wintry; the festivities are over; in the south it is rarely even snowy and spring still seems remote; for all these reasons maybe we need to review our attitudes to this time of year.  This is not the time for Dieting – put on another jumper to cover that less than perfect body.  This is not a time for exercise, Dammit!  This is Decidedly not a time to go Dry; indeed have another glass and Dream!  Aha!  Seems I have alighted on a positive D for January.  Never mind all those negatives, the D we need is for Dreams; Definitely time for those in January.  Save all those other Dammed Ds for another month – could I perhaps nominate October?


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