January the month no one likes!


It feels and seems to have been the longest month of the entire year!  Only 31 days – really? 5 Mondays! 744 hours!  I am positive January feels like its overstayed its welcome by about the second week and this is mainly down to being in the wake of Christmas! 

Oh that particular event seems soooo long ago! And yet it was the very same Christmas we knew was coming way in advance of its final arrival.  We had been reminded of it since September; well in earnest once Halloween was done and dusted!  The very same we all swore we wouldn’t go mad about and keep our finances in track and yet now we reflect with hindsight knowing the cold stark reality of the situation which regrettably starts with January; a month blamed and recognised for its coldness in more ways than one!

The expense and excess of those festivities, lashing out money on presents which heartbreakingly a mere 24 hours later are slashed in price leaving the majority of the nation’s wondering if it was all really worth it as they dig deep into bare pockets.  The reality and desperation kicks in that the next pay day feels like an impossible date to reach!  Just like any thoughts of Santa which have officially left, gone; far far away!

Not only can this be the 'month of skint', on top of this depressing fact there is this 'new year pressure' to stop doing things!  Don’t do this, do that, become this, don’t eat that, stop smoking, stop drinking and exercise as though your training to compete against Mo Farah, Usain Bolt and Anthony Joshua all in one. 

The main reason why people have a dry January and stop drinking, do give up smoking, do stop eating meat and dairy and become vegan and all that jazz is because they simply cannot afford to continue with any of them – so it’s a great option, perfectly timed and acceptable by society.  No one questions why your diet contains Ryvita and any invitations to have a swift half are swiftly turned down.   

Even though you become tired, depressed, moody and most of all boring constantly banging on about the benefits of no drinking, no smoking, no meat, no dairy, nothing - there is no choice!  Roll on 31st January!

The withdrawal from all those bad and evil things your body has only ever known is harsh, your energy levels run down before they perk up and generally you feel poo!  Talking about poo; this is the only happiness as you are pooing for Britain; all that fibre and roughage is passing through you quicker than the 6.20am fast virgin service into London Euston.  The only downside is the amount of loo rolls being used but after a bit of comparison shopping you dump Tesco’s 24 rolls for £13.00 and revert wisely to Aldi -  same amount of rolls and quality at £5.95!  Baa Tesco’s you robbing unsympathetic bastards to January and all it brings!

This new diet also affects sleeping - prior to giving up, a glass or two most nights would take the edge off life and seemed to have magical properties convincingly enough to successfully aid sleeping.  The moment you stop drinking is the start of no shut eye even when exhausted!  Instead another platform with extra time is used to dwell on the state of your finances or lack of them.  Reoccurring chilling thoughts of unfulfilling shopping experiences involving only certain aisles being utilised whilst others avidly avoided.  The temptation is far too great; the cakes and biscuits are calling, the spirits flirting – ‘come on just the one, you miss me, you know you do!’

But the voices stop once the tinned prunes hit the cold metal of the basket – no more trollies this month – you can only buy what you can physically carry! 

The pot of live natural yoghurt with its all white, plain, boring and tasteless offer fills your heart with a secret dread and a desire to use it as an alternative to putty the bath and fill any cracks appearing.  The void of finance makes you examine all those things you cannot afford to do. 

Your body soon adjusts to the prunes, live yoghurt and dried goji berries (the latter due to its cost has to be ate sparingly and hidden not to be shared with any family members) and you thank Aldi in your nightly prayers for its fabulous prices before another sleepless night.

And so January unlike you jogs on slowly.  The expanse of exercise techniques and suggestions are vast, as you watch the spandex and leotards make a comeback with vengeance.  To invest in a new trendy set of gym clothes is not cheap and your good old reliable leggings which have never been stretched through yoga or a workout look worn and tired with unflattering holes starting to come through in the crutch.  They don’t go with any of the trainers that pretend to be trainers but are traitor trainers – they are not the right type of trainer to pound the streets or indeed be seen out in public.  And so your fitness regime begins only in your mind and remains only there throughout this cold and unforgiving month!  The only downward dog in is when he makes his way towards the bottom stair!

Finally when all hope has gone and life is a perpetual cycle of unexciting times the day arrives - it’s the end of the month, too weak to whoop and skip around the house, the sheer relief of normal service resuming causes a watery smile!

Goodbye cruel January – until next year!

Well Hello February where have you been for the last 31 days?