I’ve read in several places that round about now (the 20th or so of January) is the most depressing time of year. It’s a month since Christmas, it’s the middle of winter and there’s nothing much to look forward to in the immediate future. Except perhaps more snow.

The very worst day is so-called Blue Monday, usually the Monday of the last full week in January. There is actually a specific formula for working it out which involves time since Christmas, post-Christmas debt level, time since breaking all New Year’s resolutions, and motivational levels. It doesn’t stand up to close mathematical scrutiny, being very tongue-in-cheek, but it makes you think!

But this Blue Monday idea is a very pessimistic view. There are a few things to brighten the dull days. There’s a strike tomorrow here – a good, brisk march through the sunshine should lift the spirits! And the sales are on. I’m not a great bargain hunter and the sales at this time of year seem to be mainly of bedding and curtains and towels. There’s a limit to those of what you can buy. However, there are other things on sale too. Gifi is full of cheaper than ever bling, and the clothes shops have reductions, so that’s more interesting. The supermarkets have some bargains as well, sometimes rather strange ones, but bargains nonetheless. Caiti is impatient to have a trawl round the shops in Gueret as soon as she has some free time between lessons.


And more fun things coming up are Burn’s Night next week. We love haggis and make our own (not going for the sheep’s stomach, you may be pleased to hear), and follow it with tipsy laird. We’re not Scottish, but we like to celebrate with the Scots. My brother in law is from Aberdeen and I spent a year at Stirling University so that’s a good enough reason.

Then Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year arrive together on 14th February. It’s not too early to start planning for those to give you something enjoyable to do.

So don’t be downhearted. There may be two months of winter left – and here in Creuse it may be more than that. Our winters are long. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Every day is a few minutes longer and spring really is on the way.