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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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January. It’s always dire

They said it would be the most miserable day of the year and they got it just about right – unless you were a teacher, pupil or school-running parent spotting snow before first light, that is.

Then it will have prompted a different mood, as you eagerly checked texts for confirmation of a gift from the heavens and crawled back into bed for a long, cosy lie-in.

For the rest of us, it remained pretty depressing. As predicted, January 21 – yesterday, in fact – lived up to all expectations of doom, gloom, slipping, sliding and coppering up for a make-do-and-mend packed lunch.

There’s an arithmetical equation somewhere that sums up Blue Monday – a formula which explains why that particular day puts us in the doldrums and has us throwing black looks and glowering stares at everyone within sniping distance.

It’s a long way from the pay-day that came early for Christmas – and too far from the next one that’s already been spent. The weather is foul, there’s next to no daylight, there’s nothing to look forward to, resolutions have been broken (at least twice), the diet is shot and keeping the house warm is costing a king’s ransom.

And to cap it all, you’re not a teacher.

Yes, it happened again. Wintry weather (in winter) closed down hundreds of schools all over the country. Even where only a dusting of snow had fallen, classes fell like nine-pins because – well, because that’s what they do.

There are lots of reasons, apparently. Teachers who live a distance from work can’t get in on time when the weather turns bad, it’s unsafe for kids to chance it – because they might slip in the playground and sue – and boilers break down when they’re needed in winter, as they have been doing for the past 50 years.

And we never expect winter in January, obviously. Seasons take us by surprise. Snow is always a novelty in winter. Even the BBC believes so. It ran a half hour special on it last week ... and there’d only been two days of it.

Oh and not only schools throw in the towel when spring fails to follow autumn. Airports grind to a halt, flights are cancelled, buses reschedule, trains give up the ghost. Even the London underground limped through long delays because of snow over-ground.

What a sorry little country of limp-wristed mediocrity we must seem to outsiders who take all extreme elements routinely and happily in their stride.

As a northern European nation well acquainted with the passing of changing seasons, you’d think we’d have got the hang of it by now. But no.

Give us temperatures below zero and we come to a shivering, panic-stricken stop. When the thermometer registers 20 degrees we order a hosepipe ban!

All such grumbles come into a sharp, miserable focus on a snowy January 21. To coin one of Elton John’s favourite lines – I guess that’s why they call it the blues.

Have your say

Ever lived in Canada carl we have proper winter weather and cope very easily not like yourselves with 10cm of snow and uter panic to follow get real and lets face it if you wear t shirts in snow and ice i hope you dont hold a responsible position

Posted by anon on 26 January 2013 at 20:25

It was a lovely sunny day in Carlisle which cheered us up in the office.

Posted by Trish on 23 January 2013 at 16:47

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