Joeblade

The Long Dark

As mentioned previously, I hate winter. This was something I felt worth expanding upon, as it’s about now that winter really gets into the swing of things even though everyone feels it ought to have ended on December 26th. Let’s be blunt; this time of year is just rubbish.

I’m not keen on the pre-Christmas winter, but it’s the winter of January and February that really gets me down. It’s freezing cold. Everything is a perpetual grey. The days are finally getting longer but that doesn’t matter as the weather consists primarily of ‘cloud’, and not even dramatic, interesting cloud, of the sort that you might see in films like The Day After Tomorrow. Instead, it’s English cloud.

English cloud is the sort that blankets the sky from horizon to horizon in a washed-out grey, and then just sits there faffing, not snowing, not raining, not anything at all. It’s the cloud equivalent of a teenager, slouching and listening to every single obnoxious ringtone on their phone in rotation. On a bus. In a traffic jam. On a Tuesday.

Nobody’s happy during the first two months of the year. Everyone’s back at work, dealing with the backlog of stuff they’d put off since November and with no money due to last drawing a salary around the 20th of December and having then spent it all by the 24th. There’s nothing to look forward to except Valentine’s Day, which couples are too depressed to take seriously and single people too single to take at all. The card and chocolate shops fill their windows with giant cardboard cupids and nauseating toy bears, but you can tell their hearts aren’t in it.

There’s bugger-all on at the cinema, there aren’t any decent games being released and the music industry appears to be relying soley on The Arctic Monkeys to make any money at all. Even the food is depressed — crack open any satsuma or clementine and you’ll find a collection of withered, deflated sacks of dry nothing. When even the citrus fruit can’t be bothered, you know there’s a problem.

And look at the state of the world today! Christ, but it’s depressing stuff; whales coming to England to die, Iran desperate to go nuclear and led by a batshit-crazy holocaust denier, Iraq tearing itself apart, Hamas swept to power in Palestine and I don’t even know where to begin with the whole Muslim/Danish cartoon issue, except to perhaps suggest that everyone involved on both sides is being a bit overexcited and if they don’t pack it in right now I’m going to have to pull over.

I think the best solution is to just move Christmas. If we could move Christmas to, say, the end of January then the miserable January–February period would have something to cut it in half, and the October–December period already has a slew of available holidays; Bonfire Night, Halloween, that Thanksgiving thing the Americans are always on about, and so on.

Moving Christmas would also mean that my birthday would no longer be right on top of it, which would be a bonus.

By Paul Haine, in