There are a lot of things happening at the moment, for a January. I say for a January because normally the New Year starts in February. February the 28th to be exact. Why? Because it just does. Honestly.
Every year I trudge through the weeks after Christmas, ecstatic that it's over and a fresh new year has begun. It's like a new notebook. You now, that orgasmic moment when you pull back the cover and there it is, that fresh clean page facing you, full of possibilities. It could be covered with black fibre-tip letters flowing from a pen to create words of wisdom. Or a list. Yes, how about a list of things to do in January? Or even by the summer. Or if you're feeling really excitable, by next Christmas . Yes, let's write a twelve month list. The best ever. So I do. Then I look at it, full of excitement at what 2013 brings.
And then the thing happens. The January thing. The cold weather. The dark mornings and wet evenings and sometimes... the snow. Not crisp and white and imprintable, like it is in places like Norway or proper snow countries like that. But slushy and sleety and wet and icy and ...well just Northern Irish snow...in the city.
There's the scraping through the mortgage payments and loading the fridge up with basics. The endless stretch of December's left-over salary, desperate to get through to January's end. And the thrill of the New Year gets parked, in the cupboard, behind the ten cans of baked beans you've just bought.
Then all of a sudden, there it is, February, coming over the horizon. Young and bright and full of Valentine's day and a short four weeks until you get paid, It comes quickly and then, before you've even shaken off January's gloom it's here. February 28th. Bills paid, Christmas debt wiped, home free with fifty quid to spare. The 28th of February. The real New Year's Day.