Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Gloom and despondency

Seems we have just lived through the “warmest” January on record. Now, forgive me, but the words “warm” and “January” to me do not belong in the same sentence*. Yesterday afternoon was a case in point.

Six of my eighteen booked surgery appointments were suffering with, or just beginning to come to terms with, severe depressive illness. It made the afternoon a bleak experience indeed. I normally expect one or two. It’s in the nature of my practice as one of the “cardy wearers” of the Ambridge Surgery. But in January, and most especially this January, it seems numbers escalate so the whole month has been a bit like this. Yesterday, as always, I hope they each felt they managed to be heard and understood, and that the changes in lifestyle and treatment we agreed will soon begin to take effect and put them all more firmly on a road to recovery. I’ll find out from them over the next two to four weeks. And by then it won’t be bloody January anymore, and this too might help in their recoveries.

Oddly, although the days are winding down to the shortest day, and the weather can be just as grotty, December never seems quite so bad. December is a “looking forwards” sort of a month. In Blighty we are all rushing about like headless chickens preconditioned from infancy to do the whole Victorian family Christmas thing. (This even appears to apply to my Moslem, Hindu, Jewish and, frankly, godless, acquaintances.) The whole Island seems to go into woolen-wrapped party mode. But January is a “looking backwards” month. It’s still cold. It’s still wet. There’s all the fuss around New Year and then the subsequent pressures we put ourselves under by resolving to be leaner-fitter-better-richer people than before, as though all that has gone before has somehow been not quite right, disappointing even.

Scientists have “proved” that within three weeks the cracks are already starting to show in these new-made resolutions for the vast majority and so the whole month becomes something of a let down. Still, it’s nearly February now and already in Ambridge at least things are beginning to feel quite spring-like.

This morning’s drive in to work was brilliantly illumined but a golden glow as the sun crept above the horizon turning the land pastel pink under a cornflower blue firmament dappled with fluffy white clouds. Bunnies were bunnying while squirrels squirreled and magpies went “Aaaaark!”.

Things might just be looking up.

*Would Southern Hemisphere readers please substitute January for June/July or whichever is your coldest month**.

** and would Tropically based readers just go with me on this or think “rain” when I drivel on about “cold” which I gather may be an alien concept….


Chairwoman of the bored said...

I hope you greet single magpies in the traditional manner to avoid bad fortune.

Wendz said...

Thanks for the hope - it's almost February and I, for one am truly grateful. It has been a terribly poo month. Perhaps I will awaken in the morning without the sore throat, stuffy dizzy head and snotty nose that has accompanied me on this long long journey out of January. Well really - one lives in hope.

Z said...

I've had a lovely January. I think it's the length of the days - I get progressively miserable in the autumn and then, as the days start to get longer, I jolly up again.

sooz said...

See now I'm ok with this January - we've had snowdrops, sunshine and lighter mornings and nights - it's full of promise and colour rather than the usual grey.

Nostrumdammit said...

I have always regarded January as a spectacular month. I clear out lots of junk accumulated over the previous year. This junk could be material, mental or emotional.
I feel I derive a lot of closure in this exercise and as the evenings lighten and I can begin to potter about on my plot of garden I feel as though I'm genuinely ready for another season of hoarding.

I enjoy it when you go all lyrical on us Dr J.

PS - I think my comment about Mrs Bloggs went awol too.

Doctor Jest said...

mme Chair-- tug of the forelock and cheery whitle, but only to singletons for some reason I can no longer call to mind.

wendz-- seems we've got SNOW coming this week. Something to look forward to :-(

z / sooz-- you cheery pair you. glad to hear it too.. and we've just had a tiny crop of Daftydills from the woods at Jest Acres!

nostrum'-- good plan. when you're done d'you fancy having a go at my desk at all? Sorry to hear of the missing comment. seems somehow appropriate. perhaps we should get WPC Watmough on the case.....