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January is the Monday of the year.

Time to reset, grit your teeth and start all over again. We endure it, in all it’s sullen infamy. It is a bleak month, dreich and doleful, a time when dark reflections cause some to seek an ultimate, sorry escape. It would seem to have little to commend it
However, I want to stick up for January. It may be the perfect Scottish month in that it embraces and echoes the worst and the best of us.

It separates us from our neighbours in England, whose preferred point of fuss is Christmas day, not Hogmanay (and the four days after it). England is back in the saddle by the second of January, while most of us are stumbling around trying to remember where we left the horse.

In early January, we face the recovery from our festive excess. By mid-January, we are still all broke, from our festive excess. Throughout the month, busted wallets and bad weather will cage us. But, by the end of the month, we will assure each other that this wasn’t the worst January we’ve ever had. I knew it’s father, we will say. We begin to rise again.

We’ll have made our resolutions - in good intent - only to discard them when the skies cleared and our senses returned. That’s fine. No-one really deludes themselves about these resolutions: it is just that January is probably not the best time to make them – given how difficult it is to see clearly through the rain and the fog and the blizzard of credit card bills. And anyway, it doesn’t really matter that such resolve crumbles – what counts is that we feel bold enough to announce it in the first place. January makes us want to be better people.


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