With such a bevy of stimulation over Christmas and New Year it’s not surprising the return to normality hits people so hard, as the cold, hard realities of life become apparent once again. But I say it’s time to stop bad-mouthing January and embrace its quirks, traditions and restrictions. Praise the Dryathlete smugly posting about getting through another day! (Whilst thinking that they are definitely a cunt, especially when they refer to themselves as a ‘Dryathlete’.) Say yes to still being in the grip of Winter! Say no to The Voice! Kylie’s a horror! Either way, let’s stop looking down and start looking forward: here’s why I always love this month.
NO MORE (FORCED) PARTIES
I love going out drinking, ladding-up and all that good stuff. It’s one of the reasons the Christmas season is such a glorious thing: you’ve got an excuse to meet up with every person you know, guzzle, get smoochy, and all under the pretence of the yuletide. What a jape! But for the sake of your health there is a time that is has to stop, else that New Year cancer-cough turns into something, well, cancerous.
And that my friends is January. So instead of mourning the fact you’ve got no money and that your friends are all lying about not drinking for the whole month, embrace it. Take interest in the things you always tell people you are interested in, but never actually do- art galleries, cycling, the works of Hemingway, thinking deeply and coherently about your place in the cosmos, etc. Or at least watch less Sunday Brunch.
Unless you are one of those creepy types that keep resolutions (see also: the sort of person that refer themselves in the third person, or actual goblins) then by the time it comes round to February, okay, now-ish, you’ll be casting longing glances to the old, more haggard you, and careering off the wagon into a barrel of Babycham and relief.
So cherish these weeks of clarity (if you’ve kept to it), because they won’t last long.
NO MORE X FACTOR AND THE RETURN OF ACTUAL MUSIC
Whether or not Simon Cowell’s music saviour , antichrist soap opera, is the devil in your eyes, it’s absolutely everywhere in December. January then arrives like a de-sanitised handwipe, as every label on their planet gets ready to push out all the great acts they’ve been holding back for fear of losing them in a haze of Syco-approved wank, and Wizzard. Over the last week I’ve discovered absolute gems by School Language, Augustines and Night Beds, each of which threaten to endure throughout 2014.
This leads us nicely to…
NO MORE CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Yes we all know that Fairytale of New York is a genuinely great tune, but most Christmas songs can tit off back to Lapland. (Other than this, which never gets played anywhere anyway.) By the time the big day has come round and you’ve been forced to visit a Westfield once or (God have mercy) twice, the novelty of hearing I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday has long dissipated and instead you’re left pondering whether in fact you would be better off spending December doing a Bon Iver somewhere Roy or Bing or Noddy have yet to have their way with.
LOADS MORE CLOTHES
Whether or not you’ve had a visit from the Santa Parents, smashed the sales, alleviated Dry January angst with shopping, or a combination of the three, January is only rivalled by June as a new clothes month. So you won’t be going out as much, but at least you’ll look good in the mirror and your workmates will think you’ve turned over a new leaf, or at least got a new girlfriend.
ALL THE FILMS
I was looking at booking to go to the cinema yesterday, and I swear to God there was every good film ever made was on within half an hour of each other. The proximity to Oscar season ensures that a visit to the cinema becomes a night out to treasure, unless you watch 12 Years A Slave in which case (and I’m going on hear’say because I haven’t actually seen it yet) you may wish your mind could forget some of those awful things your eyes were made to witness.
Obviously the lack of partying helps in terms of freeing up time, but there’s something about starting a new year that reignites people’s sense of creativity and ambition, as they reflect on what they have or haven’t achieved in that Big Life Plan. As 13 has switched to 14 I’ve definitely noticed an upsurge in people I know talking about and promoting new creative ventures, whether it be a band, short film or business (one fella I know has even started a dog-walking club). The nary nay-sayers will decry this as short-term bursts that’ll fizzle with the first of February, but I don’t buy that, and even if it they are, who cares? From small acorns grow big ideas, and there’s no better time for them to come into life than January.
Follow David on Twitter- @Gobshout