“January is over! This is not a drill! I repeat *shouty voice* JANUARY IS DEFINITELY OVER!” *does a happy dance*.”
This year I rebelled against the January trend of strict deprivation. I refused to repent for my overindulgence during the festive season, and I chose to deprive myself of nothing. It was hugely satisfying. Forget ‘New Year, New You,’ it’s too cold and too dark to think about re-inventing yourself. Cream Eggs and Piña Coladas taste delicious in January, especially when you take away the guilt. Here are a couple of suggestions on how to survive 31 days of bleak midwinter:-
Comfort Eat – Red wine, meat and chocolate are basic survival rations. I have total admiration for those who go cold turkey and take on the challenge of dry and/or vegan January. In my world, self-deprivation is not a coping mechanism, get the slow cooker on and invite friends over. Drink good red wine, eat generous bowls of rich beef stew, coronary-inducing amounts of buttery mash and moan relentlessly about it being January. Repeat at least once a week.
Binge on Netflix – Netflix kindly sent me an offer I couldn’t refuse, one month’s free subscription. I Od’d, devouring The Crown in less than a week. Before I had digested the Royal family properly I went straight into S1-3 of Narcos. I already had a morbid fascination with drug cartels, yet thankfully I didn’t feel attracted to any of the real life, sadistic cartel bosses. I did, however, develop an unhealthy crush on the fearless DEA Agent that was intent on bringing them down, Javier Peña. There is something very attractive, (especially in the depths of January), about a Hispanic man from the 1980’s. I questioned my taste, his clothes were too tight, his moral compass dubious, but his full moustache strangely alluring. I blame January. Repeat daily for at least 4 hours.
Tackle Tinder – This isn’t really a survival tactic, more a lifeline when boredom sets in around the 14/15th of the month. I think my motivation for this was the unrealistic hope that I might meet a fearless DEA agent, with tight clothing, dubious morals and a full moustache. Alas no. I tried it, but swiping wasn’t for me. The experience did, however, provide some interesting anecdotes to tell over a glass of red and a bowl of stew. Read on.
There was the guy who loathed crab. I love crab. We started out with an amusing exchange on the pros and cons of crabs. There are, however, only so many crab jokes a girl can come up with, and after a few days I grew weary of our ‘crab banter.’ He seemed reluctant to move off the subject, so I moved on. I have no doubt whatsoever, that somewhere out there, there is a girl for him.
I also received the invitation of a lifetime from a 50 year old, who proudly suggested I come over and play with his remote control helicopter and his huge Scalextric. He wasn’t being suggestive, there was no hidden meaning to his invite, he genuinely thought this was an offer I couldn’t or wouldn’t refuse. I made my excuses, wished him all the best, deleted my dating profile and turned my attention back to Narcos.
And so the month that is January has ended. My brain is frazzled from too much American TV and trying to fathom out men and their idiosyncrasies, without being overly judgemental. As I roll into February there are many welcome, and sociable distractions to speed up the arrival of spring. Six Nations Rugby, Pancake’s, Chinese New Year and of course Valentines Day. I doubt that I will receive any cards this year, but I might just send one. Does anyone happen to have the address for the DEA?
This article also appeared in the Brighton & Hove Independent