22nd February 2021

I have always found this month to be particularly depressing. There is no reason, indeed being it includes both my father’s birthday and my own it should be a joyous time. Quite possibly the explanation for my gloom is climatic, the second month of the year is in my homeland being a period of extremely unpredictable weather, all manner of strange and unpleasant effects appearing with a regularity that defies any logic.

Much as in the United States ‘Groundhog Day’ represents a window for the following six weeks, so in my own country the end of January and beginning of February set the stage for what will follow till the first vestiges of spring are sprung. There is a famous Christmas Carol titled ‘In the bleak midwinter’, whose lyrics talk of frost, wind, snow, and water like stone. Interestingly, the number of Yule seasons I recall in my seven decades when snow has proved a major discomfort are minimal. Late January and early February however are infamous for inhospitable conditions, indeed appearing to justify that apprehension more and more.

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