The start of any new year is difficult.  The first few days are full of hope and good resolutions. Then reality comes up and hits you full on.  The euphoria quickly evaporates and all the hope and good resolutions tend to fly out of the window. Of course the weather in the month of January doesn’t help.  It’s cold, dark, damp and generally gloomy.  On top of all this there seems to always be a plethora of bad news at the start of the year and in 2017 the dire news items have been coming in thick and fast.  The world seems a very treacherous and uncertain place.

In the UK we have the uncertainty over Brexit with a government that would get first prize for dithering.  More immediately there is the crisis in the NHS, far more serious than it has ever been and again the government seems unable to deal with it. To further cap the general misery the unions have taken it upon themselves to go on a series of strikes, mainly hitting the transport systems, so if you are hit by the weather and cannot travel by road, you will find it impossible to travel by train, tube or air either.

The news from the rest of the world isn’t much better. Glancing around the globe is a depressing occupation.  Perhaps the situation in the US is the worst of all. The era of the elegant, erudite and brilliant Obama sadly has ended.  In its place we have a showbiz madman who becomes more alarming with every statement he makes. The Trump press conference was like something out of Lewis Carroll – ‘the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ and most of us were left wondering how on earth things could get worse. Given Donald Trump’s track record of indiscretions it seems unlikely that some of the Russian document doesn’t have some truth to it and if this proves to be the case… the mind boggles. We shall see.  The poor Americans seem to be involved in a showbiz juggernaut where the brakes have gone and they are hurtling towards the cliff’s edge. I feel sad watching this spectacle and knowing so many of my American friends are horrified by developments.

So here we find ourselves,  mid-month, in a pretty bad way – a particularly bad attack of ‘Januaryitis’.  I am not sure there is any remedy for this but to sit it out and hang onto to whatever feelings of optimism are possible. For myself I have taken a series of positive moves. First and most importantly I have worked extremely hard to finish the final re-writes on my next book, THE BRINI BOY. This, I hope, will be published in March once the book cover has been designed.  To celebrate this final push I have joined the local leisure centre and will now try and swim at least three times a week. Lastly I took the plunge and booked a holiday in Montenegro, a  country I know little about, but it looks quite beautiful and it is something to look forward to during the last long weeks of winter.

I do hope my February blog can be a great deal more cheerful.  Comfort yourselves with the fact that there are only two more weeks of Januaryitis to go!