Elf's Diary Entry #5 - HOW TO BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES


Day Four of 2015!

I've been reading Alan de Boitton's 'The Consolations of Philosophy' over the last couple of days, and today I was learning about the teachings of Epicurus and his focus on 'pleasure' and the essentials to live a happy life.

To quote Alan on page 55:

'The task of philosophy was, for Epicurus, to help us interpret our indistinct pulses of distress and desire and thereby save us from mistaken schemes for happiness'.

After a good deal of thought Epicurus came to the conclusion that there were three key essentials one needed to be truly happy: freedom, friendship and thought, followed by the practicalities of food, shelter and clothes.

I quite like the sound of Epicurus. Next to Socrates and the Baronness of Trumpington I am tempted to add him to my 'Dream list of people to invite to a dinner party', but ruminating on his teachings led me to think about how I was to prepare myself for the oncoming January - i.e. the month which has been unanimously coined THE MOST DEPRESSING MONTH OF THE YEAR by seemingly EVERYONE EVERYWHERE. January, if you don't know it, is the month where if you don't say at least twice a day "GOD, ISN'T JANUARY DEPRESSING?" to eveyrone you meet everyone looks at you and thinks you are clearly hiding something, an android or about to suffer a restrained mental breakdown.

Thus, how am I going to cope in a month where it is almost encouraged to feel glum, because everyone bangs on about the fact money is tight, bills and taxes are to be paid, it's cold and suicide attempts are at their highest at this point of the year****....

It was at this point of thinking today at 5pm I walked across the Waterloo Bridge and looked at the view. It was not your typical view from Waterloo Bridge. It was not a Love Actually type of view. It was ridiculously apocolyptic - something you imagine from the novel Children of Men. It was hauntingly bleak, almost Dickensian, with the fog in the air so thick that the view of St Pauls and the OXO tower looked as if it had been painted sepia, with smoke curling around the letters O X O to give the impression it was shivering. However, the more I looked at it, the more I realised how stunningly beautiful it was. If you had added a Francoise Hardy or Kate Bush song over the view I was looking at, it would no longer have been depressing, it would have been artistically romantic. Not Love Actually romantic, but more A Bout De Souffle romantic.

It is all about perception and thus it is not rational or an efficient use of ones time to assume that OF COURSE your month is going to be shit with your reasoning being "because it's January".

Therefore... to conclude today's blog....

Here are my five little eccentric tips to survive the January Blues, all compartmentalised into five easy segments and all previously tested by myself...

TA DAH!

1) SIGHT