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Not-so-bleak midwinter

January used to be Hannah Davies’ darkest month – but then she learned to love it


F or as long as I can remember, I’ve dreaded January. Every year it seemed to arrive suddenly, like a bleak and brutal end to the fanfare of Christmas; abrupt as a full stop in the middle of a sentence. I suffered from terrible January blues, brought on by long, dark nights, leaden skies and bone-aching cold. January was a drudge: battling to work in the sleet, only to come home and huddle by the radiator, brief minutes of weak sunshine cruelly bookended by hours of perpetual darkness. The news was full of unhelpful facts, like how the third Monday in January, cheerily called ‘Blue Monday’, is the most depressing day of the year, and that 14 January is the coldest. I’d try to cheer myself up with nights out with friends, but they were a damp squib after December’s heady rush, like I was desperately trying to keep a party going long after everyone had gone home.

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