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Toast the new year? Not me!

Happy new year. Well, at least it will be once I have got over my annual start-of-the-year sulk. It's J-J-JaIuh! I can't even bring myself to write it, such is my loathing of this point in the calendar. Damn it, it's January.

That bottom-set, f-for-effort, working towards level 3 of months. I would rather have 10 years' worth of miserable Septembers than have to grind my way through another three weeks of this torment.

I get up and go to school, and it's dark. Then I come home from school, and it's dark. At the weekends I see some daylight - but it inevitably rains.

My long-suffering colleagues are trying to reassure me that we are over the worst of it; that the days are getting longer and warmer, and that there are shops selling bargains - bargains that require my attention.

But not even the tease of a shopping trip can lift me out of my doldrums. I need some serious rescuing.

I need wine. Warming, red velvety wine. Never mind drinking over the holiday period, I save my liver for January. And I have already mastered the list of excuses: the medicinal glass, to ward off colds and sniffles.

The "I have worked hard and deserve a treat" reward glass. The celebratory Friday night glass. The "well, the bottle was open so why waste it?" glass, and the disaster glass, which can cover a variety of occasions this month.

In fact, with a "disaster" glass of Shiraz in my hand, January does not look so bleak anymore.

Now all I have to do is work out how to explain my perpetually blue tongue.

"Miss, have you eaten a biro?" "No, I've been up all night drinking cheap red wine" somehow doesn't do it

Louisa Leaman is a London teacher

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