Sad Winter

16th December 2017 — 22 Comments


Reputedly, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, even better than birthdays … or so we are made to believe. We look forward to the detecting forum festive dig, free mince pies and the promise of an open bar. Because everybody is happy it is now acceptable to drink too much booze while sitting in your pyjamas at four o’clock in the afternoon watching a Dr. Who Christmas special. With attractive Jodie Whittaker making her debut appearance as the first woman doctor, it must be worth a gander! The materialistic excesses are all worth it when you switch the lights on and the festive glow fills the room. Or is it, Alexa?

The festive season can be a downer for a lot of people. I was reminded of this after writing a recent article for a magazine about a detectorist who has suffered from depression for over 20 years. Metal detecting was his saviour. Perhaps I can relate his harrowing and inspirational story at a later date. Today, you just have a bellyful of me being morbid. Anyone sticking with this is warned that the mention of metal detecting will be at a minimum, if at all.

Because of what happened in my past, I must confess that, even though I put on a brave face, I am happier when Christmas is over. Thomas Fuller, who died in 1661, was a British scholar, preacher, and one of the most witty and prolific authors of the 17th century. His pithy observation above that, ‘one cloud is enough to eclipse the sun’, contains a general truth.

When I was a kid, the village in which I lived had its quota of thick as a plank and really naughty boys. We accepted that fact and the worst was endowed with the title of ‘village idiot’. Not so today. Every ‘condition’ has been given a name, so making it legitimate and political correct. We’d never heard of (for example) dyslexia or ‘attention deficit hyperactivity disorder’ (ADHD). The owner of the latter would have simply been given a kick or two up the arse! Problem sorted.

And now I’ve realised that I have a proper and legitimate name for being a miserable old git, especially at this time of the year. SAD. What an apt and expressive acronym!

SAD is a WINTER disease – a depression caused by winter’s dark days is called ‘seasonal affective disorder.’ In a way that gives me an excuse for my behaviour and for that I feel much better! I suppose I’m showing my feminine side for most suffers are women. 

Pietro Aretino, the Italian author who lived in the 1500’s was renowned throughout Europe for his bold and insolent literary attacks on the powerful. He once said, “Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius’.

Thus, perhaps my melancholy’s an indication that happiness is not always the point. A little depression is good at times, in any season! But, hey. I’m getting bogged down here. Seemed fine when I started. Now I’m beginning to feel just a little depressed. Too much Pinot. Finis.

What’s he on about now?


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22 responses to Sad Winter

  1. I’m with you John. Always glad when the holiday is over. Suspect a lot it is because I worked in retail for many years. Shoppers are off the wall crazy, not pleasant to deal with, all buying gifts for people who will relegate them to a closet the day after Christmas. Ho, Ho, Ho….

  2. I’ve said before … you sometimes worry me, Dick! 🙂

  3. I must be in the minority then John… Mostly because a farm does not slow down over the Christmas Holidays.. Horses, chickens, and other animals must be tended to…plus the usual fencing [elk show no respect]..

    Not to say that Christmas means nothing to me.. far from it.. When the kids come up, it is the highlight.. It is just that I do not have the time to have SAD..


  4. Next week the days start getting longer again… Happy Christmas John.

  5. Just another way of saying Grumpy ‘ol git. Be truthful John and don’t try to hide it with PC rubbish.

  6. Nice article, John …………… As I dabble as a writer from time to time, I recall one I wrote for a seniors’ magazine back in 2009:

    The link is safe. If you wish, you can just enter the above info in your server’s search box.

    I’m no fan of the Christmas crowds, the lineups, the shockingly high prices on what seems to me to be mostly imported, poorly made rubbish, or, as others have oft stated: “spending money we don’t have on people we don’t like to buy them things they don’t need”. I just like being home with my wife, my children and grandchildren, having a nice meal and singing a few songs around the piano, reflecting on past times, and hoping for good times to come. When everyone else has gone to bed, I sneak down to my office and read metal detector reviews online…….

  7. I just hate winter! Definitely going to retire next year and then over winter in Oz with my Sister.
    it will be beach and gold detecting for me in the sun and then back to Blighty for coin and relic detecting in the sun (or is that cloud?)

  8. Sorry you have SAD John. Have you tried any of the light therapy available?

  9. xmas day for me is open presents . cook a nice fry up …do the annual trip to the crematorium .cook a dinner far to big to eat …fall asleep ..wake up and watch dr who ….yes john I know its sad but that’s mine and mrs QM favourite part of xmas good old DR WHO as grandparents boxing a day is our time we have fun as the family get together and then we enjoy looking at them little smiling faces opening their pressies that they tell us they wanted back in September

  10. No mince pies here at xmas, usually a roast even though it is the hot season. 42c here this week but a bit early yet for the Xmas forecast. Each year i think it will be the last Xmas with my parents but so far they are still going ok. Dad still riding his Norton around and camping out at 88 and Mum still line dancing. Detecting in the Australian bush is usually fairly peacefull unless you stand near a Bullants nest. Looking foward to seeing the Xmas Dr. Who special.

  11. Nice to hear that I am not alone in being delighted when the Xmas & New year holidays are over. Supermarket lunacy & traffic jams everywhere make this time of the year a nightmare & with the early snowfest & subsequent flooding of the fields it is difficult to escape it all for a quiet days detecting..

  12. John from Ontario (AKA Geobound) 17th December 2017 at 4:20 AM

    What a bunch of curmudgeons you people are! LOL…..

    Though SAD is a legitimate problem, and yes there are light fixtures that can help deal with that problem, the real issue is the need to get out into the sun more.

    I always find that getting a nice hot cup of tea and parking my keister on a bench in front of Yoga studio, helps clear up that SAD issue straight away.

    Or of course there is always betting some kid that he can’t hold his tongue to a metal pole for a few minutes, a great way to clear those winter blues.

    Or as the rush to get Christmas presents climaxes the week before the big day, I get a great deal of enjoyment of standing in a shop entrance overlooking the carpark and turning on and off my automatic car starter.

    My headlights automatically come on, and I see how long somebody will sit and wait for me to leave my spot.

    When they realize I’m not in my car and drive on, I wait a few minutes and try and trick the next person.

    You just need to get inventive to chase them blues away!

    Merry Christmas to all!

  13. The real joy ( and often headache ) this time of year use to be being able to make someone else happy. When the kids and grandkids were little it often became a chore especially if you were poor, as I once was.
    Saving scrap metals during the year ,as my father did, made it easy to come up with the needed funds to buy what I wanted to and become the hero.
    Now the wife just buys them what she wants and I slip them some money. I never get too bored unless I can’t get out occasionally and find a silver or some other metal to add to the piles that remind me of yesterdays.

  14. I think the commercial aspect is to blame, Christmas used to be a time to look forward to, even when there was no money about. Now we are told we are in the festive season come mid October. No wonder we have “fest fade” by now. So in some respects I can see your point John. Even the Christmas John Lewis advert has me thinking negatively, not the story but the song, I will always think of the Beatles song, Golden Slumbers continues with the medley “Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight a long time” ….. I quickly decide to forgo a second mince pie!

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