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?