Thursday, January 06, 2011

Janathon Day 6: of dark January days

Janathon Day 6: Walk 9.15km, Time 2hrs, Weather raining like it's the Lake District

Oh my am I tired of this dull, grey light! Yesterday I promised to break my sequence of photographing wrecks by finding something shiny, whole (and by implication uplifting) but I didn't expect the weather to be so depressing. When it is like this it is difficult to make photos look cheery. I tried to follow the advice of Travelling Hopefully and look for a cuddly animal but none were out, or if they were they looked a bit bedraggled.  Good job there are cows.
The Belted Galloways on Boxmoor are an attractive herd and photogenic even on a wet day. When I saw them from a distance I thought they were huddled up against the weather but when I got closer I realised it was feed time. Why is it that feeding time at the zoo is one of the main attractions, why do we enjoy watching other animals eat? It's another question I can't answer but there is an undeniable fascination. If it hadn't been so wet I would probably have stayed longer to watch.
As I was walked I thought about colour and the narrow tonal range of a winter landscape on a rainy, or even just a dull day. Sometimes this can be quite attractive as shapes merge into each other in a misty, soft way, and "there's comfort in melancholy when there's no need to explain" .*  But it can also suck you down and you need something bright to break out.
I saw a runner who illustrated this perfectly. She was dressed all in dark: black tights, black top, dark grey hat, but she had on a pair of vividly red/pink gloves. I was fascinated by those gloves as the bobbed back and forth and the way a little bit of colour completely transformed the outfit and gave it lift 
We all need a lift this time of the year. Yesterday I listened to a radio programme, which talked of January being the saddest month and what to do about it. The main advice was not to make ambitious new year resolutions. They very rarely last  and you only feel bad about yourself when they fail. Instead you should set targets for the up coming year and timetable them realistically. You should not try to move from the indulgence of christmas to strict austerity on January 1st. rather you should plan some treats that will keep you going.
I thought immediately of Janathon. Although it might look like a new year resolution from the outside, it is not. It is instead an excuse to get out and do something (anything). The chances are the pleasure of thinking of things and the satisfaction of doing them should be enough to ward off the January slump.
* Joni Mitchell - Hejira

10 comments:

JogBlog said...

I haven't seen cows for ages. All I ever see is sheep. Who's have thought there are more cows in East London than the Kent countryside.

Highway Kind said...

Its also strange how many green spaces there are for running in London. The countryside might look more open but it can be difficult to find good routes

K, like in caKe said...

Lovely cows. Couldn't agree more with final 2 paragraphs. January is a bleak month, denying some of life's pleasures will only end in tears! I'm enjoying the distraction that Janathon offers - we all know that exercise makes you feel better (mostly) and this takes away the decision whether you go and do it!

Highway Kind said...

I think January is the worst possible month to do something like start a diet or give up wine or crash start an exercise regime.

It all ought to be eased in and start properly in spring when your mood tends to perk up anyway

buryblue said...

For me February is the worst month of the year and drags like monsoon madness before the Spring

Highway Kind said...

Yes February is bad as well but somehow only having 28 days makes it seem a little more manageable

Adele said...

I can almost hear those cows snuffling and chomping, ahhhh.

Yes, it is a bit of a shock to the system when you have been used to each meal being linked by a mince pie/stollen brick/Fererro Rocher. My neighbour commented today that my running was 'very new year'. The cheek of it!

Highway Kind said...

That was a bit cheeky!

You can only answer by saying 'well it was very new year x years ago but now it is just normal.' and ask about his/her regime

fortnightflo said...

Totally agree about January. I personally have not smoked yet this year but I have drunk some wine and had some chocolate, and of course run every day. It's about balance and like you say January is a crap month as it is! Love the pictures on your blogs - so sad about that poor mans canal boat...

Highway Kind said...

January is a good time for wine and chocolate. We either need to build ourselves up or hibernate.