Ollie does winter

Ollie Peart stares down the long, duty-loaded barrel of a traditional British winter, and sets out his rules for surving it. Or at least for complaining about it with style.
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The clocks have gone back, the nights have drawn in and we are fast approaching winter, a time of year that I hate. December treats us like an abusive parent, dishing out equal measures of joy and misery so by the end of it you’re an emotional wreck and don’t know where you stand. January is a month-long reality check, forcing us to look in the mirror and watch our hairlines retreat in admission that we’re all biological failures destined to die. And February? I mean, what the fuck is February? Does anything actually happen in February? It can’t even decide how long it is for fucks sake. It’s an indecisive whinging piss of a month full of darkness and yet more misery.

Nothing about winter in this country appeals to me. It’s all gas bills, freezing old people and flu, the whole thing shrouded with twinkly lights like it’s some kind of sick amusement park full of pain and horror, a dark tourist’s wet dream. 

Still, no point complaining about it. There’s no way for me to tilt the Earth’s axis in the other direction and I don’t have enough money to fly to the southern hemisphere. I hear it’s full of Australians anyway. Instead I thought I would put together this handy guide to help you get through winter. Keep it close at hand and at any point you’re faced with a wintry dilemma, simply whip it out and marvel at how the problem you are faced with dissolves into insignificance. Here goes, pay attention. 

Christmas:

Sack this off for a start. Hear me out. According to GoCompare.com the average U.K family spends £753 on Christmas. That money is spent on food, presents and other festive bollocks. I don’t think the money is the big problem here; I mean, for a lot of people it is, but you subscribe to a beer delivery service. If you are foregoing food and shelter in favour of a beer subscription, you should probably have a rethink.

Anyway, it’s what we are spending the money on that is the problem. Ocean-choking plastic nonsense and spaff that most of us will never use or don’t want. It’s a festival of spending fueled by glossy marketing campaigns loaded with emotionally charged twattery. Those John Lewis ads for example, you know John Lewis sell hoovers right? Fucking hoovers? You’re actually crying over hoovers. Jesus would be so pissed off, it’s his bloody birthday.

To remedy this I could advise giving the money to charity. That would be admirable and of course you should do that, but you’re not going to because it’s £753 and you’re cheap. Instead create your own festival, with your own rules. You can call it whatever you want and the food doesn’t have to include mashed-up dead pig wrapped in the sliced up dead pig. You could have something nice and less murderous instead. 

New Years:

I have form in this: my birthday is New Year’s Eve so listen carefully. We use the Gregorian Calendar. It was invented in 1582 and, as a result, it’s shit. A whole bunch of people have put forward proposals to change it, such as the League Of Nations’ proposal for a “World Calendar”, but none of the attempts to change it have gained much traction. 

The problems with our current system are multiple. Each year starts on a different day, months aren’t equal in length, each month has no connection with the Lunar phases and carving up 365 days into weeks of 7 days is just bad maths. 

To sum up, it’s bullshit. Yet we stand there at 2359 on December 31st waiting for the year to tick over, the slowest tick of a clock we’re familiar with in everyday life, using it as a metaphorical rubber to erase all of the mistakes we’ve made in the last 365 days. Star signs make more sense than New Year’s Eve. We put so much faith in a new year, that it will somehow bring new luck, new love, new money, but it won’t. It’s just some made up bollocks named after a pope. 

Instead, I propose creating your own calendar system. You can have months of any length and you can call them whatever you want. It might cause a few scheduling problems in everyday life, but who else can say they’re busy on Cheeseday the 33rd of Fuckbury? Exactly. Go with it, have fun. 

February:

See above. 

If you follow my guide to a T, you won’t go far wrong. You’ll be free to revel in the very few good parts of Winter; an ale by a roaring fire and, er, the end of winter. 

Winter is a miserable time for many. SAD (seasonal affective disorder) can gnaw at even the most positive individual, chomping at enthusiasm, consuming energy, a confusing feeling that encroaches on you without you even realising. It does that to me and if it does that to you too, just remember, you’re not alone.

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