As if Monday mornings weren't bad enough, when I arrived at work late yesterday morning, bleary-eyed from an ill-advised session of watching the snooker final on BBC2 while draining the last of the post-Christmas supplies of emergency lager, the first email to pop up in the inbox is a cheery round-robin missive from the Giant Glasswalled Office of the Big Boss. 'Today is Blue Monday- officially recognised to be the most depressing day of the calendar year' ', it begins, cheerily. 'But here at Not For Profit Organisation X we won't be letting that get us down! There will be complementary cakes in the canteen at lunchtime, and for those of you who have remembered to come in dressed in something bright (bright blue, preferably!) Steve from accounts will be coming round to collect your £1 for this year's organisation X charity'.
There are several more paragraphs, presumably continuing in the same irresistably jocular vein, but as I've no wish to revisit the scenes of my own personal Blue Thursday immediately after New Year, which saw me fleeing the office in near-panic at 11AM and spending 20 minutes tramping the surrounding residential streets and resisting only by force of will the temptation to leap onto the first available bus out of the Westside and start a new life as a postman, I don't read any further. To paraphrase a novel I've just started reading on the X41, 'Its always a mistake to engage with any aspect of the city while in a condition of infirmness or incertitude'.
Fortunately so-called Blue Monday is packed with befuddling but time-consuming meetings (an engaging troupe of amateur rhythmic gymnasts thirsty for lottery funding; a rather odd little ex-solicitor with a burning desire to volunteer services of an uncertain nature in a yet-to-be-built community centre deep in the suburbs) so I am able to keep my head down and avoid forced office jollity of any description, and in the process save myself the princely sum of £1, which is the amount Steve from accounts would have forced me with menaces to empty into his 'bucket' on account of having come to work (quite coincidentally, I hasten to add) in an 'Italian Style Inspired' lambswool pastel sky blue cardigan which I thought looked quite 'La Dolce Vita' on the shelf in Stockport Marks and Spencers on Saturday afternoon, but in the cold light of Monday morning only made me look like I had an urgent appointment to appear on the Panel of Question of Sport, circa 1982.
Worryingly middle-aged fashion misjudgements aside, then, Blue Monday could have been a lot worse, and was arguably somewhat more tolerable than the start of my every working week since 1991, purely on the strength of having started with a crisp and brisk and only ever so slightly treacherous walk to school through the secret leafy neighbourhood under the train lines. I'm tempted to agree with work colleague Deidre, who reckoned that all things considered it 'felt more like mauve'.
Mauve Monday- I can't see it catching on, but then I probably said that about Red Nose Day, Jeans for Genes, and all the other steadily accumulating excuses for middle-management to come to work in their Tescos Jeans and release Steve from accounts with his 'bucket' and his menacing references to 'a good cause' and 'a bit of harmless fun'. A bit of harmless fun? It nearly had me fantasising about becoming a postman again, and that's never a good sign. No- call me a curmudgeon, but bring on Tuesday, I say- any shade of Tuesday you want. Goodnight.