We've been having some lovely cold January weather in the UK lately. When I woke up the other morning everything was covered in a thick blanket of pure white.

Also it had been snowing.

January January, January, makes a sad Man-uary.

And that's a very amusing joke, that is. Yes, extremely amusing. I've told it 83 times over the past week, and it's never failed to raise a smile. Yesterday in a hospital for the seriously ill, I made everyone laugh loudly for minutes on end, even people who don't normally find that sort of thing amusing, and an elderly woman whose husband had just passed away.

Now, where were we?... Ah, yes, the month of May. Actually, January.


Most people, I think it's fair to say, don't like January at all - after the celebrations of Christmastide, the new year inevitably comes as a massive disappointment, and heralds a long, bleak, cold stretch with nothing to look forward too except the new series of Lucky Ladders with Giant Haystacks on backing vocals.

It's a lot like a terminally ill child on that one last special holiday to Disneyland. Meeting Micky and Donald is all well and good, but imagine what the flight home will be like? Or better yet the drive back from the airport in the Nissan Micra? That moment of stark realisation: It's all over, son, you've had your fun, and there's nothing left.

Or like that last little pathetic dip on a roller-coaster as it slows down and pulls into the platform for the final time. Or the last feeble spasm of an ejaculation. Or the third encore at a gig, after which you realise that the band really won't be coming back on stage again (which in the case of many bands these days would be a major plus point, admittedly).

Not Nice

It's not nice having nothing to look forward too, with February and March stretching ahead like a shitty abyss, and nothing happens during those months - you go to work in the cold, and time drags it's little clocky feet as the seconds feel like weeks.

Why do we design our life calendars in this way? Punishment for enjoying Christmas a little too much? (If you have the sort of Christmasses I have, that concept would probably not work too well. Oh, poor little Martha. Why did they have to do that to your limbs?)

Anyway, your average person will have a big fucking Summer holiday booked in Florida or Grimsby, or somewhere, but it'll be months away. Fuck, there aren't even any Bank Holidays until Easter - and it's the time when they're most needed. The time when not having to go out in the cold on a Monday morning would be most appreciated.

Compared To

I was amazed to discover recently that Americans get 50 public holidays a year, compared to about eight in this country. Thanksgivings, Labor Day, Feast of the Eternal Swan, Yom Kippur, Colonel Sanders' Family Bucket, even Good Friday. Honestly, the sheer laziness and gluttony in that country almost defies belief.

And Bruce Springsteen's Birthday?!? I mean, I'm as much a fan of the Walrus of Love as anyone else, but does he really warrant a National Holiday?

And the answer, of course, is: Yes. Yes, he does. Days off are cool, and rock like the proverbial bastard.

If our thoughtful, considerate and integrity-packed Government could give us a day off in late January and another one a month later, say to celebrate Diane Abbott's Wedding Anniversary, or the arrival of the new Royal shoes, that might just make the first few weeks of the year a tad more tolerable.

Let's face it, we could all look forward to Royal shoes, couldn't we?

Ben Nunn has just returned from a holiday to Disneyland, courtesy of the Make-a-Wish Foundation