20th January 2024

I think I need to start with an apology. When I picked up my laptop to write this week’s blog, I realised that I never actually submitted one last week (w/e Sat 13th Jan), so this, I’m afraid, is my first blog since 6th January.

Wow…. 6th January…. I don’t know about you, but the New Year already seems a long time ago. January’s one of those weird months that, in many ways, feels like we’re all in limbo, just waiting for the year to really start. Christmas and the New Year holiday are things of the past, and yet spring still seems a long way off. The weather is miserable, the days are short, and yes, we’re all counting the pennies!

No wonder the third Monday in January is known as “Blue Monday,” a date now internationally recognised as being the single most miserable day of the year!

The truth, as usual, is not quite as simple. The concept of a “Blue Monday” in mid-January is actually only about ten years old. It seems that the term was first used by a Canadian (I think) travel company in an attempt to boost sales at a traditionally slow time of year. There is no real science behind it. It was, in reality, just a clever (albeit rather cynical) marketing ploy!

What is true, however, is the fact that January is a very slow month for the Mayor. All the carol concerts, the annual dinners, the Santa dashes, and the school visits are, for the moment, a thing of the past. The town’s Christmas tree comes down, and the Christmas lights are switched off and packed away until the seasons have come full circle again. The only actual Mayoral duty I had last week, or the week before… in fact, the only Mayoral engagement I’ve had so far this year was a Citizenship Ceremony at County Hall last Thursday.

As usual, this was the beautifully diverse mix of folk that I’ve come to expect at these events. We had people from South Africa, Fiji, Syria, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Poland, and France. All had chosen to make the UK their home, and all were welcomed into our national family with joy and pride. It really was a lovely way to start the Mayoral year.

But back to the (in my view) mistakenly regarded depressing nature of January…

January is, in truth, the month when we look to the future. We don’t look back; we look forward to all that is to come in 2024. We set out our aims for the next year and put behind us our disappointments in the last. It’s a time of new beginnings and new ambitions. So what if we don’t always meet our own aspirations? We try, and we’ll always be better for trying!

So, much like the twelve newly minted British Citizens I met last week, surely we should look to the future and think of January 2024 as the start of a new chapter in all our lives. Nothing is predetermined, and we all have the chance to be the best we can be in 2024.


That’s it for now, so until next time….. keep safe and please, be kind to each other.

Related stories


13th April 2024

Last Thursday afternoon, I was back at County Hall for another Citizenship Ceremony. These are monthly events at which those who have been accepted as

More »

7 April 2024

OK, after all the excitement of a few weeks ago, culminating in the Mayor’s Civic Dinner on Saturday 23rd March, these last two weeks have,

More »

23rd March 2024

Saturday night and the Trowbridge Mayor’s annual Civic Dinner, what can I say? It really was a wonderful evening and, without a doubt, the highlight

More »
Skip to content