It's Blue Monday 2022. The
miserable blue benches are out.
Eddie, my Inner Editor: This bench isn't blue.
I can see that but I have had some complaints about depressing benches so I am beginning this post with a cheerful blue bench.
This is what Lord Brassica would call a frightful bore.
Eddie: It's boring but it's not depressing.
What, you mean like this?
Eddie: Yes. This is depressing.
A better way to begin would be to introduce me and show my picture.
This is Eddie, my Inner Editor. Who just happens to be a primate.
Eddie: Thank you. I'm feeling better already.
I used to begin this post with some stuff about depressing benches but now I guess that's not allowed so here's another blue bench for you.
Eddie: It could be argued that this is not a bench. It looks more like a sofa.
But at least it's blue.
Eddie: Well, that's something I suppose. Maybe you could aim a little higher in this blog, show us something that will make us smile?
That's my point. It's Blue Monday. No one can find anything to smile about.
Eddie: But that's depressing.
Yes. Because we're fast approaching Blue Monday, the Most Depressing Day of the Year.
Eddie: When is it?
It's the third Monday in January. This year it's January 17th.
Eddie: What's so bad about that?
No one knows what to do with themselves.
There's a real sense of ennui.
And this year things are even worse. Here in Britain our benches are in a fine old mess.
By voting to take our benches out of Europe we've turned everything upside down.
We've burnt our
Already our Europeans friends have said goodbye.
The future will be no picnic
|photo by Joanna Michalak|
Eddie: Is Blue Monday really this bad?
Indeed it is. The festivities are behind us, leaving a feeling that something is missing from our lives.
The hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, leaving the mall benches empty of shoppers.
It's no good going off to the pub. That's closed too.
Eddie: You may notice I am highlighting key points as we go. This is what good students do.
Yes, back to work, back to school. After all the joys of the season, there is no joy whatsoever.
This is dismal. You should show some nice blue benches.
Right. Here you go then.
|photo by Sheila B|
It could, but I'm not going to bother.
Gosh, you really are miserable, Seashell.
Even clowns are miserable.
The sad clown thing is clichéd. I hope we're not going to have to endure any more sad clowns. That would be depressing.
Many of us have over-indulged ourselves during the holidays.
I don't call the odd pack of dry roasted peanuts an over-indulgence.
Not everyone is as restrained as you though, Eddie.
For example, my best friend Miggy was given two family-sized boxes of Milk Tray, one box of Black Magic, and a giant Toblerone.
|photo by Sheila B|
A minute on the lips, a year on the hips.
Exactly. She can now see it was a mistake to eat all of them in one go.
|photo by Sheila B|
Yes, before you ask, Migs, your bum DOES look big in this.
Even Lady Brassica succumbed to the mountain of chocolates she'd been given.
Is there anyone who enjoys Blue Monday?
Well, yes. Root Brassica over-indulges himself every day of the year and is none the worse for wear on Blue Monday. No more than usual I mean.
He looks rather pleased with himself after driving his car on the bench outside the dustpan and i-pod.
So far the evidence for Blue Monday is weak. I'd give it up and show some attractive blue benches.
|photo by Joanna Michalak|
This is a summer picture though. Right now we're in the depths of winter.
It's definitely Blue Bench Monday.
Some of us have already broken our new year's resolutions.
Resolutions are made to be broken. January 17th is also Ditch Your New Year's Resolution Day.
Many of us didn't last that long though.
This fellow resumed smoking before the fireworks finale on new year's eve.
And this fellow keeps smoking despite knowing that Smoking Kills.
Empty wine glass, beret, manbag, Toulouse Lautrec moustache. Hmmmm. Looks like Jench de Bench is back.
No, he seems to be in Paris. And long may it stay that way.
Yes. When we break our resolutions, our faith in ourselves is shattered.
Do you have to?
Yes, Eddie, I'm trying to make a convincing case for Blue Monday.
Do we need to know all this?
Yes. I'm trying to tell you why Lady B is feeling so blue.
Well, get on with it then.
Two items of evidence are introduced here:
1. Lady B created a fashion faux-pas by appearing at Innocent's New Year's Eve party dressed in sparkly silver.
What's wrong with silver?
Lady B did not seem to realise that the theme of the party was gold.
Or that her top is somewhat suggestive of bondage.
Yes. That's a point not lost on the fashion magazines.
2. Innocent, however, was stylishly and stunningly wrapped in gold lamé, complete with matching accessories and her natural allure.
So whilst Lady B looked like a fizzled-out firework, Innocent started the year with a bang.
Quite. And Lady B therefore broke her envy resolution on January 1st. Since then she has indulged in rather a lot of eating and it all seems to have gone to her hips.
She looks like one of those crocheted toilet roll covers.
Indeed. So are you starting to be convinced by my argument, Eddie?
Don't pretend to miss the point, Eddie. And by the way, could you please stop highlighting stuff; it's really distracting for my readers who are trying to follow this complex argument.
I am not convinced that this blog has readers.
Case study 2: Biff is one of our Fribble Agro gang members. He's the purple snarling one on the skateboard.
On January 1st he resolved to stop destroying public property.
But on January 3rd he bashed out the glass in the bus shelter . . .
It may seem inexcusable but don't be too quick to judge: it may be a symptom of Blue Monday Syndrome.
OK, I'm losing patience with this psycho-babble. What exactly is Blue Monday Syndrome?
Onset is at the stroke of midnight on Blue Monday and symptoms generally last until British Summer Time begins at the end of March.
In Biff's case, symptoms have been lifelong. Nothing to do with Blue Monday.
I hope you haven't nodded off.
And getting shorter all the time. Do get on with it.
Of course, the January weather doesn't help. This time of year, everything is covered in snow.
Exposure by Matt Calderwood 2013
Those arty benches must have got blown about by the wind. And benches get stranded in floods.
This is definitely not Art.
photo by Sheila B
Here at home, our beautiful garden looks like the Slough of Despond.
The Pilgrim's Progress, 1673
My imaginary husband Mungo went out to dig our benches out of the mud.
Meanwhile, my real husband, His Excellency, is in despair.
No, he can't be bothered with that.
Must be Blue Monday then.
No commemorative benches? Whyever not?
Because some councils say they are too depressing.
I know, Eddie, I know. But we need to get back to the point. Which is, that after the Christmas festivities, many people find themselves in debt.
All that money seems to have gone down the drain.
Yes. Following weeks of frivolous spending, they have learned that money isn't found on benches.
OK, I agree. Just occasionally you will find a bench made out of money.
You know what I'm saying though, don't you? By mid January many people realise that financially, they don't have a leg to stand on.
photo by Sheila B
photo by Mungo
Maybe somewhere with a blue
After the bleakness of Blue Monday, you'll feel you deserve it.
I deserve a holiday after suffering this story.
Blue Monday is just a PR stunt to try to get you to spend money on a holiday. You fork out on the holiday you can't afford and this is added to the debt you ran up over Christmas. Come the end of March, you've got serious debt.
But you don't mind because the weather improves, the light returns, and spring usually springs, more or less, as the bleakness of mid-January is forgotten for another year.
Exactly! I'm glad you have understood my argument here, Eddie. You have a sharp academic mind.
I have a lot of blue benches.
I wish I'd thought of that. Oh well, too late now.
The pretty blue bench at the start of the story is one that I took when Mungo and I cycled along the Baltic coast a few summers ago. We had left Blue Monday far behind us. It was glorious weather, and the houses had the most wonderful benches. There is no chance of being depressed in a place like this.
Graham Richardson lives in Plymouth in Devon and is an information analyst. Some of the information he found is that South Lanarkshire council in Scotland has banned commemorative benches and trees from its parks and open spaces after complaints that they were depressing. Depressing Benches was photographed by Graham in 2007. http://www.flickr.com/photos/didbygraham/ Graham runs a transit blog so his photo sets include ever such a lot of buses, trucks and vans.
The disturbing clown picture at the start is by Rob at http://www.flickr.com/photos/roblawol/ He snapped the clown on a bench in City Hall Park in New York City in July 2013. I'm one of many people who has added this to their favourites. Rob has lots of candid images from the streets in his photostream, including people sitting, sleeping, and doing all manner of peculiar things on benches. NYC - what a city!
Ennui is a very famous post-impressionist painting. Doesn't it just capture the spirit of mid-January? Ennui is by English painter Walter Sickert (1860-1942). It was painted about 1913 and is now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. It is in the public domain due to its age, available at the marvelous http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/walter-sickert/ennui
We're in a fine old mess here in Britain, oh yes we are.
The pile of wood shown is a photograph by Lara in 2006. Lara is a casual games artist from Vancouver, who now lives in Seattle. Her albums are full of photos from Canada, the US, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lara604/279938667
I photographed the overturned bench in a playground in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. It is one of the many, many photos of bleak, broken, ugly, unloved benches in my folder of bleak, broken, ugly, unloved benches.
Louise Clark is from Whitley in England. Her shop is ElseeCrafts, where they make greeting cards, prints, mugs, and artwork in their own unique style. The Good Riddance Luck card seems appropriate for some situations and I think there may be one or two European countries who might be stocking up on these to send to the UK. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ElseeCrafts
Lady Jess may indeed have put on weight over new year but she has actually worn this black crocheted outfit before. It is in fact a crocheted toilet roll cover, displayed prominently in the Benchsite Toilets post.
The broken bench in snow was photographed in Briant Park, Summit, New Jersey in 2009. The photographer was Tomwsulcer, who released the photo into the public domain at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Broken_bench_Briant_Pond_Park_Summit_NJ_2009.jpg?uselang=en-gb
Michael Fuller is from Toronto but currently lives in Perth. His photo sets show a lot of physical activities around the world, like kitesurfing, sailing, scuba, rock climbing, camping, dune-bashing, stargazing, swimming and yes, of course, standing on the roofs of cars http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrfuller/ The bored, sleeping students is a photo called Cozy Students, taken during a Classafloat sailing adventure http://www.classafloat.com/
The North Wind and the Sun is an illustration by Milo Winter for The Aesop for Children by Aesop. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_North_Wind_and_the_Sun_-_Wind_-_Project_Gutenberg_etext_19994.jpg The illustration comes from Project Gutenberg, with the following text: This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
If for some reason blue isn't your colour of choice, we have lots of other colours here on Benchsite. Romantic white benches, for example. Or springy yellow ones. Maybe you'd prefer red? If you're in a holiday mood, how about black benches for Black Friday. Pretty purple benches? No problem. There are sunny yellow benches for spring and sparkly gold and silver benches for parties. There are 50 shades of grey and pink benches to coincide with the release of That film. For more uplifting, upcycled benches see the green ones at http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/recycled-upcycled-repurposed-benches.html Somewhere there must be a colour you like!
Here is my bleakest bench of all time. It's located on a housing estate where Mungo's parents live and is used exclusively for dogs to pee against. We have to drive past it all the time. One of my new year resolutions is to get some bright paint and paint it. Blue, red, pink, anything. But not until someone clears away all the dog mess.