My column for the February issue of Hawkesbury Parish News
(with apologies to T S Eliot for parodying the opening line of “The Waste Land”)
Sorry, February, but you are my least favourite month. You kick in when Christmas starts to feel like a distant memory. At least January has the saving grace of including my birthday. But with longer days not yet with us, and weather too grim to entice us outside, the only thing you’ve got going for you is your brevity.
I was therefore interested to read in the press this week of research suggesting the benefits of hibernation. What a great way to bypass February!
Scientists report that the long winter sleep of squirrels switches off their brains, resting their synapses without deleting any information. When the squirrels wake up in spring, they can still remember where they buried their nuts. With my senior moments increasing, especially since turning a year older last month, there couldn’t be a better time for me to give hibernation a try.
So if you don’t spot me out and about in the village this month, you’ll know what’s keeping me off the streets. Just tiptoe past my house until 1st March. That’s when I’ll be emerging, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. And possibly snacking on nuts.
If you need something cheery to read,
with a springlike feel to get you through February,
check out my collection of ultra-short stories, Quick Change