The rain has stopped here in Jerusalem and the sun is shining, albeit a weak sun without much heat. However, it is February which means that I cannot enjoy a sunny day without feeling guilty. You see, we need the rain desperately. So when it rains we all say 'hooray' and pretend to like it. (Notice I wrote that we say hooray, not shout hooray; and no exclamation mark or capital letter to indicate any excitement.)
It is easy to forget that during the long, hot summer months, we dream about rain and cooler weather. When it was too hot to go out, DD sat in the laundry bucket filled with water on the balcony and we sang: This is the way we wash our face on a cold and frosty morning - in 40 degree heat. And then September comes. As if by magic, the heat dissipates and we enjoy a few weeks of autumnal respite. By this I mean that the temperature outside is ideal room-temperature and you don't need coats or jumpers. And, during this period, when it rains for the first time we jump about with joy and run outside to feel the freshness on our faces.
This comfortable transition lasts until about mid-November. Then the cold sets in. You don't notice at first because the houses are made of stone and so take a while to cool down. By February it is miserable. Wherever you live in the Northern Hemisphere, February is the final complete month of winter. By March you can see that it is the beginning of the end of exploring the great indoors. But February is just depressing.
Thoughts wander into the realms of spring-cleaning but it is way too cold to throw open the windows and air the place out. The view from the window is bleak. The draught from the window frame is cold. It is a cruel joke that February comes one month after New Year Resolutions. Diet? Sorry, I need my rice-pudding. Walks? In this weather? Getting up with the alarm? Impossible. I tried it once but it was too painful.
So in keeping with those clever clogs who tried to promote an antidote to Monday mornings by having the week start on Tuesday, I declare that March will be my New Year from now on. My Grandmother used to say that the afternoon begins at 2pm so I am following a sort of family tradition. And if 50 is the new 40... well you get the picture.
So be kind to yourselves until the end of February and promise to instigate those resolutions on March 1st. February is for snuggling up under the duvet (just ask the bears and a million other hibernating mammals). Now you have let yourself off the hook for the next 2 1/2 weeks, treat it like a winter holiday. Indulge yourself, make big plans for the future, watch movies, dream, read a book... and don't even think about washing the kitchen floor.