It’s Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year – according to a slighty shonky equation developed by the lovely Andy Green for a PR client more than 20 years ago.
The thing is, it doesn’t matter how many po-faced comment pieces get written debunking the claim, we still embrace it because it feels true. The dog days of January are bloody awful, especially for bikers. I know a few hardy souls are out and about and looking forward to the Dragon Rally but I have an arthritic dog and no heated grips and we are confined to barracks until it warms up a bit.
And that’s not good for my mental health. I’ve had a bit of a cry today already because I am so very tired of it all, of the feeling of being on edge like I’ve broken my NHS specs at school and am dragging myself home for the bollocking. I’ve lived like this for twenty years and it’s getting too much. At least the Wingman is pleased to see me and doesn’t shout at me for being careless.
How can a biker best beat Blue Monday? With some planning – the anticipation of remote roads and blue skies. OK, maybe that’s a bit optimistic as I’m planning a trip to the Outer Hebrides!
I used to love planning a Big Trip – back in my married days I did all the work for our trips to Cuba and Syria – but the next two blokes I was involved with said planning was uptight and you should just go with the flow.
I don’t need to make them happy any more. I need to make me happy. And I say that planning is half the fun.
So I am planning my trip, all the way to Lewis. The Wingman and I shall be going there in June, in a sidecar outfit. If he’s not up to it we will go in the 2CV which will be a different kind of adventure. But I think he will be fine.
I have been to Orkney and Shetland and Skye but not further west, to An t-Eilean Fada. I’m a little bit daunted as I am out of practice with long runs – but the Wingman and I took the Lomax to Sanday, just 500 miles from the Arctic Circle. We have nothing to fear. Small steps add up to long journeys.
My first challenge is to pick my ferries, as I’m told you need to book these in advance. Once these are pinned down the rest will fall into place. I’m watching lots of subtitled programmes on BBC Alba and have already got the stones at Callanish on the list. Tips and advice welcome as ever!