Last Monday was ‘Blue Monday’ I’m told, the most depressing day of the year. All the excitement of Christmas and New Year is behind you. The decorations have been packed away. You spent too much money and are broke. You ate too much and are overweight. You didn’t get the presents you wanted (I buy my own now). And the whole event didn’t match your expectations anyway. It’s cold, wet and dark. You’ve already given up on the resolutions you made. I can see where they are coming from with this ‘Blue Monday’ lark.

We had other things to occupy us over Christmas that brought the disappointment of bad presents and a few extra pounds in weight into a proper focus. And now, half way through January we are feeling somewhat better about things.

However, that’s us and not most people. What did make me feel better about things this morning was coming across the Chinese lanterns in Manchester as the city gears up for the Chinese New Year celebrations at the beginning of February. It will be the Year of the Monkey. I’m not sure what that means for the world, hopefully it will bring something better than 2015 which had some really low points. Having said that, my life in a prosperous city in a, mostly, peaceful country, wasn’t so bad. More people living my life is what the world needs.

Here are the lanterns in St. Ann’s Square, looking cheerful against the grey skies and the beautiful buildings…

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And here are some in Albert Square…

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