Every day in Yemen

Blue Monday. No, not the New Order song but the name given to the 3rd Monday of January which is claimed to be the most depressing of the year. Apparently the weather conditions (but only in the northern hemisphere), a long wait between pay from the week before Christmas and the end of January (in the UK) and the worn off novelty of keeping to well meant resolutions conspire to make us all at our saddest. I’ll leave it to you if you want to proscribe to this pseudo-scientific bulldust but I have some evidence below that today could have been my Blue Monday…

  • Pay day! Yay…except that Her Majesty’s Revenue Collection want £287 for not paying enough tax in 2017/18. And it’s due on Wednesday.
  • The plan for cycling home and back to school to pick the boys up had been sunk before that ship had left harbour. I woke to both feeling too unwell for school. Instead I spent the morning cajoling, incentivising and bullying them to complete the 4 pieces of homework due this week.
  • The BlackCaps lost their 3rd ODI in a stronger but still inadequate performance against India. They’re down 0-3 in the best of 5 series against a very good side who don’t even seem to have decided on their best XI yet. I can’t see us getting past the semi finals in this year’s world cup (if they make it that far that is…)
  • By lunch, I’d had enough of playing teacher so planned a ride to the supermarket to get supplies for dinner. It was gloriously cloudlessly sunny. Even with a moderate northerly blowing, the chill is always bearable when the sun is out. I cant see me plodding through -5°C in sleet later this week so planned a longer, roundabout route to bank some km towards the 100km weekly goal. With shopping in the back pack and ready for the journey home, I couldn’t unlock the U lock. I spent 45 min trying to ease the bloody thing open, went inside to search the www for tips, tried to blast any grit out of the lock with WD-40 only to eventually twist the key and bend it. I walked the 7.5km home, furious that

a) I had potentially buggered the lock

b) fretting about whether it would be vandalised (when potential thieves discovered that they couldn’t steal my muddy bike because the lock is so damned secure)

c) that I don’t have much more time outside the forecast this week to make a further dent into the remaining 91km.

  • My children were displaying remarkable powers of recovery now that the homework was done when I got home and I managed to find the spare keys in a drawer within 5 minutes. If only it had taken that long to solve the mysterious disappearance of my merino scarf earlier.
  • Dinner scoffed and I hopped in the van on bike rescue, flicked open the lock and was on my way home rueing my decisions earlier in the day and then, on the radio I heard a member of a humanitarian agency state that…
  1. At least 85,000 children have died of malnutrition in Yemen since the civil war started.
  2. 14,000,000 people in Yemen are on the verge of starvation.
  3. Parents are knowingly feeding their children contaminated water and food to avoid starvation.
  4. The brokered cease fire from last week is a nonsense with refugee camps and a wheat store being bombed.

The storm of hardship and frustration was immediately evaporated. My day was only a 1st world s#¡+ happens day.

Every day in Yemen is Blue Monday

About biking2work

Sometimes bad tempered Dad to 2 sons who break things. Use the 2 wheels to get from A to B when I can
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