Oh, lor, it’s one of those days.
If you’re a Brit, you’ll know exactly what I mean. It’s a dismal day, a day when you have to resist the temptation to keep the lights on 24/7 so you can see what you’re doing and don’t end up tripping over the cat / toddler / pile of Lego bricks on the carpet.
Now, if you live in one of those blessed places where the sun shines most of the year, where the light sparkles through an azure sky onto a similarly blinding sapphire sea – allow me to describe what the British weather is like for 52%* of the year.
It’s day time. You know this because your alarm rudely rattled you awake a couple of hours ago and it’s definitely lighter than it was when you got up for a wee at mignight. But the sky is so flat and featureless you can imagine skimming a stone on it. It’s not a flat, cloudless blue, but a flat cloud-filled grey – think of a pair of knickers that have been stuck on an endless ‘delicates’ wash with a new pair of Levi’s and you’ll know what I mean.
On days like these, the house is never quite free of shadows. Every corner could hide a something – invertebrate, mammalian, alien, you don’t know, but you sure as hell don’t want to stick your hand in to find out.
It’s what you’d call (Wednesday Word Tangle coming up)
I like the word gloomy – maybe it’s that double ‘o’ sound, but it suits the meaning. You sound depressed just saying it.
Its derivation seems unclear, though ‘gloom’ is probably from a Scottish word for ‘sullen look’, which fits a day when even the weather seems to be sulking. Though, it’s not linked to ‘gloaming’, the Scots for twilight, which is a shame. (Think we should have a Gaelic translation of Stephenie Meyer’s books called Gloaming? Quite like that idea.)
The word always reminds me of jazz music and Stephen Fry.
No, I don’t get depressed when listening to either – if I could persuade Stephen Fry to narrate the interior dialogue to my life I would. It’s because it was on QI that I first heard of Billie Holiday’s recording of Gloomy Sunday.
Well, to be fair the lyrics are sung from the point of view of someone contemplating suicide, there have been several stories of people committing suicide after / whilst listening to the song – and the composer (a Hungarian called Rezső Seress) threw himself from the top of an apartment block in 1968.
So my advice today?
Put the lights on. Make yourself a hot chocolate.
And avoid jazz.
*I learnt this statistic from a Bill Bailey DVD. I have no idea if it’s correct, but it feels correct 🙂
Thanks, as always to the lovely Kat, the founder of W4W