Why so glum?

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THE THIRD Monday of the year is traditionally a day of bad weather, mounting bills and failed New Year resolutions, but is it really the most miserable day of the year?

One woman who agreed wholeheartedly with the findings of psychologists was Grace Leaman, from Bury St Edmunds.

Just before Christmas the sale on the house she was due to move into fell through and, with a couple and two young children due to move into hers two days later, she was left homeless. She has been living in hotels and at friends’ houses ever since.

“You could fill an entire newspaper with how miserable I’m feeling at the moment,” she said. “I’ve had to farm out all of my animals – I’ve got a cat in Chelsea, two cats with a friend and a dog that needs to be rehomed.”

On the other hand, Ben Giddings, from Mildenhall, could not be happier. He’s looking forward to leaving his job as an estate agent to embark on a six-month back-packing trip through South East Asia.

“I would say that I’m happier today than I was all of last year,” he said.

The recession and the slump in the property market had made things tough for Mr Giddings recently.

He said: “The market’s difficult but houses are selling. But there’s still the pressure to deliver and it’s difficult to deliver in a difficult market.”

Harold Lister, from Lavenham, was full of happiness and looking forward to playing the accordion when he got home, while Sonje Ibbs, from Bury, was not letting the rain get the better of her.

“When it rains I love to be outside,” she said.

Comparing her life to that of Australians suffering from severe floods, she said: “We should think ourselves lucky that we haven’t got to put up with as much as they have.”

Karen Evans, from Bury, had had a ‘rough night’ with her 19-month old twins but said that she was not miserable, just tired. “I’ve had a bad morning but I’ve not let it get to me,” she said.

Bill Gilby, who was brought up in Bury, was visiting the town for the first time in eight years, after having moved away with his wife. His sister’s funeral was planned for Tuesday but even he was not miserable, as he enjoyed a shopping trip with his family.

“I can understand why people are miserable – Christmas is over, New Year’s over and the bills are coming in – but life goes on,” he said.