Back-to-school blues

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Back-to-school blues
FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) news conference inside 10 Downing Street, London, Britain March 19, 2020. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS

BACK-TO-SCHOOL BLUES FOR BORIS OR A FRESH START? With the beginning of the new parliamentary term, a continuing public health crisis, fraught trade negotiations and a classroom full of rebellious MPs, Boris must surely think September is the real start of the New Year–not January.

But given how dreadful 2020 has been so far, does it matter when the new year begins-to make that new start and set goals? Whether it’s January or the end of March (the first choice of some with Spring truly in the air, clocks springing forward and the feeling that Spring gives in terms of hope) or September?

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Indeed, the tradition of computing the start of a new year with autumn was common to the lands of the Bible and around the Mediterranean. Everyone will have the ´back-to-school blues. The summer harvest had ended, crops stored and people prepared for a new agricultural cycle, an appropriate time to begin a new year.

Many church calendars (like the Greek Orthodox) therefore start on 1st September. So, for many, the New Year (whenever it is) is a time of change. But some things are best left unchanged… Take, as an example, the story I just read about a larger-than-life cleaner who deliberately left every picture and mirror in her employer’s house slightly “wonky”. He reckoned it was a coded messages he’d thoroughly dusted everything. Either that or she was just putting her feet up watching TV then walking round the house, tweaking things so he’d believe she’d dusted them.

Years later, she told him she was retiring to her home land. He braced himself to ask if she’d actually dusted everything or just tweaked things for effect. She roared with laughter, saying it was a cleaner’s secret! A secret she’d never reveal. She’d lasted longer than all his ex-wives and previous cleaners and his relationship with her was one of the best. And the lesson he learned from her? Don’t ask questions. Don’t get in the way. And if you’ve twigged a person is capable just let them get on with it, whatever it is. (Maybe a lesson there for Boris, too?)


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Thank you for reading this column, “Back-to-school blues”. For more, visit the Euro Weekly News website.





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