I’m a January girl. Those who are also January girls will know it’s not easy. Maybe it’s different in the southern hemisphere. Perhaps January girls in Australia have barbecues or go to the beach or both. Write and tell me. I’d like to know. In my half of the world January birthdays slip by unnoticed. You get used to that. That January girl feeling inspired me to write a story about it.
January Girl is the title of one of my short stories.
I submitted this particular short story some time ago to a women’s magazine but they didn’t go for it. Too sad. Too quirky. Not their thing.
But I am a January girl so I didn’t give up on it. I made it sadder still and just a bit weirder and I liked it better than before. It still isn’t right for a women’s magazine but it has found its place. More about that later.
You see, January girls have a lot to put up with. For a start who actually enjoys January? (excepting southern hemisphere)
It’s cold. It’s probably wet. Nobody’s interested in the January girl’s birthday and, anyway, they haven’t got any money left after Christmas and New Year. Birthdays in the middle of the month before the next pay cheque comes in are a bummer. Too close to Christmas and people give you one package and say,
‘This is for Christmas AND your birthday.’ They deliver it with bright eyes and a smile that says I know you won’t mind and you’re too polite to tell them they’re a tight-wad and how would they like it if you did the same to them in May or August?
January is full of disappointments. But January girls are made of stern stuff. We inherit some of our steel backbone and the rest is picked up as we go along.
The January child learns to wear layers, literally and metaphorically. No wonder it can take a long time to get to know the real person underneath. I got to thinking about whether there were January people who had overcome their years of disappointing Januaries and made it to the top.
What a surprise.
Famous January birthdays
Where do I begin?
I used to watch a television programme called Golden Girls. I loved it. It ran from 1985 to 1992. Remember the theme tune?
I was in my thirties at the time. Forties by the time it finished. Now I’m old enough to be one of them. Here are some clips.
I loved ditzy Rose. I looked her up.
Betty White – birthday January 17th. Day after mine. Well, what d’ya know? I liked her spacey humour.
Were there any January writers? I wondered.
How about J.R.R. Tolkein – January 3rd. Isaac Asimov – January 2nd. Jack London – the 12th. Anne Brontë – the 17th. Wilbur Smith – January 9th. A.A.Milne -the 18th. Edgar Allan Poe – the 19th – master of dark and creepy tales.
I’m on a roll now. How about January people connected with music, my other love? I already knew about Elvis on January 8th. Who else?
Janis Joplin – 22nd January. Rod Stewart – 10th January. Eric Whitacre whose choral work I’ve performed with our choir -his birthday is January 2nd. ( now I know why he loves minor keys) and the composer and celebrated conductor Simon Rattle – January 19th.
While we’re on the subject of music, last year I was looking for a song to sing in French at a local gathering. I came across Les Chemins de l’amour by Francis Poulenc. I’d never heard of Poulenc but I loved the song immediately. There’s an inherent wistfulness in the melody that spoke to me on first hearing. Perfect for the occasion.
If only I sang as well as Ms Véronique Gens. Well, the audience liked my interpretation. And the composer Francis Poulenc? Birthday – January 7th. Ah, that accounts for why I was attracted to him then. He probably learned how to wear layers, too.
What other fields feature January babies?
How about Muhammed Ali January 17th, Lewis Hamilton -7th, Michael Schumacher -3rd, Jenson Button -19th, Jim Carrey -17th.
Other famous January battlers include Joan of Arc and Robert E Lee.
Stephen Hawking’s birthday is on the 8th January. Wow. How tough is that guy?
There’s Sir Isaac Newton and Louis Pasteur and Benjamin Franklin and Louis Braille and James Watt all who were January babies.
There was Al Capone and Rasputin as well but we won’t talk about them.
Jeff Bezos. Now there’s a name to conjure with. January 12th. How about selling some more of my books, Jeff? They are all on Amazon.
So how about my own birth date? January 16th. Who shares that?
James May. Bless. I think he’s adorable. He doesn’t know he shares my birthday.
I’ll leave you with a few words from Martin Luther King born on January 15th .
Little by little. Step by step. Keep going.
And my short story January Girl? It’s going in my next collection of short stories Queer as Folk to be published in spring. You hear that, Jeff?
Thank you for reading my Random Thoughts blog page here on my website. Stay awhile and read some more. Drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.
Keep warm and stay well . . .