A return to peace and calm. / SUR

Instantly calmer

It descends from the skies like a burnished veil over the city, an all-pervading sense of calm following directly on from the fun and frolics of the festive period

PETER EDGERTONWWW.PETEREDGERTON.COM

I'd forgotten quite how much I enjoy the month of January, the contrast of its soothing impact having been rather diminished in recent years owing to Christmas itself having been subdued by the long-reaching shadow of Covid.

Last week, then, after unceremoniously stuffing the Christmas decorations back in their allotted boxes, taken down the two Christmas cards we'd received (electronic ones aren't quite the same are they?) and polished off the last of the yuletide After Eight chocolates, I decided to take an aimless stroll around town in order to bask in the subtle January glow, with the streets, steeped in their pastel shades, offering welcome balm for our over-indulged souls.

If I were a photographer (far from it, I'm afraid), these would be the days I'd be out hunting for the best shots: the wizened workman puffing on a ciggie, yanking down the Christmas lights; the furtive queue for the returning of gifts at El Corte Inglés; the late evening bar flies, sipping on glasses of normality, quietly taking stock of their lives.

Similar sensations are to be gleaned the week after the summer fair in Malaga (although the positive vibes in this case are dampened a little by the unforgiving August heat) when you can feel an all-pervading sense of peace in the air and it's a joy to wander through the city as its rhythms calm and thoughts turn to future plans and projects.

As I write - a stone's throw from Malaga's main square, La Plaza de la Constitución - the only sound to be heard is the faint cry of a delivery man extolling the virtues of Real Madrid to anyone who'll listen and quite a few who won't, probably. Or maybe, in the spirit of January, he's just holding forth into the ether.

Either way, it's calm and it's peaceful around these parts and there's a sense of purpose in the air.

You can well understand why many people make resolutions around this time of year because it feels like there's a kind of collective reflection going on.

Make the most of it while you can, mind you - it'll be carnival in a couple of weeks.