Scotland

Blue Monday: Reasons for Scots to be cheerful

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It's Blue Monday, apparently the most depressing day of the year.

The Christmas and New Year festivities are little more than a hazy memory of turkey, port and Star Wars Lego sets.

For many, it's another week till payday and the overdraft limit is rapidly heading into view. Work is relentless, the weather is lousy, and it's ages until the summer.

But it doesn't have to be this way - here are some reasons to be cheerful.


The winter festival season

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With Celtic Connections under way in Glasgow, Scotland's winter festival season is in full swing.

Thousands of artists and musicians from around the world are taking part in the annual celebration of traditional music.

Further south, the Big Burns Supper kicks off in Dumfries on Friday.

As well as gigs by the Bay City Rollers and Eddi Reader in a specially-erected Spiegeltent, hundreds of people are expected to take to the streets for a colourful Burns Night carnival on Sunday.

If that's not enough, the sight of burly torch-carrying Shetlanders burning a galley can't fail to raise a smile. Up Helly Aa takes place in Lerwick next Tuesday.


Scotland's ski slopes are open for business

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After a wet and mild start to winter, Scotland's ski season is well under way.

Last Wednesday, all five resorts were open for business for the first time this year, and the Met Office's long range forecast looks favourable for the rest of the month.

Even at Scotland's most southerly snowsports hub, the Lowther Hill Ski Club, families and novices have been enjoying the nursery slope in the village of Leadhills.

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Two weeks until the Six Nations... and Scotland have half a chance

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Remember Scotland's heart-breaking World Cup quarter-final against Australia last summer? Try not to - it's too depressing.

Instead, look forward - Scotland kick-off their RBS Six Nations campaign on 6 February with a mouth-watering fixture against England at Murrayfield.

Despite walking away from last year's tournament with the wooden spoon, after their gutsy World Cup performance, there is cause for hope.


Music: the return of some old favourites

It might not be a great time for One Direction fans (ICYMI: they're 'on a break'), but there are hundreds of other exciting live acts due to play in Scotland this year.

Newly-reunited The Libertines are lined up to play at the Hydro in Glasgow on Thursday, where they will be supported by The View and Reverend and the Makers.

This year's hottest gig tickets are likely to be for Adele, who is due to perform at the same venue in March.

But she could have run for her money if The Spice Girls reunite for their 20th anniversary. Zig-a-zig-ah!


Friends Reunited

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Don't fancy getting off the couch? This one's for you.

Among the TV highlights to look forward to this year is the reunion of six impossibly beautiful Manhattan residents who became a firm favourite of viewers in the 1990s.

In the 12 years since Friends ended, its endless repeats have ensured it remains staple viewing in living rooms around the world.

It is with some relief therefore that US broadcaster NBC has announced that the cast are to reunite - maybe they were just "on a break".

Telly fans can also look forward to a new series of Cold Feet, 13 years after the comedy drama ended. Filming is due to start in February.

And in March Kevin Spacey will return as the ruthless Francis Underwood in the highly-anticipated new Netflix series of House of Cards.


Easter egg season

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If all else fails, remember - it's just 10 weeks until Easter.


What are your reasons to be cheerful? Email them to us at newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk or Tweet us @BBCScotlandnews

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