I really don't like February. It's just as well it's a short month otherwise I should go doolally.
February in Scotland is a cold, cruel month, too far away from the festive season to contain any residual cheer, and too far away from spring, which doesn't get properly going in Scotland until the end of April, or even into May.
I particularly hate early February because it contains the anniversary of my mother's death, with all the attendant sadness regret and poignancy which the death of someone you love brings.
If the death is sudden and unbearably traumatic then each anniversary stirs up all manner of other emotions in addition to sadness and loss - guilt, anger, remorse, hopelessness - which can lead to the downward spiral of depression.
Been there, done that, many, many times.
Of course with the passing of years, the pain is dulled, although never completely extinguished. Strangely though, as I get older, I find myself actively missing her more.
I miss the cosy chats we've never had, the shared trials and tribulations, the shared experience of parenthood.
I regret the fact that she has never seen any of her grandchildren and they have never had the chance to know her, other than through my store of family fables and a few faded photographs.
I miss not being able to ask her advice when my own grown-up daughter asks mine and I don't know what to say.
I miss the feeling of having someone older and wiser who would always be firmly on my side, but at the same time be able to tell me if she thought I was making a mistake, or doing the wrong thing.
I miss the shared sense of humour and the ability to reach such a pitch of hysterical laughter we could hardly move, although I am so lucky to have that same thing with my own daughter.
I just miss her.
And despite February being such a short month, it will probably always feel endless to me.