In a Word...weight

This modest month rewards us every four years with an extra day for leaping about

There is so much to like about this modest little month. It awards us – without fuss – an extra day every four years. The next one being in 2024. That happens once every 1,460 days, so pity those born on February 29th.

Theoretically, it ought mean they have a birthday every four years and are four times their age. People such as English literary critic Hermione Lee who was born on February 29th, 1948. Only 18½ years old, she passes for 74.

Or those like my brother Sean and his wife Ann who married on February 29th, 1976. They celebrate their 12th anniversary in 2024, even as their eldest grandson Deryk is already 25. Twice that!

A major reason to celebrate this little month is that it sees an end to Operation Transformation

It’s a bit like one of those daft riddles such as “I am the son of your grandmother and grandfather but not your uncle. Who am I?” (Answer: father. Yeah, I know!). Still, whatever you’re having yourself and, I suppose, some would be all for celebrating wedding anniversaries once every four years. Forgetful men in particular.

But, above all, for some in Ireland a major reason to celebrate this little month is that it sees an end to Operation Transformation on RTÉ television for another year.

Yes, an end to eight weeks of being reminded that you really must stir yourself from that all-too-comfortable couch, get out there, feel the chill air, witness the lengthening evenings, and live, while shedding those winter pounds that accumulate unbeknownst. It might become your very own rite of spring as you head towards March at pace, 10,000 steps a day. Sure. Maybe.

Sounds great, particularly when thinking about it on that couch. And, though I'm not a betting man (okay, I had a few quick picks for that €19 million Lotto jackpot won in Castlebar last month), I fear the likes of me would probably not get much further than the local. At least that's about 6,000 steps away. It's something, I suppose.

And for those anxious to lose weight but without any effort there’s always Mars! Though you are 90.7kg on Earth, your weight on the Red Planet is a mere 34.5kg!

Operation Transformation might have a word with billionaire Elon Musk whose Starship, he claims, will take people on return trips to Mars.

‘Would be great television too.

Weight, from Old English gewiht.

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