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Monday, 29 December 2014

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Entertainer works magic to cheer up Barrow

A MATHEMATICIAN claims it is the most depressing day of the year – but that didn’t stop Barrow magician Dave Simpson trying to turn people’s frowns upside down.

The irrepressible performer braved the snow and took his bag of magic tricks out into Dalton Road yesterday to spread some cheer on the day dubbed Blue Monday – the day of the year on which we feel at our lowest ebb.

Clever card tricks, intricate balloon figurines and the mere fact he was wearing a short-sleeve shirt in freezing conditions was enough to put a smile on the faces of most passers-by.

Dalton woman Jade Taylor couldn’t help but crack a grin when Mr Simpson got down on one knee and presented her with a freshly-made balloon flower.

“Yes, of course he made my day,” the 18-year-old said. “It was cold and wet and snowing and very depressing until then.”

Blue Monday – traditionally the Monday of the last full week of January – earned its unenviable reputation in the mid-2000s. It is said to fall amid a perfect storm of miserable weather, rising debt, failing new year’s resolutions and low motivation levels in the aftermath of Christmas.

Joan Rooke, of Anson Street, Barrow, said it was the weather that got her spirits down each year around this time.

The 50-year-old said: “We want sun and warm weather – not this sort of weather all the time.”

But fellow Barrow resident Douglas Berry said he did not believe for a second that a date could dictate the moods of people.

“I don’t feel (depressed) at all,” he said. “I’m a retired man, each day is my own and I just put my central heating on full and turn on the TV or radio.”

Mr Simpson, who has been plying his trade as a magician and illusionist full-time since the late 1980s, said he loved that his job was centred on making people happy.

“It’s a great feeling when you see their reactions,” he said. “With the work I do the audience expect to be happy. So if I can sort of help them with that and get jollying along with what I’m doing, then its not that difficult to get them laughing with you.”

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