Grey, grey and more grey to come. It's seems to be the norm for January weather and it reinforces he post Christmas hangover blues. This really is the fag end of the year. Chatting with the neighbours yesterday - no one has anything positive to say at the start of this New Year. We're all like the weather - very grey in our immediate outlook.

So, things will get better - next week will bring some sunshine and we will all crawl back to work under blue skies. Considering the weather and the economic outlook, it is no wonder that French actor, Gérard Depardieu wants to leave France. Thanks to Vladimir Poutin, Monsiuer Depardieu can now go and live in Russia. In today's papers, Mr D is busy singing the praises or Russian art, culture and democracy. Strangely enouugh though, despite buying a house in Belgium and being granted Russian nationality, Mr Depardieu has yet to give up his French nationality and return his passport, as he threatened to do before the festive season. Mr D hasn't even made any attempt to get Belgian nationality, though now that has Russian (and still French nationality) the Belgian government are hardly likely to grant him Belgian nationality - so said the Belgian Prime Minister on the adio this morning.

No one is actually quite sure what mr Depardieu is playing at, or indeed what he is trying to prove. On New Year's Day, Mr D phoned the French president, François Hollande, to "explain" his actions. The contents of the conversation have not yet been officially "leaked" to the media. Moreover, if Mr D is seeking tax exile status in response to Mr Hollande's proposition of a 75% tax rate for the super rich, then Mr Depardieu can probably stay in France for the foreseeable future. Just before Christmas, the French Constitutional court told President Hollande that his tax proposal was unconstitutional. The tax policy is therefore firmly on the back burner for the moment, though it is still bubbling away.

If Mr D does leave France at the moment, the only valid reason might be the weather. As for heading to Russia, Im not sure that their weather is any better than ours for the moment - it is certainly colder. Were I Mr D, I would head to sunnier climes.

Anyway, as the Depardieu saga continues, most of the French are finding it just a little tawdry, indeed, since Mr poutin's intervention, Mr D is getting more unpopular. Some commentators have even suggested a boycott of the actor's films.

Poor old Gérard, perhaps soon he wil=be so unpopular that he will be forced to live somewhere else and a French loss will be a Belgian or even a Russian gain.