Thursday, 21 August 2008

A British Bank Holiday

I see that the report here says that we British prefer to spend our bank holidays in front of the box rather than doing anything else. I'm not surprised that has turned out to be the result of a survey of 2000 people just before we have our Late Summer Bank Holiday weekend. If ever there was a misnamed holiday, this must be it. How can it be late summer? We haven't had early summer in this country yet, so to think that it is late summer is very demoralising.

The survey asked if people would be interested in community events at this bank holiday weekend; unsurprisingly 60% said no. Now whether this was due to a lack of community spirit, or because British bank holidays are synonymous with wet weather isn't known. Those conducting the survey also seemed to be surprised that very few of those questioned were considering visiting friends and relatives, or a site of interest. Why were they surprised? Bank holiday traffic jams are so well known that nobody drives anywhere if they don't have to.

For many parents this is the last chance that they have to get things sorted out before their children start a new year at school. For those who chicks are about to leave the nest and go off to university, it is a time of making lists and gathering together the essential items for life as an undergraduate. And this year we have the climax of the Olympic Games over this weekend which will mean that there will probably be enough sport on television to satisfy almost any armchair athlete.

Many of those asked thought that we should have another bank holiday during the year, but there were differences over when it should be. 41% thought it should be April 23rd to celebrate St George's Day, but this would only be popular with English respondents, and we have enough bank holidays around that period anyway, with two days at Easter, and a holiday at the start and another at the end of May. An alternative which gained the support of 38% in the survey was a holiday in November for Remembrance Day.

I would also favour a holiday somewhere between the one in August and Christmas, however I would choose October 21st, Trafalgar Day, as the date. I know that some would suggest that this shows insensitivity towards the French, but why should we worry about that; nobody cares about insensitivity to the British.

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