There was a time when I would look forward to a bank holiday, especially the spring and summer ones. They would signal a long weekend away from work with the offer of nights out and long lie ins. They were times of unfettered fun and freedom.
Then along came the kids which, coupled with a decreasing ability to tolerate vast quantities of alcohol, meant that I no longer approached bank holidays with the same enthusiasm. They would usually mean one of two things, either a trip to a big shed to buy some stuff to repair whichever part of the house needed looking at, or driving somewhere to entertain the children only to find it packed with other families who had faced the same dilemma.
Over the last thirty years then, the gloss has gradually worn off the traditional bank holiday. The world has changed a lot in this time and now that I am not so tied to work they have even less relevance for me.
The very words ‘bank holiday’, have lost their relevance as well. Gone are the days when you had to rush to the bank before 3:30 in the afternoon to pay your bills and get out some cash. Now you pay on your phone or get cash out of the hole in the wall. It is hard enough even to find a bank these days to worry whether they are open or not.
Of course they are really public holidays, a chance for everyone to get a break from work, yet on average about a quarter of all employees will be working. They will be serving you in the big sheds, entertaining your children and providing those essential services that cannot rest.
In truth then, bank or public holidays are an anachronism, a product of a long forgotten bygone age and should be abandoned. With the possible exception of Christmas and New Year’s days (even though over a million people are at work on these days) these statutory holidays should be tagged onto your normal holiday allowance.
In this way you can do your DIY at any time and all of those places you visit won’t be so busy.