I have never been one for so called bank holidays. Who goes to the bank these days anyway? I don’t like the idea of being told when I should or should not take time off work. Usually they are dull days spent lying around the house or doing DIY while it pours down outside. At times they feel like an eternity even though I understand that the UK has one of the fewest number of public holidays.
This time, I have to admit, was different. On the continent it seems that public holidays mean something. They celebrate a saint or feast day. Events are organised, fetes are held, there are processions and dancing. They fiesta. This bank holiday in the UK saw many street parties, lots of bunting and even the odd precession, at least for some.
OK, the whole four days of the Queen’s jubilee has been a master class in propaganda, whipping up some sense of patriotism, if perhaps misplaced, but at least it was something. What people were celebrating was not clear to me yet most seemed to be enjoying themselves, those taking part. It brought many people together, giving them a focus around which to congregate. It seemed much more like a continental public holiday.
I was a real party pooper however. With limited effort I managed to avoid all the TV coverage and even kept out of any political arguments even though the temptation was great at times. I didn’t put up any bunting nor waved a flag. I really was in the silent minority or majority.
I know there is a move to add more public holidays in the UK. Personally I would rather support the move to the four-day working week but if we must, please can we have it around something. The trouble is it is so hard to pick something that would suit. It can’t be too political or religious and that counts most things out. Possibly a national day celebrated in each country, on the same or a different day.
In the meantime, I am going back to work.