Good morning loyal Blollowers... (I'm trying out different nouns for people who follow the Blog, I don't think that one works though, I'll try something else - Feel free to make suggestions)
Sorry there was nothing posted Yesterday, got a bit snowed under with writing... For work!.. I know right? It's amazing how much less fun writing is when it's about stuff like money and email and computers and stuff.
And I'll apologise in advance because there won't be any Blog next Monday either, what with it being a Bank Holiday and everything, and I'm thinking of going to a Medieval Fayre (What you 'Muricans might call a 'Renaissance Fair) So a lot of people wandering around saying 'Forsooth' and 'Egad' and waving bendy swords at each other... Presuming it's not raining of course, which it won't be, because it never rains when I'm off work (Please see my early works for explanations of the words Irony and Sarcasm.)
I've often wondered what's so special about Banks that they get their own holidays. Religious holidays, even the ones stolen from Pagan sources (i.e. all of them if you go back far enough) I understand completely. And I also get the 'The chances of a great percentage of the population being too drunk to work' ones... Actually, this is in danger of getting away a bit, let's make a list of the eight current English Bank Holidays (Because I'm English... Not British... Or European).
- New Year's Day - 1st. Jan - Too drunk
- Good Friday - Look, I'm not going to go into what date Easter's on. Work it out for yourself, it's the Friday before the first Sunday after the first full moon that falls on or after the vernal equinox - Religious
- Easter Monday - Three days after that - Religious
- May Day - First Monday in May - Kinda Religious (in a spooky Pagan way - WoOooOooOOoOOo)
- Late Spring - Last Monday in May - Used to be Religious (Whitsun) but isn't now.
- Summer - Last Monday in August - The One, True bank Holiday!
- Christmas - 25th December - Religious
- Boxing Day - 26th December - Too Drunk
So, we've got two days off that we can thank the banks for... Kinda... OK, so Late Spring Bank Holiday is what used to be Whitsun, but it got moved because it was a religious holiday related to Easter and it used to bob about the calendar like a drunk hamster in a wood shavings shop, causing huge gluts of holidays around the same time and causing the workforce to descend into wanton debauchery.
Oddly enough, Late Spring Bank Holiday is a popular day for throwing a wheel of cheese down a steep hill and then breaking your legs trying to follow it - Nowt as queer as folk, as they say.
Right, so only one Bank Holiday has anything to do with the Banks - And then only tenuously - Summer Bank Holiday, is a last chance for a day off in the nice weather, that's pretty much it.
One thing I did find out in my deep, probing, research for this piece (which didn't only include flicking through Wikipedia - you heathens) Is that there are a couple of (not really very) interesting facts about Bank Holidays.
There are two types of Bank Holidays, Statutory ones - Those defined in the 1971 Banking and financial dealings Act (Basically, the eight listed above). And holidays by Royal Proclamation - Things like Royal Weddings, Jubilees and stuff.
The Government can make any day they like a Bank Holiday, as long as they ask Parliament's permission first. They can also institute all sorts of scary Draconian provisions. For instance, if you act as a Bank or trade in foreign currency on one of these occasional holidays, you can be fined up to £400 and/or spend up to two years languishing in a small cell with only a PlayStation 3, High definition television, a fully featured gym and lots of illegal drugs for company.
Legally, you cannot be forced to make a payment on a Bank Holiday, as long as you promise to do so the next working day... Good luck trying this with that nice Mr Patel at your local corner shop next Monday. (Although he does have the implicit right to deny service to customers on the grounds of them being a bit of a cock)
Oh yes, I almost forgot May Day - Which isn't, as most of you think, what pilots shout into their radios as they're about to dunk the old cabbage crate into the briney - Is the celebration of Spring, and fertility, and setting fire to Edward Woodward (Which will not, as I believe I 'may' have mentioned before, bring back your apples) - It's what we used to call Beltane in the good old days. The Germans have an even better name for it, they call it Walpurgisnacht - or Walpurgis Night, which sounds all Spooky and Halloweeny but is actually named after the 8th/9th Century English Missionary, Saint Walpurga. Who was cannonised after her bones started to exude an oil that was found to be medicinal...
One thing: Ewww!
Another thing: Who in their right minds thinks - 'I say, those bones are a bit slimy, let's rub them on this open wound'?
Another case of those bloody Christians, coming over here, renaming our holidays...