Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve read people complaining
a tedious number of numerous times on social media how, as we continue to stumble our way through ‘lockdown’, they find they are losing track of what day it is.
And just to cause more confusion, today, a Friday, is also, technically the May Day Bank Holiday Monday.
That’s right, Friday is the new Monday.
But worry not – this does not mean that immediately you think you’ve finished one week, the next sodding one starts. No, rest easy, weekends have not been cancelled. Not yet, anyway.
Many moons ago, probably when the Government thought they might need to rustle up some more jingoistic nationalism and Blitz spirit as the no-Deal Brexit they crave edges ever nearer (no, you’re right, I haven’t mentioned it for a while, have I?), some yahoo in a salmon shirt popped open their filofax and noticed that May Day – the Bank Holiday which traditionally falls on the first Monday of May – was due to take place on the Monday just gone, and that Victory in Europe Day (or VE Day) was today, the 8th May, and they wanted that to be a Bank Holiday for the nation too.
Actually, “too” isn’t quite right, for what they actually decided was that us oiks didn’t deserve to have two days off in the same week, so today became May Day instead.
If memory serves, the announcement was garnished with some florid explanation about how the economy couldn’t possibly withstand the idea of the majority of us taking two days off work in the same week. I’m sure, now that any public places where folks might want to gather to celebrate is closed, public gatherings cancelled, we’re all banned from standing within 6 feet of each other, and the Goverment is supposed to be furloughing thousands of businesses to keep them afloat, the irony of that decision isn’t lost on whoever made it. Could’ve let us have both and it wouldn’t have made a jot of a difference, would it?
I don’t want you to get the idea, however, that I don’t think VE Day should be celebrated, far from it. I think it is important that landmark military successes in our proud history are remembered. Plus, I have relatives who served in the armed forces (yes, I appreciate that does sound a little bit too close to “But! Some of my best friends are black/gay/Liberal Democrats…”) and I wouldn’t want them or any of their brothers-in-arms to think their work was not appreciated by yours truly.
Don’t worry, I’m not about to post Dire Straits’s Brothers in Arms.
I sort of remember having a lovely time attending VE celebrations in Cardiff Park many years ago, probably when it was the 50th anniversary.
I say “sort of” remember because I was, predictably, absolutely twatted.
I remember thinking how pleased all the drunks who usually lolled about in the park would be that several hundred chairs had suddenly been provided for them. Even more so that on this day they had something to sing-a-long with, rather than indulging in their second favourite past-time (third if you count sniffing industrial strength adhesives from brown paper bags, fourth if you count laying on your back zonked out on a combination of UHU and White Lightning) of just making up songs on the spot and singing them at anyone who cared to listen and a lot more people who didn’t.
For if memory serves, there was a real smorgasboard of entertainment laid on for us that day: an orchestra zipped through a selection of wartime hits, there was some opera, and I think Michael Ball probably sang. He has a tendency of turning up and doing that, whether he’s asked to or not.
And a bit of Ball is like catnip to your not-so-average sunburned Park drunk (“O! Mikey! Do Love Changes Everything, I fecking loves that one I does!”)
Anyway, to mark the day in my own sweet way, I give you this:
The problem is, now I’ve mentioned it, I can’t resist: