Bank Holidays, and Public holidays, and local holidays. Whatever we call them, they are an extra day off.
When at school, the extra day often was tagged to a holiday week, but never the less was very welcome.
When I started working, it meant extra hard work, as I worked in hotels and restaurants. I did get a day off in leu, but it wasn’t quite the same thing as having a scheduled day off that everyone else had!
Growing up, we rarely did anything on Bank holiday weekends. I grew up in Basingstoke, a town in the North of Hampshire. Somewhere you’ve probably only heard of if you are a member of the AA. Not the most exciting place, but a great location, being only and hour from the coast, and hour from London, and a couple of hours from the continent. In other words it was easy to get of, that is apart from on a Bank Holiday weekend. Unless you headed off before the dawn chorus awoke, you were guaranteed a lengthy wait in a traffic jam, which ever direction you were travelling. City folk escaping to the coast or the New Forest, country folk taking a jaunt to the big smoke. I soon learned it was more fun to stay and do stuff close to home. It meant you had the whole day, not just the couple of hours that weren’t spent travelling!
When I moved to Scotland, I encountered local holidays. Something we don’t have in England. I would ask what they were in aid of and Hubby would shrug his shoulders, so I would ask his Mother. She just thought I was being critical and would bark that they just always have been! I was genuinely interested but made to feel stupid for daring to want to understand the place I lived. Hubby doesn’t get local holidays because he works for the shire council, and as each town has its own holiday days, it would be impossible for them to keep it straight. The town we live in has only had town status for a few years, maybe its time we campaigned for our own separate local holidays rather than just following the city!!!
The extra days do confuse the boys, as does any change of routine. While like most kids the thought of an extra day off school is always a positive, the reality is slightly different. For about a week M’s repetitive mantra has been “no school on Monday”, which is repeated over and over. He is trying to get his head around the fact something is going to be different. D on the other hand understood he was having the day off, but the actual day made him aggressive and argumentative – his way of coping with the changed routine. As far as I can tell, there are no more odd days between now and the end of term, so that is one less obstacle to cross. I love having my boys home and doing things with them, but when you can see how much it is upsetting them it is a double edge sword.
Whatever we do on odd holiday days, I think it is good family time. Usually weekends are filled with organised events such as dancing lessons, and football, so to have an extra day to do stuff together is nice. We were lucky with the weather this past weekend (very unusual) so spent time doing stuff in the garden, getting it ready for summer. The boys are very excited some of the seeds they planted in the greenhouse are already pushing through. Between cutting the grass and jumping on the trampoline, I think the boys tired out their Daddy!
I think in this country we complain when we see other countries getting more holidays than us, I know my Dad used to do a lot of work with a German counter part and would often be complaining that they had ‘another’ holiday day. I think it is not the quantity but the quality. I think in this country the fact they are always on the Monday closest to the date it represents makes life easier than having days off middle of the week. Giving folks the option of getting away for a 3 day weekend is blissful.
I do believe the home nations should be allowed to have a day to celebrate National pride, be it St Andrews, Day, St Georges Day, St Davids Day or St Patrick’s Day. If we are to be proud of where we come from, then let’s make it a holiday to do so!
Our next Bank Holiday day is the beginning of August, during the school holidays, so will not cause us any additional stress.
I hope you enjoy yours when you have it.