We’d like to thank the banks for this one

A Guide to the United Kingdom, Part 227:

1. A few days a year, the banks all decide they want a day off. Some of them make sense, like New Year’s Day (even banks feel the burn after that late night). Some of them congregate around Easter, because chocolate eggs are best eaten in pyjamas. And then they get totally carried away and squeeze two into May. It’s unclear why May is the special month. Perhaps it’s the Bank of England’s birthday. We all take a day off with them, because, you know. We’re polite.

2. By ancient right, it rains on Bank Holiday weekend. Regardless of which one. The British have an unlimited capacity to be taken aback by this, and every year pack up tents and beach gear like we’re expecting to pitch up on the set of Home and Away in short shorts. Instead, we crouch in a field for three days, listening to rain on canvas and complaining over bacon sandwiches.

3. You shouldn’t underestimate the experience of listening to rain on canvas over a bacon sandwich; it’s quite soothing.

4. Just very occasionally – actually, with about the same frequency as the appearance of Halley’s Comet – a bank holiday is hot enough to feel like a proper holiday. We descend on the supermarket and catfight over barbecue equipment. Goodness knows what the banks do: go off somewhere and get sunburn on their chequebooks, probably.

Today was a Halley’s Comet holiday. I belly-bounced a woman in Tesco for a packet of finger rolls, unearthed our crusty sunscreen and we headed to our friend’s lake for the afternoon. We barbecued. The sun shone. Henry got to spend the day with his all-time favourite lady and gave himself an ice cream chest wig to impress her. It worked, of course. Gents, Mr Whippy chest wigs are like catnip for the ladies. Catnip.

updated to say: dear HEAVENS, I need a hair cut.


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