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Bank Holidays - A Curmudgeon’s-Eye View

It was 1871 when a beardy bloke called Lubbock introduced the Bank Holidays Bill. Banks and financial institutions were closed for Bank Holidays after that. These days I imagine that their computers have a day off, cooling down, since there’s no longer much evidence of banks as we once knew them. Yes, there’s the odd one with massive queues and harassed employees (to whom the computer invariably says no), but they’re closing pretty quickly and much like civilisation itself, I’m sure the bank on the street will soon be a thing of the past. But, as Bogart might have said, we’ll still have the holidays…

Apparently the Royals (according to the CBBC website, anyway) can add Bank Holidays to the calendar. The Royals are those people who are more important than the rest of us - they must be, otherwise we’d all be adding Bank Holidays for this and that whenever we fancied, wouldn’t we? This year, there’s an extra one to mark the Jubilee of Mrs The Queen of Windsor Palace. The government, according to Rishi Sunak, The Chancellor, is considering making this new Bank Holiday permanent - to honour the selfsame Queen. Me, I’d be making it permanent to honour the people who developed the COVID-19 vaccine, but that’s not how things work, and to be honest, I know that, and I’m just being flippant.

Bank Holidays don’t affect my life at all. The one at Christmas called Christmas Day has a slight bearing on things, but the rest of them pretty much don’t. You see, I’d rather be working when swathes of the population are sitting in traffic jams longing for the magic of the coast - better toiling quietly in the background and saving a day off that is decreed more by common sense than the Royals or Rishi Sunak or the Banks…

One of the Dragon’s Den people was talking on the radio this morning about how great Bank Holidays were for workers’ well-being. Blimey, I thought, that sounds a bit Marie Antoinette - there’s no money for their energy bills, so give them a Bank Holiday to celebrate the advancing years of a colossally rich old dear. As compensation goes, there’s a bit of disconnect there. Ah well, no matter really, it’s just me being grumpy. Again.

On this year’s extra flag-swagger Bank Holiday, as you might guess, I shall spend the day avoiding like the plague, in no particular order of importance, plastic Union Jack bowler hats, undercooked sausages, bunting, misty-eyed references to Ealing comedies, and fairy cakes. For once, I won’t be working, but that’s not because I’ve succumbed to the temptation to look after my worker-well-being-ness. No, it’s because I’ve chosen, quite deliberately to travel two thousand miles to escape the whole tiresome shooting match.

I bet when Mr Lubbock was entertaining thoughts of giving the Bob Cratchitts of the world a day off from their fingerless-gloved labours, he didn’t think that some ingrates would, eschewing his seemingly benevolent concept, take active steps to be as far away from a given Bank Holiday as is possible. But that’s where I’ll be.

So you’ve reached the end, and you may be wondering what this has to do with Sound Marketing (and why I’m even allowed to write this stuff in the first place). The answer lies somewhere between a commitment to clients and a need to vent my querulous old spleen. It’s about you being confident that at Sound Marketing, Bank Holiday or not, there will be someone taking care of your interests, documenting your innovations and successes, and keeping the wheels of industry turning, whilst elsewhere all is sausage rolls, ice cream and indolence.

Have a lovely day. I’m in the office…

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