It’s taken me a long time to get the hang of bank holidays. In the same way that New Year’s Eve can make me convinced that everyone else is having much more fun at another party just round the corner, bank holidays bring out an impulse to head for the nearest National Trust property.
Along with practically the entire population within a forty mile radius.
So we can all stand in increasingly bad-tempered queues for tickets, then tours, then lunch, then ice-cream, then a shuffle through the picture galleries, then cream teas, and finally the queue to get out of the car park, and return home, exhausted.
It’s especially ridiculous of me to do things like this on a bank holiday because I don’t have an APJ (Actual Proper Job) and could, very easily, opt to go to a stately home any day of the week. (Except Mondays, the day when all the people who work at National Trust properties get to put up the ‘closed’ sign, climb over the ropes and lie around on the priceless damask sofas where Queen Elizabeth I once parked her bottom, drinking pink gins and flirting shamelessly. That’s what I like to think they do, anyway. They are probably mostly wiping finger marks off things.)
So, ever since the year we drove to Chartwell only to be told that it was so full that no-one else would be allowed in, we’ve done bank holidays differently. They generally involve at least three of the following:
- a lie in
- a good book
- a film, which doesn’t have to be good, just entertaining
- a walk on the beach
- a little trip to one of our local ice-cream parlours. (Spurreli’s and Morwick. Spurreli’s is my favourite, for the genius that is salted peanut ice cream. Also, the pink grapefruit ice cream. But probably not together.)
That’s it. In the same way that I’ve finally got that a bottle of champagne and my beloved family might just be the best possible way to spend Old Year’s Night, I’ve realised that a lazy bank holiday is not a moral failing but, actually, a rather good idea.
Especially when there’s this, from Alan, to tackle.
Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing today, enjoy. May the queues be short and the ice-cream excellent.