Saturday Ramble: Oh, what fun at Christmas tide
Every seven years the two big winter festival days fall on successive Wednesdays. Most people I know take off the Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays of the two-week binge-fest. That gives a midwinter break totalling sixteen interminable days. Thus it was this year -- or would that be last year? It's a confusing period. Many folk simply head off to the sun and forget about time, assuming they are not obsessive about it in the first place. Others bear it as best they can, grumbling all the while. I fall into the latter category -- and I often have to employ Buddhist techniques to ease the pain. Here's a suggestion for our leaders, who enjoy mammoth holidays from Parliament anyway, so take the hols off as to the manor born. New Year (caps compulsory, for some reason) is a complete waste at this point in the calendar. Most people are partied out by the time it hoves into view. Women are invariably frazzled to within an Angstrom unit of their lives and children jaded with far too much of a good thing. The ancient Celts can teach us a thing or two here. The real new year begins at the Spring Equinox, around March 21, when the light is beginning to come back into our lives and Spring is just around the corner. Before you ask, the pagan festival is on Mayday, I believe, when girls dance around the maypole and all manner of shenanigans take place -- allegedly! So let's move the new year festival to the most appropriate date around March 21st, when we have long recovered from Christmas. It would be very good for our health and save the NHS billions. Oh, before I forget: Happy New Year!