about writing and life and God

Let’s have a real bank holiday!

on August 27, 2012

Today in England it’s a Bank Holiday.

Great, a day off.

But stop and consider… this day was originally designed as a day when the banks were shut. In the days before credit cards, cash cards or even cheques, if you needed money – hard cash – you had to go to the bank for it.

So people noticed when the banks shut.


But funnier still: the word holiday. It originally meant a religious special day. A Holy Day. A day when folk didn’t work but had a day off to celebrate something special in their religious calendar. To worship and celebrate God.

Put the words together:  a Holy Day of the Banks????

We’ve all pretty much come to realise that much in the banking sector – well, not to put too fine a point on it – stinks. People have been paid huge sums of money and enormous bonuses for gambling with our hard-earned savings as if it were Monopoly money. Other people have been doing crazy things with loans and mortgages and then fiddling the results so they wouldn’t be found out.

And they still walk away with huge salaries and bonuses and golden good-riddance severances. And somehow they seem able to walk away with heads held high as they climb into their luxury cars and head for their holiday homes.

Long ago, one day was set aside when the Lord of the Manor stepped aside and one of the servants stepped up to his chair and became ‘Lord of Misrule’ for the day. All kinds of shenanigans went on.

But just imagine if the bankers stepped aside for a day – a genuine Bank Holiday – and maybe a canny, thrifty housewife took over, just for the day…

Surely the ‘misrule’ couldn’t be any worse?


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