written by Richard Lambert
Being an Englishman living in Scotland I can never quite get my head around (sorry, I’ll put that into Scottish for you: Ah Cannae quite git ma hid roond) the big issue of new-year and how many days off the Scottish want and get…
That was until my wife explained why Hogmanay was so special. ‘It’s a bit like,’ she said, ‘Your Christmas, but without God to knacker the proceedings.’
Anyway, there’s always a big hoo hah up here about their lost bank holiday so I feel I must explain (mostly to Dirk why Renee’s blog is late this week and I’m standing in for her) the history of new-year.
Up until about fifteen years ago both the 1st and 2nd January were public holidays in Scotland. It seems most people went out on New Year’s Eve and made it back to their own homes sometime in the late evening of the 1st and so needed the 2nd to recover.
Then along came the Sassanachs with their ridiculous ideas about when would be good to have time off… all dressed up in the guise of harmonising public holidays.
What they (the English) did, and it still rankles with my wife, was take the 2nd Jan holiday and force the Scottish to have Easter Monday. Before this Good Friday was always celebrated, but not Monday. After all, what was going to happen? Was everyone going to OD on East Eggs and have to have the Monday off to recover?
In fact, it got so bad that my wife, who worked for a bank, was balloted for strike action which she strongly considered. In the end, she decided to go into work, but the weather so bad on that 2nd January that no-one could get in anyway!
So, Mr van Dijl, 15 years on, now that we run our own businesses, we still have 2 days holiday at new-year.
How was it for us?
Oh, you know. Quiet. We were a bit bored on Tuesday and went in to sort out our emails.