Tuesday, November 01, 2005

All Saints' Day

Well, I don't know about you and where you live but today, November 1st, here in Bavaria is a public holiday. It's "All Saints' Day", the day after "All Souls' Day", so we are all off! Don't ask me what this holiday is for or why "All Souls' Day" is not a holiday as I have no idea. Both these "Days" were always just something printed at the top of the page in my diaries...along with other things like "Corpus Christi" (also a public holiday over here), "Epiphany" (another public holiday) and "Whitsun" (yes, holiday), "Assumption Day" (holiday) and "Repentance Day" (no longer a holiday - it used to be but was scrapped and the money the government saves or earns or whatever for that day is supposed to finance the "Old Age Care" pension which is going to look after us all in our last days...we hope). In a case like this when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday, many firms turn the intervening Monday into a so-called bridge day so that people can have a long weekend.

This is very nice for them but sometimes a pain in the bum if you a freelancer as I am.

The other bad side is that there is no post today of course which means that the first copies of my new book will not be arriving till Wednesday at the earliest...boo-bloody-hoo.

I have to admit to getting quite excited at the thought of holding this first real book of mine in my own hands. I have had a couple of things for English learners published so far but they were very much within the framework of what the publisher wanted; this is much more my own thing. It is the same kind of feeling I had when I brought home the boxes full of copies of my first CD...a sort of tickly butterfly feeling in the stomach...

But getting back to the plethora of public holidays, one thing I always like to do in classes is ask what the particular holiday is about....what significance it has for the church or whatever. This always leads to a long and sometimes heated discussion because no-one ever seems to know for sure but everyone wants to try and make it look as though they do know.

If they ask me about holidays in England I tell them that we have "Bank Holidays" every now and then and invent some cock-eyed reason why we have them. So if a German ever tries to tell you whence the institution of Bank Holidays originates and it sounds pretty eccentric it might well be one of my old students!

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