In what has to be uniquely British way of doing things, we no sooner get over Easter than we are hit with a bank holiday to celebrate the first Russian Revolution.
With Whitsun, or as it is known in our secular society, Spring Bank Holiday, the concentration of Bank holidays in the spring is great in one way, but leaves us with a long gap in the autumn between August Bank Holiday and Christmas.
So what does this Bank holiday weekend hold for us?
Certainly not a quick trip in the (non-existent) executive jet to Cancun. Mexico really has become off limits because of the impending Armageddon of Swine flu. Well, if you believe the television, radio and newspaper histrionics, we’re in for Armageddon.
Fortunately, among all the sensationalist hype about the pandemic, there are still a few small voices trying to tell us that there a few simple steps that we can take to help to prevent us from experiencing the worst of this variant of flu. They’re not even that complicated. All we need to do is wash our hands regularly, sneeze into a handkerchief and dispose of it properly and avoid infecting other people by saying at home. Certainly, we should also get in touch with a doctor or NHS Direct if we have the symptoms of flu.
However, common sense isn’t particularly prevalent. The place where I work has has a number of people off sick with the current (very non-swine-ish) bug, although there have been other people in work when they clearly should have stayed at home. Perhaps if they HAD kept away, our workplace would only have had that couple of people affected rather than the larger numbers now off.
But this isn’t anything new; the National Archives website has some great images, including this poster from 1942 by Herbert Mayo Bateman.
But even these great posters are put into the shade by this 1945 film