Life in Britain on a British Bank Holiday

6 am. Wake up. Know that it’s a British bank holiday but you have to work because, well, you just do. Have the sudden sinking feeling in your gut that you have to finish a presentation to give to a room to 70 people today (thus the working on the bank holiday) and spring from bed. Have a quick bath (this is England, you don’t have a shower) and sit at the computer from 7:something.

8:something am. Realize, as you are finishing your presentation slides, that you are supposed to hand out print copies of your slides to the assembled masses. Assume that if you have to work, and they all have to work, there must be someone manning the printing/reprographics staff office today.

9:something am. Finish presentation slides. Send them off to be photocopied. Feel pretty jubilant, as the speech is not until 2:something p.m.

10 am. Walk to the office after snagging a piece of toast.

10:something am. Realize that there is no one in the printing office and you are hosed.

11 am. Panicked phone call with boss, who points you to a printer/photocopier solution for 18 pages (9 double-sided) x 70 copies. Start the process.

12 noon. Unrelated meeting for an hour. Yes, another work thing scheduled for the bank holiday.

1 pm. Go from meeting to pick up 70 copies only to find that about 15 have been made.

1-1:30 pm. Stand in front of copier watching copies be made.

2 pm. deliver one hour lecture.

3 pm. Buy a Snickers bar and some Walkers crisps from a vending machine on way to 3 pm appointment. Arrive at appointment to find people waiting, beg for 2 minutes to snarf down vending machine snacks.

5 pm. Finish 3 pm appointment. Have one hour until 6 pm appointment (last of the day, fortunately).

6 pm. Nothing.

6:30 pm. 6 pm appointment people arrive. Conduct appointment for one hour with stomach starting to audibly complain.

7:30 pm. Obtain request for conference call with US. Oblige.

9 pm. Work done, although prep for tomorrow’s 8:30 am meeting not ready. Head to grocery store to try and find dinner.

9:01 pm. Grocery store closed. It’s a bank holiday.

9:02 pm. Head home and make sad mac-and-cheese type thing from fake sausages in the fridge with noodles and Sainsbury’s instant cheese sauce (just add boiling water!) Top with parmesan and stick in the oven.

10:something pm. Eat sad food. Go to bed. Contemplate ridiculousness of bank holiday. Fall asleep before any conclusions are reached.

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6 responses to “Life in Britain on a British Bank Holiday

  1. That is one day of suck!

  2. This post brought tears to my eyes, it was “the sad food”..
    You see, I live in Italy….sad food is just not in the scene even on a bank holiday.
    This post reminds me why I have been living happily in Italy for the past 30 years.
    RITA

  3. In the name of all this is good and holy, why?!?! “Work” and “bank holiday” do not belong in the same sentence! I don’t get it. Isn’t it your legal right to take the day off, or something? Isn’t that how bank holidays work? (note to self, research bank holidays)

    I feel for you. I also empathize on the whole “sad food” thing. This may be Spain, but I’m a student with no stove and no fridge. Sad food is my life. Thank god for the café across the road.

  4. I know this wasn’t the point of your post, but hope you don’t mind the diversion: “Have a quick bath (this is England, you don’t have a shower)”

    Gosh, that’s news to me! I’m a 37 yr old Brit and everyone I know showers in the morning. Is it just that your home doesn’t have one??

    • I live in the central part of a very old town and many of the buildings have no showers; I’m well aware that people living in newer buildings in the UK do have showers. But it’s something I have a tendency to make fun of from time to time, along with the two-tap sinks throughout my flat.

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