March has come and gone….in and out like a lion here in the south of England. March is a month of many events and observances, all of which I missed, even St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th. I’ve never been one to join causes or fads and since leaving the church, I find my attention to special days, religious and non-religious, has become less and less. I hardly know what day of the week it is most of the time these days. They come and go. One day is like the rest, 24 hours of sun, rain, cold, hot….mostly moderate here in London, England…and either there is something going on or there is not. I do mark the ending of one year and the beginning of the next and Christmas Day, but the other 362 days of the year are a blur. There is a reason for that. I’ll get to it in a moment. But first, here are some of the days of observance I missed this year (2015) in March.
The Americans have the lion’s share of special days (and sometimes a week or a whole month), 39 in a month of 31 days. In the UK we have 29, but some are slightly different. And a few are quite mad, on both sides of the pond. There is the ubiquitous St. Patrick’s day on the 17th….I forgot all about it…. and Mother’s Day is in March in the UK and in May in America and Canada. In America, March was ‘Expanding Girls’ Horizons in Science and Engineering Month’. Who could argue with that? Especially if you knew about it. But then there’s ‘National Bubble Week’, ‘Act Happy Week’, then on the 8th is ‘Panic Day’ and the next day it’s ‘Get over it Day’. If you missed those, you can ‘Make Your Own Holiday Day’ on the 26th. Well, you could have, but it’s too late now.
Here in the UK, the first week of March was ‘Time For A Cuppa Week’, redundant until you discover it is to remember dementia sufferers. We also celebrate ‘National Bed Month’ wherein you take a day and just lie in (Mental Health Days in America). On the 21st, ‘National Fragrance day’ is observed. Something to do with flowers as far as I can tell. We have ‘Pig Day’ and ‘Purple Day’, the latter dealing with loneliness. And there’s ‘Commonwealth Day’. Missed that too. My favourite, though is ‘National Skipping Day’ that was on Friday the 13th this year. I may buy a skipping rope and try that one next year. But don’t count on it. I know I’ll forget.
I haven’t taken into account all the religious days that take place in March. This year Palm Sunday was on the 29th. Didn’t give it a thought. Well, that’s not quite true. I was reminded on Facebook by those who still observe it. Once upon a time it was an important day to me. No longer, but that’s for another Blog. Purim was on the 5th, a Jewish day of observation. Hope they had a good one. I suppose you could say the 17th is a holy day for some, but the next day in America is ‘Supreme Sacrifice Day’. Probably giving up drinking after the night before. The Welsh have St. David’s Day on the 1st. The Cornish have St. Piran’s Day on the 5th. He was an Irish abbot in England as St. Patrick was a Scottish priest in Ireland. People got about in those days. St Piran is the patron saint of tin miners. Naturally.
Missed them all. There’s only one important day I observe in March and it falls on the 23rd. No, not ‘International Meteorological Day’. It’s my birthday. Americans have a ‘Celebrate Your Name Week’ in March, but it isn’t my name I celebrate. After all, I’m a Larry. You have to be laughing about now. My birth is another thing entirely and this year I marked it especially for two main reasons. One, I regret to say, was the death of my dear mum, Olive June. I’ll miss her terribly. The second is because I turned 64. Never thought I’d make it and still feel as young as ever. That’s because the Beatles sang it in 1967 when I was just 16 years old. The ripe old age of 64 sounded like it belonged in another universe back then, its recipients a drooling, bent-over, near-to-death bunch. When Paul McCartney sang, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me?”, I remember thinking, ‘Please God take me before I get to that stage’. I was quite religious back then.
Paul McCartney wrote the song in 1958, using a traditional jazz theme he learned from listening with his father to old 78 rpm jazz records. Paul’s dad was a jazz musician by night and a cotton seller by day. On his dad’s 64th birthday in 1966, Paul dusted off the original copy, added some words and sang it to him. On January 3, 1990, Paul sent George Martin, the genius behind the sound of the Beatles, birthday greetings and a bottle of wine on his 64th. Paul turned 64 on June 18, 2006. He’ll be 73 this year. Where in hell does time go? Damn!
Time changes perspective. I no longer think like I did at 16. Thank Ozymandias for that. I feel more alive now than I did when I was 16 when I was wet behind the ears and as naive and thick as it is possible for a human being to be. And I made it. I’m 64. And I received birthday greetings and several bottles of wine. Magnificent. My best friend bought me a trip to Paris for my birthday week. So I suppose, in a way, I did celebrate ‘Make Your Own Holiday Day’ on the 26th. I walked all over Paris enjoying several more bottles of wine including a lovely Pouilly Fuisse and a Bordeaux from Chateau de Camarsac. Nobody has to feed me, at least not spoon feed me. As yet I have no grandchildren. Foot loose and fancy free. Take that you snivelling little 16-year-old twit.
It doesn’t stop there. Time definitely goes more quickly the older you get. I’m not sure how Quantum Physicists handle that. Doesn’t matter. It’s a fact. This 64-year-old plans to make further changes in his life and stay one step ahead of the relentless speeding up of time and dotage. I am going to move house and live on a boat on the canals of Britain. That’s the plan. I’m looking for one now. Captain Larry if you please. At retirement age of 65 next year, I’ll get my British pension (already collect my Canadian one) and off I go, along Britain’s waterways and, what the hell, I may even attempt the Channel and test the waters of the Seine and maybe go back to Amsterdam, this time on my own boat. Who knows? No garden. No weeds. Might just sail by the Isle of Wight. No wasting away, just moving on. But if you happened to be in the neighbourhood, feel free to feed me anyway.