Here's another thing I'd understand if I lived on the other side of that Border...
When the holidays are.
No-one tells you this when you move to Scotland. No-one says to you:
Yeah, well, it's pretty much the same: most of the people are lovely, but some are not. Most of the food is great, but some isn't. Most of the weather is the same: iffy, but then you'll randomly get the most utterly gorgeous week when you're not expecting it. They drive on the same side, they speak the same language but their holidays are utterly different.
Here's a thing. Easter Monday's not a bank holiday here.
That has totally and utterly flummoxed and confused me. B told me and I didn't believe him. I googled it, but of course everyone knows you can get the internet to prove any point you want, so that wasn't nearly reliable enough. But there it is, in black and white, on the calendar. Bank holiday (UK except Scotland).
Ah, and I was rather relying on him having that day off. Whoops.
There's no August bank holiday here either. Or there is, but it's at the other end of the month.
I'm not complaining about this - we actually get an extra bank holiday compared with England and Wales (nine, compared to your paltry eight, should you care) - but I am finding it very hard to get my head around.
You don't realise how much you take certain things for granted. The school year, for instance. Starts in September, as any ful kno.
Except when it doesn't. Mid-August here. Totally scuppered our holiday plans this year that has. Won't be making that mistake again. Turns out that if you want to go on holiday with English friends there's a pretty small window when you're all on holiday together and you need to book those weeks pronto.
What's the logic behind all this? I rather thought the religious holidays would be universal, especially as Scotland has a reputation (which I'm not sure it deserves) of being more godly than England. Clearly not though. As for the others, I understand why we get St Andrews Day, but I don't understand why we get an extra day off on 2 January. Are they really codifying the fact that Hogmanay's a bigger party?
And why the beginning of August and not the end? Or indeed the end and not the beginning? My understanding on the school year point was that it started in September because that was after the harvest and when farming families didn't need their children so much any more. Is that not true? Or is it true but not true in Scotland that isn't so predominantly arable?
And how doubly confusing is it to get my head around the fact that bank holidays are not only different (they are, in fact devolved, interestingly) but that they are also discretionary. Your employer gets to choose. So when the rest of the country, both North and South, is enjoying its extra Tuesday off for the Jubilee, spare a thought for the employees of the Scottish Borders Council, who aren't getting it. Suspect there'll be a lot of empty schools round here that day...
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