10 June 2022

Are all these long weekends proving too much hard work? Stop complaining, just take the day off

| Sally Hopman
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Girl with balloon

Celebrating Canberra Day is more than just a day off work. It’s a day to recognise and celebrate who we are – and let fly with a balloon. Capital idea. Photo: File.

If you’re reading this during what is yet another long weekend, put your feet up even higher. Put another log on the fire, toast your bits and think of England because we’re not going to have another one for a while. This run of extra days off comes to an end soon.

Is there someone important who sits in an office, somewhere, obviously on weekdays, who determines when we’re going to get another long weekend?

Do they have a bed like George Costanza, built under their desk so they can sleep while everyone else works?

They may sleep through the week but with their car clearly visible in the car park all hours, they’re considered to be busy and important – and more than capable of allocating another public holiday to mark the death of their favourite gerbil in an unfortunate incident on the Kings Highway.

So how are these days off decided? Some are easy. The Queen, for example, deserves as many as she gets – and she gets lots what with having half a dozen or so birthdays a year.

She does do it tough … did you know the poor royal soul has to wear secondhand shoes? Yes she does, seriously, because apparently there’s someone who lives not a million miles from the royal shoe rack who is the same size as her and wears her new shoes in for her. Ah, so that’s why they call them footmen, or in this case, footwomen. Turns out a blister can be a treasonable offence.

So of course Her Majesty deserves to have her birthdays off. It’s not like she’d be doing anything else on the days. Trooping, colouring, knighting … nothing like that. Turns out the Queen’s birthday long weekend is also Volunteers Day in South Australia. Hope they don’t have to work either.

READ ALSO The Queen, the High Court and the missing tree(s): a right royal mystery

Canberra does it right with Reconciliation Day. The day to reconcile yourself to the fact that, unless you’re a few thousand years old, you are at best a second-class citizen. First Nations people were, are and always will be, way ahead of us.

It can also be the day to visit those annoying relatives to tell them they’re not as bad as you thought they were. They didn’t know you thought that? It’s time to leave the building. At a clip.

I can understand Christmas Day, Boxing and all those other end of year/beginning of new year days, but Day After New Year’s Day public holiday? Do people get that drunk? Must be the sculling of all that champagne punch – a violent drink if ever there were one.

When we have the well-deserved and thoroughly recommended Canberra Day on 14 March, some lesser states try to get in on the holiday spirit – Eight Hours Day for Tassie, Labour Day for Victoria (ACT, NSW and South Australia labour it in October for some reason), Cup Day in Adelaide and WA Day you know where. I’m getting into quite a state about all this, so I’ll take a moment.

A moment.

OK. Tas: seriously, how many hours do you want in a day? Vic: don’t be so political and Adelaide: unless you’re talking Royal Doulton here, we’re not going to take a punt on what it really means.

We could talk about the day, usually a public holiday, when you put back or move forward the clocks for daylight saving, but it would take at least an hour.

I don’t have a problem with Queensland’s Royal Show Day on 10 August, it’s nice when royals visit and show off what’s in their handbags, especially the women, but Recreation Day in November for Northern Tasmania? Do you need more fun, seriously? And what about Royal Hobart Regatta Day in February – that’s sailing a bit close to the wind.

May Day works – any chance to run around something in a floaty frock, wearing ribbons, has to be a good thing – although it looks like rather hard work.

Then there’s the Northern Territory’s Picnic Day in August. Crumbs, are you that hungry for a day off? Or the Bank Holiday, but only for bank staff in August – my money’s on getting rid of that one.

Last but hardly least, Australia Day on 26 January. Yep, we could lose that one.

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Too many PH in the first half of the year, leaving only 3 for the second half – October Long WE, Christmas and Boxing Day

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