Naturally I am opposed to the scrapping of Boxing Day and Easter Monday, both recommended by the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (whose name alone tells you it is the same committee entrusted to design a horse and ended up instead with a camel).
Boxing Day is an essential holiday, enabling one to recover from the excesses of Christmas, though my old colleague Gerald Shaw always held a “Boxing Day Bash”, and you needed most of December 27 to get over that. And what sort of Easter weekend would it be without the Monday off, as well?
Tokyo Sexwale provided a nice postscript to our English holiday. I found him one row behind me on the flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town on Monday. “I’m surprised to see you sitting among us plebs,” I said, shaking his hand. “Why aren’t up front in business class?”
“You know, I grew up poor in Soweto…” he said, with that famous twinkle in his eye.
LONDON: The Union Jack flying from the top of the flagpost on the Victoria Tower, above the House of Lords, is huge. I remarked on its size as we walked in the gardens below it late on Monday morning.
Then we strolled along the Embankment and up to Trafalgar Square, to attend a free lunchtime concert in St Martin-in-the-Fields, with the American counter-tenor Randall Scotting singing arias Handel had composed for the alto castrato Senisino. Counter-tenor singing is not exactly my cup of tea. “I’d like to hear him sing normally,” I whispered to Delia, after one item where he had risen as high as a mezzo-soprano. She reassured me it was an acquired taste.