Thursday, May 27, 2010

It is time.

St. Marher wrote, so it is said in 1225: "And te tide and te time þat tu iboren were, schal beon iblescet." Roughly translated - "the tide abides for, tarrieth for no man, stays no man, tide nor time tarrieth no man." Or as the simpler Latin on the face of my mother's grandfather clock announces, "Tempus Fugit."

It certainly does, and I, for one, find it hard to believe that Memorial Day weekend is upon us once more. Rooted in the late 1880s it is a poignant holiday in the United States of America, recalling those who have died in the service of their country. Sadly the majority of Americans now fail to acknowledge this day, interpreting it instead as an opportunity to do nothing. And many U.S. corporate organizations don't even give it a nod in their calendar.

But yes, time flies, and even in the face of another "opportunity to do nothing" (which is what the vast majority of those traveling out to the Hamptons this very hour intend to do) certain observations have to be made. And I will not repeat my previous years' comments about traffic! Three points mark this passing into a new season, which, as it is also the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, is rather appropriate.

First yesterday, Wednesday, was Tradesman Day. A surge of frenetic activity on the part of landscapers, pool companies, house and estate managers, air-conditioning companies (and remember that air conditioning is traditionally turned on this weekend for three and a half months regardless of temperature) and various sundry interests.

Today, Thursday (incidentally the anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer, but most of this shower would not give such a day a glancing thought...) is Staff Day. Witness the housekeepers and nannies, with the occasional cook thrown in. All inflating, and angrily annoying the lines in the local supermarkets, and most struggling with their mastery of English, because their lords, ladies and other masters are arriving within a sunset and sunrise. It's a great spectator sport, and a perfect illustration of 13th century feudalism in a 21st century culture.

And tomorrow? Well, to quote Psalm 24:

Lift up your gates, O princes, and be lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in.

Except those who arrive are not royalty. In fact they do not even know their kingdoms. And some even rent their crowns.

1 comment:

Saintly Ramblings said...

It used to be the same in Brighton before the advent of year-round language schools. In the winter months we residents reclaimed our beaches and promenades and The Lanes. Come the Whitsun weekend London decamped to the coast and we retreated to our local shops rather than dive into the maelstrom of the town centre.