Victoria Day Weekend 2018
The first long weekend of summer sits perched on the doorstep. Also known as the May TWO-FOUR weekend in these parts, which refers more colloquially to a case of beer rather than a day in May honouring the birthdays of Queens Victoria and Elizabeth in Canada.
"The twenty-fourth of May is the Queen's birthday!" was the chant from my childhood days. And for Victoria that was true. Her birthday was May 24, 1819. In 1953, the Canadian Government added Elizabeth to the celebrations and set the holiday to fall on the Monday preceding May 25 (i.e somewhere between May 18 and 14). For the record, Queen Elizabeth's birthday is celebrated in June in England, even though ER II was actually born in April. It's complicated...
This year there is an added royal celebration - the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Will I get up very early on Saturday morning to tune into the festivities? Well, I'm not setting any alarms for 4:30am! But I'll probably be up in time to tune in to the actual wedding. I'm sure it will all be grand and tickle little girl dreams of a fairytale Prince Charming falling in love with an ordinary girl, and the two newlyweds riding off in a royal carriage to live happily ever after. Nothing wrong with that. It's just not me.
I'm rather fond of our Queen and her love, the Duke of Edinburgh. I think the monarchy with its rituals and traditions connects me to our history and commends a sense of honour and respect, a civility we all would do well to reclaim. Royal wedding hoopla is not my cup of tea, especially on the May Two-Four weekend.
This is the weekend that garden centres, hardware stores and gas companies get really excited about as winter-weary Ontarians dig out the planting gear and drive to the garden centre to buy bedding plants; haul out the lawn mower and drive to the hardware store to get parts to make it work; and/or drive up to the cottage then drive to the hardware store and garden centre to get parts and plants. Oh, and beer. There's got to be beer. The Two-Four, remember?
The weather forecast for the long weekend changes daily, but at the moment it looks like Sunday and Monday will be good days. Saturday may be a washout. On the whole, it looks good for planting! So, I'll head out the garden centre to pick up some geraniums, pansies, and impatiens along with a bag or two of composted manure to beef up our sandy soil. I'll harvest the rhubarb, make a rhubarb crisp for dessert and get a few pies into the freezer. Come Monday and the sun, I'll be ready to kick back and celebrate.
Be safe out there folks, especially those of you heading out on the highways and byways on your way to open up cottages. Please, don't drink and drive.
©2018 April Hoeller