Banking on more time off?

My mind permanently fizzes with questions like “Why do we have Bank Holidays even if we don’t work in a bank?”.

We’ve recently been drowning in Bank Holidays.  If you missed one, another was due any minute.

Monday May the 27th – the Spring Bank Holiday.  Monday May the 6th- the May Day Bank Holiday.  Monday April the 27th- the Easter Bank Holiday.  And just before that, the Good Friday Bank Holiday.

TV bosses didn’t consider any of them special as the schedules were exactly the same as any other weekday, stuffed with cheap lifestyle shows, looking-for-antiques shows and consumer advice shows.

Plus, the lunchtime show featuring a coven of women who spend most of the hour complaining about how terrible men are.  Until they bring on a ‘hunky’ good-looking actor to talk about his new film/series and then drool over him in a cringe-worthy manner that, should the  sexes be reversed and four middle-aged men leered over a young actress, the #metoo brigade would rightfully demand it be taken off the air.

Someone with his tongue firmly in his cheek described Bank Holiday Mondays as ‘A chance for fat, bald men in vests to sit outside pubs drinking all day, occasionally swearing at their unruly children’.  A little cruel perhaps – though some of you will know it’s not entirely untrue.

So! Do we really need Bank Holidays?  Go on. Ask yourself.  I’ve got nothing to do for the next five seconds.

Those of you employed by someone else probably enjoy them.  While the self-employed and retired can take ’em or leave ’em.

England and Wales get eight Bank Holidays a year, Scotland gets nine, including St. Andrew’s Day, while Northern Ireland, including St. Patrick’s Day, gets 10.

Whether it’s unfair Wales and England don’t have a day off work for their patron saints depends on your opinion of Bank Holidays.  I’m not sure we shouldhave a Saint David’s Day Holiday.

For starters, I wouldn’t fancy drinking outside a pub all day in my vest – not in March!

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get laughter on prescription?

Laughter comes in many forms: the giddy giggle, the mild chuckle, the gutsy guffaw, the sarcastic “ha!”  Its meaning is just as varied, signalling everything from amusement to discomfort and distain.

For researchers, understanding how our brain interprets this complex behaviour is serious business.  Yes, people are actually paid loads of money to research this stuff.

Every day we are faced with varying degrees of stress and challenging situations.  And, as time goes on, as we get older, relaxation and laughter can slow down the ageing process.

We are bombarded with information relating to weight loss, diets, exercise and such like.  But little is said about the huge health benefits of laughter.  This is probably because of the lack of understanding by the masses . . . up to this point!

Over the years, while attending many conferences, I have been party to such a discussion, that left me convinced that the benefits of humour and being around uplifting people can add years to our lives, reduce the need for anti-depressants and keep our brains active for much longer.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could get laughter on prescription?

After all, laughter is the best medicine.  Unless, of course, you are diabetic. Then, insulin works better.