Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to all my lovely blogging friends in America.

It will be very different for most of you this year, I’m sure.

So I hope you can celebrate as best as you can, given the social restrictions we all have to deal with in 2020.

We don’t have this holiday over here, so I usually give thanks for that fact.
One less thing to worry about. 🙂

My very best wishes to you all, Pete.

A Thanksgiving Wish

We don’t have Thanksgiving here, and this close to Christmas, I give thanks for that. 🙂

However, I would like to wish all my American friends, followers, and readers
A Very Happy Thanksgiving.

I hope that you all have family, friends, or someone special to spend the annual holiday with. Relish the company. Eat, drink, and enjoy.

Remember those empty chairs too, those you have lost over the years.
Recall happy memories from when they were also around the table.

Spare a thought for those spending the holiday alone, or families who don’t have enough money to splash out on traditional food.

Forget politics for a few days, enjoy some peace and happiness.

And don’t forget to save some energy for Christmas!

Whoever you are with, and wherever you are, you know you will always have a friend here in Beetley.

My very best wishes to you all, Pete.

Happy Thanksgiving

We don’t have Thanksgiving here, as you probably know. However, over half my readers and followers are from America, and many of those are blogging friends who are very dear to me.

So I am sending you this, for your special day tomorrow.

Eat too much, drink too much, but try not to argue with your family.
Life is short, and you never know if you will be here for the next Thanksgiving.

Best wishes to all of you in the USA. Pete.

Black Friday?

Sorry, but it’s another moan about ‘American Imports’.

We don’t have Thanksgiving in the UK, at least not yet. Though I am sure they are thinking about ways to sell more turkeys, greeting cards, Quaker hats, and pumpkin pies. If the retail giants could convince the powers that be to add another day off work to the calendar, we would soon be falling in behind the marketing of another imported festival, I have no doubt.

Of greater concern is the very successful establishment of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping spree. This suddenly appeared without warning a few years back, and has inexplicably established itself as part of British culture with no resistance whatsoever. Overnight, people were talking excitedly about ‘Black Friday’ as if it had always been here. Email inboxes were inundated with apparent ‘Special Deals’, ‘Must-have bargains’, and ‘One-day only offers.’ Shortly after, ‘Cyber Monday’ arrived too, giving the retailers a chance to shift all the rubbish that we didn’t fall for, three days earlier.

The news media love all this. They relish showing us people literally fighting over huge televisions, trampling over each other to get that thing that they simply must have. Then they add the serious note, in the interests of ‘balance’. Scammers, con-artists, non-existent bargains, fake goods sold as genuine. The fraudsters love Black Friday more than most. We have long been used to the frenzy of bargain-hunting here. After all, the January Sales have been an institution for as long as I can remember. But we need to sit back, take a breath, and think about what these new trends actually represent.

Shops are far from stupid. In advance of this beanfeast, they bring in lots of shoddy goods. Brands we have never previously heard of, sizes that they couldn’t shift all year, and unusual colours too. The electrical goods are mostly old technology, soon to be superseded by the ‘must-haves’ of 2017. The package sizes are generally smaller, and where genuine bargains actually exist, they are soon sold out, leaving buyers scrambling to get anything, to claim they have secured a ‘deal’. And the supposedly massive discounts have proved to be anything but. Inflated ‘recommended retail’ prices, never previously charged anyway, are cut by impressive percentages, but in many cases are actually higher than they were last week.

So I urge you to resist. Refuse to buy on Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Vote with you wallets, purses, and pockets. Let them know you do not believe the hype, and refuse to be led like sheep by the retailers. Fight back, and hopefully we may see an end to this farce. Just say NO.

Happy Thanksgiving

This is one holiday that we do not celebrate here in the UK. Just as well too, as it is far too close to Christmas for comfort. It therefore has no meaning whatsoever in Beetley, but I would not be so churlish as to forget my readers and followers from the USA. So, to all of you enjoying this peculiarly American festive occasion, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. My best wishes to you all. Pete.

Thanksgiving

I would like to say ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ to all my American ‘Blog friends’. As you probably know, we do not celebrate this tradition in England. At least not yet, though I am confident it will be imported one day soon; to sit alongside baseball caps, Mac Donald’s, Starbucks, and all those other must-haves from across the Atlantic.

Enough of carping. Enjoy your turkeys, and whatever else you eat. Visit your relatives, across huge distances unfathomable in this small country, and I hope you like your presents.

That’s it, a nice short post to give you my regards from a rainy and windy Norfolk. (England that is, not the one in Virginia, that was named after this one).

Halloween- Scmalloween

What is all this fuss about Halloween? Does anybody remember when it all started here? Shops full of pumpkins, devil-suits, and tridents; parties with fancy-dress themes, gangs of kids wandering about, begging for sweets. I certainly have no memory of it, in London at least, until about 1990. It is yet another unwanted American import, alongside baseball caps, (Who knows the rules? Come on, tell me.) rap music, and McDonald’s. Driven by the Marketing Men, Supermarkets, and Television, desperate to fill the gap between Summer holidays, and Christmas.

Why do we always fall for this rubbish so easily?  Is there no tradition that cannot be sold on, re-packaged for British taste, and successfully marketed, until nobody remembers a time before it existed? What’s next, Thanksgiving? That would fit nicely into the space before Yuletide, and would increase turkey sales even more. We could all wear stove-pipe hats, and big Puritan collars, trying to pretend it was OK to swindle the Red Indians out of their lands for a few beads and trinkets. It wouldn’t matter that there were no Red Indians here, we could just make that bit up. Or maybe we could call them ‘Native Americans’, to make us feel even less guilty.

Nothing has value anymore. There is no special time left. Hot Cross Buns are available all year, pancakes can be bought anytime, then microwaved, to save the effort in making them. Tangerines are no longer a Christmas treat, any Tesco will have them in, anytime you want. We have slowly removed everything that we ever had occasion to anticipate excitedly, and to look forward to, as the seasons changed. Once we had lost all that, we had to search elsewhere for something to plan for, and along came Halloween. We can now arrange parties, or the appalling ‘Trick or Treat’ parades (Ask them for a trick is my tip!), and have everything from themed burgers, to pumpkin socks. How did we ever cope before?

I would love to take you back in a Time Machine. You would relish the prospect of Buns at Easter, delight at trying to make pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, and be unable to sleep on the night before Christmas. You would never have heard of ‘Grand-Parents’ Day’, and Halloween would be something that was ‘done’ in America.  Brazil nuts and tangerines would appear in December, be enjoyed briefly, and would not be seen again, until that time the following year. Baseball caps would be worn by baseball players, and some other people in The Americas, but not in England. If you wanted a snack, you would be happy with fish and chips, or pie and mash.

There is nothing wrong with American cultural celebrations. They even keep some of ours, like Christmas. But the newer ones should stay on that side of the Atlantic, along with their terrible fast food. That way, those that seek it, can travel there to enjoy it, and celebrate the differences in our societies and customs. We might even tell them that we used to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve as part of the Harvest Festival, and that Halloween is a Scottish corruption of that phrase. That would make it ours then, not American at all. Like most things, including many we have since discarded, they were taken to America by settlers. America does not have a culture as such, just an amalgamation of many of the cultures of its numerous settlers, and more recent immigrant populations. However, it is doing a fantastic job of re-exporting those traditions, whether we need them back, or not.

Surely it is enough to celebrate the difference in the various traditions and cultures of the many countries and societies in The World, without having to assimilate everything? As the French say- ‘Vive la difference’.