Happy Bank Holiday Weekend

The “August Long Weekend” began as a bank holiday, which is the term to describe a day when the banks are closed in the United Kingdom and the Crown dependencies.” It’s not that banks get to willy-nilly declare a holiday like the one on Monday. It’s that all holidays, like Christmas and New Year’s, are also bank holidays, because the banks are closed.

It’s also no longer called “The Bank Holiday”, but “The Civic Holiday,” with the following exceptions: It’s called Regatta Day in Newfoundland, Terry Fox Day in Manitoba, Saskatchewan Day in Saskatchewan, British Columbia Day in BC, Natal Day in Nova Scotia and PEI, and Simcoe Day in Toronto.

So, what better way to start your bank holiday than with these tidbits from different worlds?

1. Are you a dream-stealer? “If you’re a top earner, helping your child succeed can mean hurting the chances of children with fewer privileges.” Play the game and find out for yourself.

2. What to cook when you don’t want to cook. From the online pages of Bon Appétit, here are some great recipes for a summer filled with lazy, snacky meals and lots and lots of eating out.

3. Twelve Hands Dancing. Not sure from where, but it’s a great diversion for your kids, grandkids and enormous inner child.

4. You can buy Mark Twain’s compound. 6,300 square feet on nearly 30 acres in gorgeous Redding, Connecticut. A steal at $4.2 million. Just think what this would cost in Toronto.

5. What’s happening in classical music and the arts online. Each week, music critic Ruth Leon scans the world for the top opera, classical and theatrical productions. Just sign up; it’s free.

6. Useless travel guides. Priceless reading. FDR’s Federal Writers’ Project employed thousands of out-of-work writers to produce guidebooks, compile local histories, and collect stories of the country at a time of turmoil. No one used them. But today they’re a wonderful look back on life in 1930s America.

7. One foot and one country in front of the other. Some great books from The School of Life on how to turn everything from a walk around the block, to a weekend up north, to a trip to Antarctica into the adventure of a lifetime.  And speaking of adventure, how about paddling to work – in just four days?

8. How creative are you? It seems to be a function of thinking of unrelated ideas. “People who are more creative tend to think of ideas with greater ‘distances’ between them.” Try it now. I’ll tell you my score if you tell me yours.

9. Read Joe Biden’s bill on competition. Want an oddly clear-eyed case for what’s wrong with America’s relationship with business? Read this 7,200 word Executive Order on everything from clearing out the tech cartels to helping family farms survive.

10. Feeling sorry for yourself? This may make you feel worse. Then again, you may feel a whole lot better because yes, you can.

Forbidden Words: This week’s words you can no longer say in polite company are “dead parrot”.

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To order a copy of my book Love or Die Tryingclick here for Canadian orders, click here for US orders, or visit your favourite bookstore.

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