This week contains a day of great national importance for the English. The 23rd of April is St Georges Day. St George, as most of you know, killed a dragon. Or something like that. The real St George wasn't even an Englishman, but we've claimed him as our own anyway.
I've often wondered why we never celebrate the day of our national saint the way that the Irish do for their bloke. I mean, we like a drink and a Bank Holiday just as much as our neighbours in the Emerald Isle. But in contrast to St Patricks Day, where anyone remotely connected to Ireland feels the need to wear green, drink Guinness and generally act like a drunken arse, the English just go about their usual business and mutter about not celebrating. What happened to us? There's been a recent move to do celebrate more but we've got a long way to go.
By happy coincidence, the 23rd of April is also the birthday and deathday of one William Shakespeare. Arguably the most successful Englishman to ever pick up a quill, his work is still as relevant today as it was during his lifetime. Some naysayers believe that Shakespeare was not the author of the writings attributed to him and that they were in fact done by Francis Bacon. Personally, I don't care who wrote them. They're brilliant. They've got it all. If you've never read any or never been to a play, do it. You'd be surprised.
So, if you're English, Happy St Georges Day! Be thankful for the good things about being born in this sceptred isle, not the bad stuff. If you're not English, Happy St Georges Day! He killed the dragon, you know.
(Yes, yes, I know. There's no evidence that the great Bard was born on the 23rd. But he was baptised on the 26th and that's near enough for me.)