Some of the National Weeks are hearty, wholesome things that deserve a place on the mantle of our collective culture, like British Pie Week. The pie is deeply engrained in our culinary roots. It deserves to be a National Day, perhaps it should even have a bank holiday in its honour. It deserves to be celebrated.
Some National Weeks perhaps don’t have quite the same appeal, to me at least. For instance, it’s also National Ferry Fortnight. Not only does this have nothing to do with pies, it’s on for two weeks. At least they didn’t go for the whole month. National Pie Week? Very cool. Fine. National Ferry Fortnight? Do you guys really need a whole fortnight?
In a lot of cases, the National Week (or fortnight) in question is the bright spark of a PR (probably self proclaimed) ‘Guru’. It makes sense from a commercial press perspective to give something a ‘National Week’ status, as it gives people something to hang a story on to, with a sub plot of shifting more boxes, (or seats on a ferry). Some National Weeks have a very worthy function, and that is to promote a charity, or, like the Salt Awareness Week (starting next Monday) to highlight an important health message. I do wonder though – in theory, can you just ‘invent’ a week? I suppose in the case of things like Talk Like A Pirate Day (September 19th), it goes to show you can.
Speaking of PR and a pinch of salt, sometimes, the other trump card in the PR Guru’s arsenal is The Award. ‘Award Winning’ can have a flip-side effect though, as illustrated in a conversation that was once retold to me by a visiting college;
Visitor “I’ve just had a pie from the award winning butchers in Skipton – they must be the pies around”
Local Taxi Driver “No they’re not, Such and Such and Sons are”
Visitor “Oh, but they haven’t won any awards”
Taxi Driver “Nope. They’re too busy making pies to go in for all these award ceremonies and that”
Good point. Now, what with it also being National Bed Month, I think I’m going to go for a little lie down.