Yesterday I went out for dinner not far from where I live, in an area filled with bars, eateries and cafes. Trees line the main road from top to bottom and there is a sense of the cosmopolitan about the place. After we left the restaurant where we had eaten in the early evening, I sat in the car for a few minutes with my daughters as we waited for my other half to purchase a few last minute essentials that I’d forgotten to include in the week’s shopping.
From our clear vantage point, we saw a lot of drunkenness; groups of lads out drinking, pairs of girls dolled up in too much make up and high heels they couldn’t walk in, staggering about with bottles of booze and cigarettes dangling from their fingers; older couples – ‘normal’, middle-aged, non-threatening people, just out getting drunk. Because it’s Easter weekend and that’s what people do in the UK.
This morning on Breakfast I watched some footage of the Easter Bonnet Festival which took place yesterday on the streets of Manhattan. It would appear that for New Yorkers, one of the highlights of the holiday is to put huge amounts of effort into making wildly over-the-top Easter headwear (and something for your little dog to wear too, naturellement), and then to showcase the products of your hard labour whilst walking about down 5th Avenue with thousands of others doing the same.
I believe that if we invested some creativity and thought into activities in this country that did not involve alcohol, it may go some way to address the binge-drinking problem we have here. Maybe people are just a bit bored, perhaps they cannot think of anything better to do with their Easter weekend days off work than to go out and get drunk.
I’m all for a grown-up’s Easter bonnet parade here in Sheffield – in fact I may just see about organising such a thing for next year (look out Betty!).
NB. For those of you who don’t know, Betty is my Jack Russell/Staffy cross breed.