It took my friend in Barcelona to remind me about St George’s Day. He’s a bit of a promiscuous patron saint, George; the English share him not only with Catalans but with Ethiopians, Georgians, Palestinians, Russians… you know, all those people the BNP and the Tories want to keep out of Merrie Englande.
The Catalans celebrate St George with gifts of books and roses. Isn’t that a great combination? I feel sure Shakespeare, who had the impeccably good timing to die on St George’s Day, would have approved.
Slightly less great is the fact that boys get books and girls get roses. But hey, it’s still better than my local supermarket in London, which had dismal red-and-white face paints and England football key rings on offer in celebration. Or than David Cameron informing us that what we want is a ‘bigger, richer, and stronger’ society – richer for whom, exactly? And I don’t suppose he meant culturally the richer, by gifts of books and roses.