What’s in a date?

The Times today had a piece on important dates for other countries, asking if we knew them as we knew our own. This was triggered by the VE day anniversary – 70 years this year since. Mostly it was just years For instance

Italy: 1871

Germany 1815

Denmark 1864

Romania 1431

Greece 1940 28th October

And on. I’ve no idea if this is true. But it is true certain dates have a resonance. What about November 11th; October 21st; November 30th? Dull parts of the year? Armistice day, Trafalgar day, St Andrew’s day? My dad’s, my mum’s and my birthdays?

And do they ever inform character, influence character? Not in some mystical, mumbo-jumbo-ish, Gwyneth Paltrow new age bollocks, born under a sign crapological way. No rather because as you grow they are always being linked to you? Or do you react the other way, rejecting what the dates stand for?

With my dad, he was proud to be British. He would never be English unless sport was involved and the games were against the other home nations. He was also happy to think of himself as European with a lot in common with the French, however much they might, as a nation rub us up the wrong way politically.

Mum, in contrast, held a fondness for her birth day and the importance of the battle in securing the high seas. But she was more interested in people than nations and nationalities. She was fascinated by the history ta surrounded the event while abhorring the loss of life.

Me, I’m inextricably linked to the Scots which might explain my penchant for visiting every year. And, like my father, why I want us to remain British.

Does that resonate at all? Or is it just me, on my wedding anniversary, wondering about the inexorable march of the calendar, fighting time’s inevitable arrow?

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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18 Responses to What’s in a date?

  1. Anabel Marsh says:

    My Mum was born on Trafalgar Day too! 1926.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. noelleg44 says:

    Americans have dates, too – VE day (although that’s going by the way), November 22 (JFK’s assasination), September 11 for obvious reasons, July 4th (same thing). On my birthday, Hemingway “liberated” the bar in the Ritz Hotel in Paris. How’s that for trivia??? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. trifflepudling says:

    5 November: Bonfire Night (also known as my birthday!); 27 October, my cat’s birthday. My friend shares a birthday with Adolf Hitler…

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you and The Textiliste!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sacha Black says:

    your birthdays the 30th November? thats an excellent birthday…. same day as my son!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. .. and Winston Churchill!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m just glad I was not born on 29th February. I always feel sorry for people born on that date, missing out on a birthday every 3 years. I have the same birthday as Jan Lemming, who no longer graces our screens reading the news. I remember her, and Anna Ford, well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rachel M says:

    Dates don’t really mean much to me. I even forget my wedding anniversary most years. I celebrate important occasions of course and remember birthdays but I don’t have any particular connection with them.

    On the other hand I feel strongly at home in Britain even though I grew up in Australia. There’s something about the land, the weather, the foliage, the people, that makes me feel like this is my home in some deep and fundamental way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      There seems to be an attachment to a sense of self in these things, be they anchored by a time or event or a place or a group. Interesting how each of us relate to these connections

      Like

  8. gordon759 says:

    Does the lawyer, born on St Georges day (and possibly Shakespeare’s birthday) feel neglected by this post?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Charli Mills says:

    I used to think my birth date was unique. I suppose a naive perspective of anything significant happening that day. My great-grandmother was born May 20, though, the day before my date thus as a child I believed she was a day older than me! Now I happily share my birth-date with a surprising number of spouses of friends. My daughter and her husband married May 22 and my other daughter was born May 14. Now I know your important may date and let me encourage month-long celebrations on both sides of the pond. Viva May! Other than that the only historical dates that stick with me are 1066 and 1492. Happy Anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

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