Friday, 1 May 2020

May Day 2020 ...

Five years ago we were in Vienna, drinking beer and watching old party die hards sing the Internationale at the SPÖ May Day demonstration.

Which was weird, a throwback to my youth when May Day was always marked by trade union demonstrations and parades, though I don't remember much in the way of beer drinking (or sausage eating) going on.

Today was going to be different. We had planned that today we would be in Cape Town, where it is Worker's day. But we're not.

Coronavirus and the accompanying travel restrictions have killed that. We still hope to visit, perhaps next year when the restrictions have eased, but for the moment we are confined to home.

May Day passes unmarked at home. While Beechworth had seen demonstrations by miners in the early 1850's, it is hardly a hotbed of socialism - like the Chinese miners,  the miners' miltancy has passed almost out of memory, a plaque here, a gravestone over there.

Instead we watched the rain come down - the first hint of winter has arrived with an icy blast and drenching rain - I doubt the daytime temperature got into double figures - and cooked ourselves a decent beef stew, which we intend to have with a bottle of Bobbie Burns - perhaps the most appropriate way to mark not just May Day, but the area's gold mining heritage ...

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