One Fine Day

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You don’t know me.

Well, you do. But you mostly ignore me.

I’m November 25th. Pleased to meet you.

You probably know my brother, Chris (aka December 25th, although he doesn’t go for the formal nomenclature all that much). He’s very popular.

Loud. Gaudy. Life And Soul Of The Party.

I’m more the quiet type. Blink and you’ll miss me. No tinsel for me. I prefer a comfy pair of slippers, thanks very much. If I’m being really daring I might wear orange socks.

Chris, on the other hand… Well, you can’t miss Chris. And he comes earlier every year, have you noticed? Everyone gets very excited about him. ‘Ooh, can’t wait.’ ‘Thought we’d do a goose this year.’ ’The kids are uncontrollable.’ ‘Have you seen that John Lewis ad?’

And then when he finally arrives you all go a bit loopy, to be honest. Cartloads of food that you don’t eat at any other time of the year, booze, obscene numbers of presents, Leroy bloody Anderson and all the rest of it.

The funny thing is, I bet most of you don’t even know what Chris is all about. Underneath it all, he’s very complex, for all that external brashness.

Me? Well, I’m relatively simple, really. Nothing particularly memorable happened on me. Just like plenty of other days.

I’m Independence Day in Suriname. I suppose that counts for something.

And John F Kennedy was buried on me.

Oh, and The Mousetrap opened on me in 1952.

Yay me.

Trouble is, no matter how hard I try, I’ll always be the little brother. In Chris’s shadow, so to speak. And everyone’s so excited nowadays about Chris arriving that they forget about me. I get swallowed up. I’m just another of those greyish windy days you struggle through while you’re waiting for Chris to arrive.

Well, it stands to reason, doesn’t it? Why would you get excited about the birthday of Augusto Pinochet, Bruno Tonioli and Dougray Scott, when The Big One’s just a month away?

Last year, I thought, it’ll be different. Something big will happen on me to divert everyone’s attention for just one fleeting moment from my overbearing big brother.

Bernard Matthews died.

Typical. Chris gets his tentacles into everything.

So it goes.

It’s the same for all of us. All the Novembers. We don’t want special treatment. But spare us a thought.

Take tomorrow – November 18th.

The end of the Battle of the Somme, the consecration of St. Peter’s, the approval of the new South African constitution. Birthday of Carl Maria von Weber, Alec Issigonis, Margaret Atwood, Linda Evans and Kim Wilde.

A solid day. An old-fashioned no-nonsense, all-round day.

The kind of day you can take home to meet your parents.

But will anyone be celebrating?

Doubt it.

Well, maybe the Mini Owners Club.

Please don’t get me wrong. I like Chris. He’s good fun, great at parties, and has a heart of gold.

But he does tend to muscle in rather.

And you lot only encourage him.

So do us a favour. Just a small one.

Pick a November day. Any one will do. And tell your friends how much you’re looking forward to it. Then, when it arrives, wave a flag or something. Or bake a cake.

You’ll make a small day very happy.


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  1. I believe November 19th in the Flame Haired Family is going to be DANCE THE JIVE DAY. Whoohoo.

  2. Oh right, well there was this person called CS Lewis who died on November 22nd too – only nobody notices him either because of someone else called John F Kennedy…and my mother died on that day too which is something else nobody notices…and, you know something, I reckon Chris would be pretty upset at the way everyone makes a fuss about him and they forget all the other people.

  3. Well how about November 13th and November 22nd, my two gorgeous brothers birthdays and Chris gets far too much press. I love him, of course, but we should ignore him for a lot longer. In the house of the flame haired temptress we are ignoring it until at least the beginning of December. So let November have it’s day (or month).

  4. I think we should celebrate the afternoon of November 17th as “Inbetweeners” Eve for patently obvious reasons

  5. I’m raising a toast to November 26th, where I’ll be celebrating a traditional American Thanksgiving…with a bunch of Brits, Saffas, and Canucks. Chris will not be at the table…not even the kids’ table…

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