Unknown to many, today is a holiday for most here in Canada (and some other countries). Schools, offices, banks, liquor and beer stores are closed and public transportation is reduced to holiday schedules. Garbage pick up is delayed by a day and people traditionally head to the country to open up cottages, break out the barbeques from winter storage, do some spring cleaning and rescue shorts from drawers and Hawaiian shirts from the closet. It is also okay to wear white socks as of this day. But not with sandals.
Many Canadians use this weekend to attend to their gardens, because it's fairly safe that the freezing weather is past. The holiday is colloquially known as "May Two-Four" in parts of Canada; a double entendre that refers both to the date around which the holiday falls (May 24) and the Canadian slang for a case of twenty-four beers (a "two-four"), a drink popular during the long weekend.
Queen Victoria was a fairly short woman of five-foot in an era when people were shorter in general. She was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death on 1 May 1876. Her reign of 63 years and 7 months, which is longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history, is known as the Victorian era. May 24 or the last Monday before that date is a date to remember the late queen, who was deemed the "Mother of Confederation" and unofficially marks the end of the winter weather and the beginning of the summer social calendar.
Us? Peanut and I are doing laundry, pigging out on our favorite foods and later I'll be giving him a "bad Rand haircut" to prepare for warmer weather. After all, heavy fur coats are not only unnecessary until the fall, they are bulky and tend to weigh down old bones... Suffice to say, he won't be looking in mirrors for the next few weeks...