May two-four

The offical name of the holiday around this long weekend is based is “Victoria Day”. Always celebrated on the Monday before May 25th — the good queen’s birthday — it’s become better known as the May two-four weekend, the “two-four” being a reference to a case of beer rather than the date. My housemate Paul brought back some roman candles and bottle rockets from his trip to the States, and we’ll probably go to the Toronto Islands and light them Monday evening.

In the Queen’s honour, some Victorian links and other goodies:

Lyrics and chords to The Kinks’ Victoria



Verse 1


Long ago life was clean


Sex was bad and obscene


And the rich were so mean


Stately homes for the Lords


Croquet lawns, village greens


Victoria was my queen


G D Em Bm D G

Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria

Verse 2

I was born, lucky me

In a land that I love

Though I am poor, I am free

When I grow I shall fight

For this land I shall die

Let her sun never set

(play chorus twice)


Em D

Land of hope and gloria


Land of my Victoria

Em D

Land of hope and gloria


Land of my Victoria


Victoria, ‘toria

(play solo — use verse chords)

(extended chorus — hold the first two “Victoria”s longer)

Verse 3

Canada to India

Australia to Cornwall

Singapore to Hong Kong

From the West to the East

From the rich to the poor

Victoria loved them all

(play chorus)

Calamity Claresta

One cannot mention the word “Victorian” without thinking about their rather repressed attitude towards sex. To this day, these attitudes (along with Hugh Grant) still colour the popular perception of Britons in the sack, British men’s magazines, Spice Girls and woman-of-my-dreams Nigella Lawson notwithstanding. One gets the feeling that Brit pillow talks goes along the lines of “erm, ah., oo-er!…Thank you very much, I’m sorry, it’s won’t happen again.”

Here’s a snippet from the first result of a search on Queen Victoria’s advice to young ladies, the phrase “lie still and think of England”:

He pulled her to him and brushed his lips gently across hers. Claresta thought she could not pull away from him should her life depend upon it.

“Do you find it so disgusting, my love, that I wish to be the one to introduce my wife to the proceedings of the marriage bed? Do you?” he whispered against her lips when she did not answer.

“N-no, my lord. ” Her legs had become jelly, and she had to cling to the lapels of his dressing gown for stability.

“Good,” he said. “Should I start your first lesson tonight, love, or would you rather wait until our wedding night.”

“D-Do you not think it always best one is prepared to know what is expected?”

“Precisely. And you will inform me of your expectations as well.”

“My expectations?”

“Did you think only the man gets to have a say in these matters?”

“Well, Nan told me a little. She never mentioned exactly how the man took part, but she said all a woman needed do was lie still and think of England.”

He chuckled. “Do either, if you think you can, Claresta.”

Does this saucy bodice ripper make your naughty parts feel like Cory Doctorow visiting an orbital Disneyland? You can find more about Calamity Claresta here.

A note to my British friends

I can already see my pommy pals — especially Danny, Matt, Ben and Helen — writing angry e-mails in defense of British sexuality.

Yes, I have dated a charming, if somewhat unbalanced, English Catholic girl, the first I’d ever sernaded with the accordion. Unfortunately, the story — while eventful and funny enough to be an AccordionGuy entry — is largely unbloggable. Let’s just say it involves: screaming, a fistfight in a gay and lesbian bar, several Scorpio innuendoes in a cafe, Barbie and Ken dolls, the park by Avenue Road and Dupont, dinner at an Italian restaurant, the “Epilady” and teddy bears, a long walk by the beach, a heartsick Glaswegian, smoked salmon and her getting mad at me because I was speaking in prose and not verse.

It was a complete disaster (“a lot of fuss for a bit of minge“, as one Brit friend of mine later put it after he heard the whole story), but it was a boob-a-licious one. I’d do it again in a minute.

Buy me a drink and I’ll tell you the story.

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