If President Obama can spare a turkey from Thanksgiving, then surely he can rescue 9 million Londoners from the same fate.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Harvest Festival as a kid; decorating the local church with dodgy dried flowers; stuffing a satchel with mystery food tins that mum won at the WI tombola. It was reassuringly amateurish. There was a jolly school assembly where everyone forgot the words to We Plough the Fields and Scatter.
So what happened? Who’s the upstart country cousin barging between Guy Fawkes and Santa Claus, singing “Happy Holiday”? And why is he so obsessed with a turkey dinner?
Perish the thought.
Well let’s face it, we’ve only ourselves to blame. The Pilgrim Fathers sailed from these shores, landed in the Free World and launched this precious and enduring slice of Americana. And now panic sets in when Thanksgiving dares to bounce back across the pond to invade our shores: “Pull up the drawbridge!” “Start an online petition for THEXIT!”
Actually, don’t. Look at the calendar and see what’s planned for the 4th Thursday in November. You’ve got to admit, it’s a bit of a lull. Halloween and fireworks have been seen off and Christmas parties loom like giant killer baubles. So, with 100,000 Americans hanging out in London, what’s stopping you? Go join a few on the 24th and help cultivate the special relationship.
Trust me, there’s no shortage of places to stuff yourself silly. Across the capital, cafes and restaurants are touting their all-in Thanksgiving feasts; cooking off an early Christmas turkey and steaming their pumpkins. And that’s not all. The basement labs of several London bars are busy developing a range of Thanksgiving cocktails. So park your cynicism and go sample a Turkey Screwdriver or Slow Comfortable Homity Pie between the Sheets.