Today is Groundhog Day, the annual holiday celebrated in the United States and Canada on which, it is said, if a groundhog emerges from its burrow and fails to see its shadow because the weather is cloudy, winter will soon end. If on the other hand, it is sunny and the groundhog sees its shadow, the groundhog will supposedly retreat into its burrow, and winter will continue for six more weeks. Judging by the evidence outside my window I’m guessing that it beat a hasty retreat!
This side of the pond mention of ‘Groundhog Day’ most likely conjures the memory of the 1993 comedy film starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. In the film, Murray plays Phil Connors, an egocentric TV weatherman who, during his most hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, finds himself repeating the same day over and over again.
Perhaps it’s a testament to the quality of the film, that despite February 2nd not been recognised as either a weather predictor or public holiday in the UK, the phrase “Groundhog Day” has entered common use in our vocabulary to describe an unpleasant situation that continually repeats, or at least seems to, until one finds a way to work through it.
Making my way (extremely slowly) through blizzard conditions to the office I found myself feeling very disgruntled by a billboard advertising Easter eggs.
It wasn’t the fact that the image on the poster was so at odds with the snow capping it. It was the distinctly unwelcome (and very early) reminder, that shop shelves across the land will be filled to bursting with some of the most over-packaged items on the planet. Will we ever learn? Will we be condemned to a festival of over-wrapped confectionary indefinitely?
Perhaps not. It would seem that there are some encouraging signs, as I looked at the recently arrived Easter Eggs from Green and Blacks I was genuinely encouraged to see that the packaging was radically improved from last year. In fact Green & Blacks have managed to reduce the amount of packaging on this year’s range of eggs by an impressive 60%. Even better, it would seem that they’ve increased the thickness of the chocolate shell to cope with the reduction in packaging.
Maybe there is some hope after all!