Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Sundays.

What better to think about on a Sunday, than Sundays?
When I got up this morning, I had forgotten it was a Sunday.

At one time in my life, Sundays were a big deal. Getting up late, reading comics, my parents relaxed after a long week at work. My Dad would get ready to go to the pub for midday, while Mum started preparing everything for the big meal we would eat around 2:30 when he got back. After eating, they usually went for a ‘lie down’ in the bedroom, leaving me to my books or toys.

It was a long time before I worked out what that Sunday ‘lie down’ was all about.

By 5:30, Mum would have prepared a meal called ‘Sunday tea’. In London, this usually consisted of assorted fresh seafood, bread and butter, and slices of a cake she would have baked earlier. Fortified with this, my Dad would leave again, to get to the pub by seven when it opened. This left Mum and me watching television together, until Dad got home around midnight. It never occurred to me that he was drinking and driving. Back then, everyone did that.

By the time I was married, the Sunday tradition had altered for us, but not much. Reading huge Sunday papers in bed, followed by a bacon sandwich and more coffee downstairs. As there were no shops open in those days, we would usually visit my Mum in the late afternoon. She was on her own by then, and still preparing the big traditional dinner, followed by cake. If we stayed home, we ate later, and had anything we fancied, not always the British Sunday Roast. With work the next morning, there was rarely anything done late at night, so we were usually back in bed by eleven.

To be honest, I found Sundays really boring.

Once I started to work shifts as an EMT, I had to work at least two Sundays a month, sometimes three. That completely shattered any notion of a traditional Sunday in my life, and it soon felt like just another day.

When I retired in 2012, I discovered that Sundays here in Beetley were seemingly frozen in time. People mowed their lawns on Sundays, washed their cars, carried out some DIY tasks, and mostly still ate that traditional Sunday lunch around two in the afternoon. By then, shops were open from ten until four, so younger people might go into Norwich or Dereham to look around the shops, or to buy some food from the supermarket. Traffic here on a Sunday can be worse than during the working week.

In less than a year, Sundays lost their rediscovered novelty for me. When you don’t have to go to work on a Monday, or rush to get home from work on a Friday, the weekend starts to feel like any other day. Ollie has to go out for his walk, and I can prepare anything we want for dinner, eating at around the usual time for us of seven in the evening.

Other people do different things of course. Religious people still attend church, though in fewer numbers than in the past. Those with small children might take them to the park, or drive them to a regular activity, like a football club, or dance class. In better weather, many flock to the coast, enjoying the beaches and activities in the sea. It is only thirty minutes away by car, but you have to get there early to find a space in the car park.

Once winter arrives, few people venture out. They stay in in front of the fire, or the warmth of central heating. The huge choice of entertainment provided by television, phones, and computers these days means they are not bored, as I used to be in my teens. For them, it is school tomorrow, or work. That ‘Monday Morning’ feeling as the day draws to a close.

But for me, Monday is just another day, as is today.

These days, I have to be reminded it is a Sunday.

73 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

  1. Sunday is my day to sleep in a bit… for as long as Mr O and Little O will let me. It’s also usually a day when Little O and I go out and find something to do, often with one of his friends as Mr O plays badminton and teaches a guitar lesson in the afternoon.

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  2. My dad who is 82 next month still talks about when the pubs used to open at lunchtime on a sunday. I think back in the 60`s and 70`s the pub was the centre of the universe for a lot of people as the shops were all closed, there wasn’t the same choice on tv,etc. He talks of going to the pub for 12 and it closing around 2.30pm then it was home for sunday dinner and a nap in the chair from all the drink and food! That tradition has possible waned since the relaxing of the drinking laws and all day drinking. As i work two weekends in four being a shift worker, i enjoy when i get sundays off and enjoy the relaxation. Having said that i enjoy working on a sunday as work is quieter with no bosses about and i enjoy having a monday and tuesday off when everyone else is back in work. Ian

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    1. Your Dad is definitely talking about what went on in my youth, Ian.
      As for working weekends and having free time in the week, I agree. But 33 years on rotating shifts meant that I also had to miss a lot of family and social occasions for most of my life.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. I’m still working, so enjoy the weekends. We were away visiting relatives all the weekend just past, and now I’m catching up on blogs after being at work today. There’s still a difference between the working week and the weekend for me, but only for the next 7 years. After that I’m sure I’ll be all written out, and won’t know what to do with myself!

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  4. Sundays are precious in my house but as working moms they are also incredibly busy trying to prep for the week ahead. One of our challenges has been how to alleviate all the prep work for the week and enjoy more of the day on Sunday. It feels like all the “prepping” for the week is stealing that extra day from us and we are fighting it tooth and nail these days. Oh. And now I want a bacon sandwich!

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    1. You can’t beat a bacon sandwich on a Sunday. Except maybe with a sausage and bacon sandwich instead!
      That preparation for the week ahead is what sucks the life out of Sundays. I am so glad I no longer have to concern myself with that. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  5. As a child, I looked forward to Sundays because of the traditional Sunday lunch of Rice and beef Stew, garnished with rings of bananas. Now, I eat that whenever I wish๐Ÿ˜€

    As an adult, Sundays mean the beginning of a new week, another attempt to live by the rules written by me for me. Or just live as I deem fit๐Ÿ˜

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  6. We too did those Sunday afternoon meals Pete – usually with my grandparents when I was a kid; later with mom and dad. And like you, these days I have to be reminded that it is Sunday. “Weekend” no longer has meaning. Besties.

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  7. By the time I grew up, Sundays had lost their fascination for me. In the meantime, I am no longer so annoyed that shops here in Bavaria must not be allowed to open on Sundays. Then I just buy online, but also on weekdays I rarely come up with the idea of shopping in real shops.;-(

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  8. One of my favorite parts of retirement is not thinking about what day of the week it is. I’ve got plenty of things to keep me busy, but the main thing is my mind isn’t racing with all of the things I have to do at work.

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    1. I love the way the days have become irrelevant. Mind you, Monday afternoons are a big deal for me now, as I drive into town to get all the supermarket shopping. I chose Mondays because they are the quietest shopping days of the week here.
      It has become something of an ‘outing’ that I look forward to. Just goes to show how quiet my life is. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  9. If it wasn’t for the kids going to school I would have little to set the weekends apart, just dont ask me what month it is ๐Ÿ™‚ We always try and have a sit down roast on Sunday, to give the girls a bit of English tradition.
    The shops are shut all year round on Sundays now, bar a few exceptions, so the family day out is quite the trend here in Poland. We went swimming today and the pool was packed and on the way back the back roads were full of families taking a walk through the forest.
    Mind you market season again soon, so our Sundays habits will change again as we head off to sell Gosias soaps ๐Ÿ™‚ with all the shops shut they are busier than ever!

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  10. My dad nearly always worked on Sundays so our Sunday dinner was in the evening, with leftovers for Monday. The last two summer when I’ve been working at the museum, Sunday was a working day. The only thing which marks it as different from other days is that Sunday night we put the bins out!

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  11. I like weekends and holidays but I also like work. I would be bored if I didn’t work and I never get Monday blues. Over weekends I work on my latest book, blog posts and other book related things and help my kids with homework or projects. During the week I work and read my blog and help my kids with homework and listen to their stories.

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  12. I used to hate that Sunday night feeling … I remember watching the Onedin Line, the music sends me back; I remember the drive back to school; I remember the loneliness and the bullying to come. I still donโ€™t like Sunday nights much, but the past is the past I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to hear you dreaded school because of bullying. That must have been awful.
      The Onedin Line took me back, though I didn’t start watching it until I got married in 1977. I missed the first six years!
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. English Sundays in the olden days – Tony Hancock said it all. It’s a shame for shop workers and not good for their families, but would we want to go back to the days of everything closed… Today here it was sunny and we went for a circular walk. Everyone was out and the Hungry Hiker so busy we didn’t stop for coffee. Sea and river, a ferry, a light snack at another eatery, then bus back home – perfect Sunday.

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  14. I like to go hiking/rock scrambling on Sundays, whenever I have the opportunity to do so. Many of my past jobs have involved working Sundays, and I used to do my studies on Sunday (to free up Friday night and Saturday) back in my college days.

    Today, I’m going for an afternoon hike in Calico Basin. And this evening, I’m going to write a page of fiction, and maybe watch a film afterwards.

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  15. Had I read this earlier, I would not have made the call that I made this morning to a person’s work number who works Monday through Friday 8 to 4:30, for like you, I have to sometimes be reminded it is what day of the week it is since I have been retired for all of this century and a smidgen of the last. I thought today was Monday. Silly me. However, I made the call before 8 so she should call me back tomorrow after 8. Warmest regards, Theo

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  16. When we were still working, Sunday seemed like a half day at best. This was the day we geared up to return to work. The stress amped up and the weekend sort of melted away. As children, we did enjoy the comics when we were older and living in Ohio. As even younger kids in Virginia, Sunday was always a day of attending church and Sunday school followed by a day filled with visitinโ€™. You could expect people to stop by off and on all afternoon. Now, it is much like any other day unless you try to coordinate activities with those still working.

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  17. The weekend still feels different, and I still enjoy them, even though I’ve been self-employed for many years now. I reach retirement age in a few months, but I hope to continue acting as long as I can, and that is no respecter of weekends! Cheers, Jon.

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  18. I suspect in 10 years when I’m fully retired (I hope), Sundays will be another day. I’m still in work-mode, so for me, it’s chores and setting up the work week. I usually cook something like marinara sauce or soup (this time of year) and eat it during the week. I walk the dog long distances (because I can’t during the work week) and try to do something fun. I go to bed much earlier than you and wake up between 4:30-5:30. That’s when I get my writing in. A creature of habit, for sure. I don’t mind going to work tomorrow, so I don’t get that bile in the back of my throat on Sunday night because the next day starts a long week of work…

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  19. Well, I still have Sunday as a day apart, in that I make Sunday lunch which gives me leftovers for the next day, I almost never shop on that day, and never do any washing on a Sunday….. Old fashioned I must be!!

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  20. I think you speak for everyone who has habitually worked on weekends, Pete.

    The same applies to Public Holidays. Most of the people I know who are retired still make a big deal about the next Public Holiday, eagerly looking forward to it, even though they arenโ€™t getting an extra day off.

    Like you, I worked many Public Holidays and they are now just a day like any other in my mind.

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    1. I forget about those too, Ian. One May, I mentioned to another dog-walker that there were a lot of children over in the park. I had to be told it was May Day bank holiday. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  21. Sunday always used to feel special to me. I liked it being different. No shops open. More peaceful. I didnโ€™t feel bored though. Nowadays it has lost its โ€œspecialโ€ feel, and it is justmlike any other day really

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