When I was a kid (five words which instantly made me sound old) Sundays were long and boring. They were full of routine.
The morning would be spent mostly wasting time while I waited for my Mum to finish talking on the phone with her mother. Then we’d all go to the local corner shop which would shut at 1pm and if you got there near to closing, they’d be out of papers anyhow. I’d gaze at all the 99p toys and the various comics and magazines, very rarely I’d actually get one as we were rather broke when I was a kid because my Dad was a mature student at the local University. My parents would usually pick up one quality paper and one tabloid. The quality paper would always be The Observer while the tabloid would change regularly. We only ever bought a tabloid for entertainment value but usually one would incense someone in the household. Typically it’d be because it was urging readers to back the return of hanging or something equally as incendiary.
After returning from the corner shop, we’d have a full roast dinner at the table. Lovely food but so much work for everyone! Then after the washing up was done which we’d all chip in to do, we’d all spend an hour or so looking at the papers before I went round the corner to play with my friends who had also traversed the Sunday rituals. It was never for long enough as they’d have to go in early to get ready for school the next morning, something that I fortunately got to avoid.
All sounds rather idyllic really looking back on it but, at the time, the set routine of it all drove me mad. As I got a bit older, all I wanted to do was play with my friends or play games. Then the tide switched and I went back to reading papers, much more enjoyable as I’m a huge news hound and have been for years.
These days, Sundays are rather different although certain things continue. For starters, there’s only me and my Mum now. I’m 25 so I can’t really go round the corner and play football or tag with my friends anymore as I suspect it’s not really allowed now.
Some things live on though. My Mum still starts the day by phoning my Grandmother, although now it’s my Dad’s mother instead. We’ve started buying a paper again (we stopped after my Dad died) but now it’s in Morrisons or Tesco because the owners of the corner shop retired. And we still have some form of roast dinner. It’s never as comprehensive as it used to be, my Dad was the one that used to cook most of it, and we eat it in front of the TV now.
Crucially Sundays are no longer boring, and they’re all too short.
Wonder what Sundays will mean to me in 10 years time? Hopefully similar elements will remain and just adapt to the situation of 2020.