Monday, 1 April 2013

Bank Holiday Blues

The other day , when we had gone out for lunch at that seaside cafe, my sister in law, quite in passing, revealed that my late brother absolutely detested Sundays.
I knew immediately just why that was, after all we grew up in the same household, albeit ten years apart.
Sundays, when we were children meant a day at home with the parents.
And they were never really happy times.

Obviously my brother carried the memories of those rather sad Sundays to his grave....I luckily have not, although after thinking about it carefully, I suspect that my historic dislike of Bank Holiday Mondays come from the same stable so to speak.

My parents never did anything on Sundays & Bank holidays. They watched TV, had a roast lunch , a cold tea and that was it. When my classmates went out of the day to Conwy Castle or for a run onto the Denbigh Moors, we children were left to our own devices around the house , the apathy of a non working day was more depressing than anything you could imagine.

I have never in my earlier working life had the childhood expectation that Sundays could be fun, after all they were often a normal working day like any other. when I was a senior nurse, I never worked weekends, and so with Chris in tow they became relaxing fun days, and so only the memories of a bank holiday Monday stick with me from my childhood.....not a bad weight around my neck given the fact there are only a few such holidays in the average year . Unfortunately for my brother, there were 52 Sundays in a year.
52 sad memory pricks

65 comments:

  1. My childhood Sundays/Bank holidays were uber boring too. In the Navy,Sundays were always the last day together before Chris went to sea...they were depressing,especially if the trip was six month deployment. Spending the last Sunday trying to be normal, not being upset was bloody awful...I'm so glad it's over.
    Jane x

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    1. Jane....perhaps we all of a certain age had similar experiences?

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  2. In the summertime my family would be going to a beach depending on my mother's health. But generally I have no bad memories of Sundays or Bank Mondays......always something to do with friends and neighbours.
    Good to hear John that you and Chris enjoy your Sundays together. Wait till retirement when every day is Sunday!! You two will have a ball!

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    1. Both of us in the same house 24/7?
      He'll kill me

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  3. I completely understand, Sundays were the same for our family too. Especially Sunday night 'going back to school' feeling, I hated school (1970s yikes) and had never been able to do the homework. My dad had severe depression and we were desperately poor too.

    In my grown up life we no longer go out as a family, (my youngest has missed out on so much that her older brothers experienced). But that's a whole other story.

    I don't want to sound self pitying, these are just life facts.

    Susan x

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    1. Thats a shame sue.... I would like to hear more....you can " whinge" at me anytime x

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    2. Thinking hard whether to tell you that I write as Dollyclothespeg. Occasionally it's funny, most times it ain't. I am waiting for counselling, 8 months and counting, sigh. So I write it out, and sometimes I don't when the 'grims' are too deep.

      I read your blog and you make me laugh out loud. The 'Went the Day Well' picture - that's me that is, but only in my head larf.

      Susan x

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  4. are you sure we weren't raised in the same family?

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  5. That's a bit sad John ...... I hope and I'm sure that you and Chris are making up for it now !!
    Happy Easter Monday to you both .... may it be filled with love and chocolate !!. XXXX

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  6. 'They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do......'

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    1. Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse

      They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
      They may not mean to, but they do.
      They fill you with the faults they had
      And add some extra, just for you.

      But they were fucked up in their turn
      By fools in old-style hats and coats,
      Who half the time were soppy-stern
      And half at one another's throats.

      Man hands on misery to man.
      It deepens like a coastal shelf.
      Get out as early as you can,
      And don't have any kids yourself.

      I always liked Philip Larkin

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    2. Yeah, me too. You are the same age as me....I bet you did him for O level too.....?

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  7. Between the enforced march to Catholic church and being denied anything to eat or drink prior to mass so as to be able to take holy communion, facing a dried out roast in the afternoon, and yes indeed, that going back to school feeling...my childhood Sunday's (and countless others of my generation) were absolute crap.

    Here's the good news. I grew up, grabbed life by the arse and gradully made Sundays either into adventures or very laid-back, easy peasy days. I love Sundays.

    "Our childhood is what we spend the rest of our lives overcoming"
    -amy bennett-

    "Amen sistah"
    -camille-

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    1. You summed up your Sundays so well x

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  8. It's too bad that so many days a year were miserable for him. Each day is so precious it's a shame to waste even one feeling down and dirty.

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    1. Luckily he was very happily married so he did albeit for himself in the end x

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  9. My childhood Sundays were just as bad. It was off to church and home again to a roast beef dinner. Then we kids had to do dishes and clean up the kitchen. Mom and Dad would go take a nap and we four had to be quiet. There was nothing on TV except Zoo Parade. It was an oppressive and dreary day.

    (RIP Andrea)

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    1. Andrea dead? Hello teeth!

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  10. I know not your religious beliefs John, But I believe that in our next life God fills heavens with those thigs we did indeed miss. Like wonderful Sundays filled with Carnival rides, extra rich foods, and the magical love of family and I will bet your brother is enjoying ALL of that right now and preparing a spot for you when its your time.

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    1. Donna....
      That is a lovely way of looking at things
      Thanks you chuck
      X

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  11. Sundays meant roast dinners & my mother keeping the peace ( luckily she did it well and I can't remember my parents argueing much ) Dad mowing the grass & lighting an evening bonfire cigarette in hand.
    Getting homework finished - back to school feeling.

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    1. Funny what you remember eh?

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  12. Parents from that era have a lot to answer for, John. I always had good Sundays in my family, but hated Sunday nights which meant back to boarding school. Ewgh! But as I grow old[er] I remember many other things I could sue my parents for if they still lived. Glad you enjoy fun days now. Greetings from Jo (Tanzania)

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    1. Perhaps parenting was a little different in " our " day ?

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  13. you and i have so much in common - I know my Sundays didnt get better until I met my Foresterman - then it was adventure (a hike? a visit to the museum? a canoe ride on the river?) followed by a good meal and then Thistles and shamrock on the radio at night with a bit of playing cards...I can imagine that you savor your Sundays now with Chris the way we do here and those old memories become memories of someone elses, but not ours...xx

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  14. It's more like fall asleep in front of miss marble... But it's sweet x

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  15. Damm this bleeding automatic spell check...MISS MARPLE

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  16. I feel sad for your brother and for you and your sister...happy though that you've found a measure of peace with Sundays and holidays. Be thankful you didn't have a Mom with OCPD...on those days when everyone was home and she, alas, decided to have a hissy fit!!!

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  17. My Sundays were much like yours, with the added worries of wondering what sort of mood my father would be in and who he might pick on that day - me, my older brother or my Mum.

    I used to be able to escape on one of the horses with my dog, though, and would take long rides, even in the depths of winter, with a book, a flask of tea, some food and a rug for the horse. I got very good at foraging, lighting a fire and building a cosy den, even back then as a child.

    Probably why I do the stuff I do, now!

    Bank Holidays were even worse.

    I still don't like Sundays much.

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    1. My sister had a horse which we visited nearly all day on sundays

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    2. Horses are very lovely when feeling sad - big, warm and very cuddlable :-)

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  18. My Sundays were much the same: Church, Sunday Dinner, washing up from said dinner, sit/sleep/read, back at church, home to bed. No fun. No outings. Double church duty.

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    1. Susan.....we would like clones of each other

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  19. Crikey! What a traumatised bunch we are!
    If I was being kind I'd say our post-war parents probably had demons of their own?
    On the plus side, I've always rather assumed only *my* family was criminally insane and everyone else was having lovely Enid Blyton family experiences.....I'm strangely comforted.....

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    1. Now THIS would make a much more interesting blog entry wanda!

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  20. John, this is a comment from your Walking Dead post
    If you still want to know the ending, I can't get my link to work, so look up
    Tom + Lorenzo blog
    they recap several shows. I should have sent this earlier, I've had the weekend from hell so just getting this to you now

    cheers, parsnip

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  21. Don't let the weather get you down, mate - I know, though, easier said than done. I have been working this bank holiday - through gritted teeth.

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  22. Hi John, Ah Sundays - bath night and crisp sandwiches in front of the fire as mitigation against the horrors of school the next day - which at a small primary school 5 minutes up the road, weren't too terrible. I have to admit though Bank Holiday Mondays are something I've only just started to appreciate in the last 5 years - extra weekend time for making stuff! Wow! yes please! and can we have these every week. Wine, soap, jams, jellies, knitting, allotment - the world is my shellfish of choice.

    Embrace it and have some fun. Take care.

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  23. I don't think any of us have it quite so bad as those kids in Syria. That is all.

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    1. Oh dear.....that's telling us

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  24. Sundays were bad in my childhood home too John - I was about at screaming pitch when songs of praise came on. Someone (usually me) always ended up getting a clout. Ive tried to make them much more fun for my family.

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    1. It was Jess Yates and STARS ON SUNDAY that stuck in my craw

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  25. I look back at holidays, and Sundays, and I'm thankful I had the kind of parents who were young and adventurous enough, to scoop us kids up and head out to Ffrith Beach every Sunday. Campstove en tow, a slap up dinner of fish fingers and chips, and the kettle on the boil to make more pots of tea, than I could count. Sand in everything, and loving it.
    Special memories, I'm sorry you didn't get those kind of Sundays, and holidays, but now you are maiking up !
    ~Jo

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    1. I worked at Ffrith beach in the late 1970's jo!

      On e paddle boats and the astroglide

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    2. I'm from Stoke. Ffrith Beach was always considered a bit posher than Rhyl. It's where the methodists had their Sunday outing....we were RC but we used to attend chapel for a couple of weeks before the outing so as to be eligible....suckers!

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    3. I worked on the beach with the man who had the donkey rides, I was in my glory :)
      Did methodists ride the donkeys , or were they just saying a prayer because they were frightened ?
      ~Jo

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  26. I have the same melancholy holiday issues. Christmas is the worst despite being around my own children, I have to be careful not to work myself into a sad state. You would think that it would pass....

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  27. Right up until I buggered off around Europe in my motorhome and the days of the week no longer mattered I loathed Sunday's and Bank Holiday Mondays AND Christmas if I'm going to get it all off my chest. My Mum was a warden of a local council OAP's home and was usually 'on duty' so I usually ended up stuck in the building on these dreaded days as she was working. It wasn't situated in a great area so playing out was a no no. Highlight of my Sunday was doing the ironing (yes as a child) whilst listening to the Top 40 on the radio. Because she was such a good spirited person she insisted on feeding the poor Old fogies who had no family (or whose families didn't want them) for 3 days over Xmas. So that festive family day that everyone else thought was so wonderful was hideous for me and spent with at least 15 old gits. No wonder I turned out the way I did.

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    1. I have opened a can of worms here me thinks!

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    2. If there's no F1 or MotoGP to keep me amused on the dreaded day I tend to go into a downward spiral trying to think of things to do. Don't get me started on December. I have months and months to think up alternatives to last years day from hell :oD

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    3. Think you should start charging for the therapeutic value of your posts,John!

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  28. I guess what really made Sundays and bank holidays depressing for you was not just the lack of excitement in itself but knowing that other children did more exciting things.

    When I was a kid, my parents and sister and I often went for long country walks which we really enjoyed. I've no idea what other kids were doing, I don't think we ever compared.

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  29. When i was very young, we'd go to church then to a posh restaurant afterwards. The restaurant burned in 1971 under mysterious circumstances, and then we got involved in fife and drum, so many weekends were spent marching or going to f&d events that involved camping and Sunday was the travel day home.

    We also visited my grandparents once a month for a weekend or long weekend, which meant loading up the car and driving 5 or 6 hours. I didn't know any differently, but to this day, i don't like to travel anywhere on the holidays--indelible image of Dad turning off the engine as we sat on the George Washington Bridge or Tappan Zee waiting in gridlock.

    On the plus side, those monthly trips to the grands meant we could watch the Twin Towers rise in NYC, as they were being constructed then. And that sad day after 9/11, when i first drove past NYC and looked at the skyline, my heart skipped a beat. It was the skyline i remembered from 1966.

    Many years i worked weekends; nowadays, Sundays tend to be days of rest or doing something fun.

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  30. I never walked ANYWHERE with my parents......not even the supermarket

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  31. Sundays are a problem for everyone over the age of 30 I think.

    No shops were open, so on our forced march (if we didn't go to church), we went out in all weathers, to the beach and back. took about 3-4 hours. We were allowed to stop at the windows of the shops and look in. They don't do window dressing like they used to.

    This was so we didn't wake up the parent that happened to be working nights that week.

    back home for 3pm where dinner would be ready. After that, no tv. But we did have "quiet toys", a Shaker style Noah's Ark and a strange game of hanging monkeys by their U shaped arms. it was a hand me down, that didn't have instructions.

    then songs of praise, with tea and a jam sandwich, or toast.

    Bath and bed.

    Same week in week out. Till I was old enough to be into music and then I hid in the shed with a radio and a tape player that I pushed in front of it to record the top 40. Ah, those were the days. In the winter with a sleeping bag on my legs, my coat on and a hat. A place way from everyone else. Pure bliss

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  32. I came from a happy, fun-loving family. As odd as this may sound, I even looked forward to funerals because I got to see cousins and family members I otherwise normally wouldn't get to see. I must say, the only days I really regretted were back-to-school Mondays. And even those were too bad, as I actually looked forward to seeing my school friends.

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  33. Dad was an ailing miner and we rarely had any extra money for trips. Never had a car. Sunday nights were bath nights. Bubble and squeak and cold meat for supper with a dose of Syrup of Figs for dessert! Mum believed in keeping everyone regular.

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  34. Our Sundays were much the same. With 9 kids in the house it difficult to go anywhere. My grandmother lived 2 blocks away and when we did go there the occasional Sunday it was wonderful just to get out of that house. And that always depended on my dad's "moods". But as I think back it was much the same for most back then (the 1950's). Still we did all love each other and knew families much worse off. I have tried to fun weekends with my kids and grandkids and hope I have provided them with good memories.

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  35. I seem to be in a minority of ONE. I loved Sundays and Bank Holidays. Total freedom, extra special foods, and lots of fun.

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  36. No church. But no fun just the same. There were occasional outings but they were NOT designed for anyone other than my father. And were not voluntary either.

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  37. Sundays meant being stuck with my Mum and my hideous step-father, staring out of my window at them doing gardening - a child's nightmare....how things change! I'd always leave my homework till the last minute, so the day was full of anticipation of that horrible task and the resulting work being picked apart by my mother. It took a long time to not associate an open fire with Sunday hell as it would only be lit on a Sunday evening. Tired from the previous night's trip to see bands as a teenager and feeling the inevitable contrast between that and the intense boredom now felt and the horror of school the next day. It seems we are not alone...

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