Thursday, 22 March 2018

Sundays

The Gray family circa 1963 , Andrew is on the far left , I am the baby on my father's knee far right

I met my sister in law for lunch today.
It's a habit we've got into since my brother died
I can't believe it will be seven years this December.
I can't quite remember just how the subject arose, but over a pulled pork pannini ( try saying that when you're pissed!) she mentioned that my brother hated Sundays with a vengeance.
She also admitted that she never quite knew just why.
I knew why.
Sundays were rather hateful, wasted days growing up.
They were filled with parent lie ins ( and hangovers) over cooked roast dinners, long boring sits in front of crappy tv and cold Sunday tea times listening to song something simple.
A Sunday drive out was unheard of. I don't remember picnics or walks out ( except the ones with my elder sister), there were no seaside jaunts, Church visits or zoo trips.
Pre lunch my father would retire to the fraternity that was the local Conservative club while my mother boiled the fuck out of mashed carrots and we children were happy that he brought home the Sunday treat of a block of Neapolitan ice cream.
My sister in law probably still cannot quite understand my brother's hatred of Sundays.
Her childhood was very different to our own.
I understood it, perfectly

Have you ever hated a day?

98 comments:

  1. I used to hate Sunday and still do!!! Did you have a wafer either side of your Neapolitan block? I remember that and my dad having winkles with pepper and bread and butter for tea. I am glad you are back blogging again John. x

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    1. Anonymous6:11 pm

      Hi Simone,That brought back memories!,Me and my Dad eating winkles.He used to spread a sheet of newspaper on the table,give me a pin and we used to sit and eat all of them!I cant remember having bread and butter though...only dry bread.My Mam thought that they were disgusting and even now will say,if she sees me buying them....Oh yer Dad started you off on them.Lovely memory!Debi,xx

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    2. Don't winkles look like snot?

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  2. Don't take this the wrong way, but my eyes went directly to the rather plump rosy cheeked baby and, before I even read the caption, I figured it was you.

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  3. Can't say i hate any particular day John... Except maybe any day that i'm stuck doing what i 'have' to do instead of what i 'want' to do... Hugs! deb

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    1. I know what that feels like x

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  4. Catrina6:01 pm

    From the ages of 8 to 14 I hated Christmas Eve. My parents, brother and I would drive about 30 miles to pick up my Grandma (Dad's Mom), go to a local chili parlor for supper, where we all had an enjoyable time. Then we'd drive to my Dad's brother's house...and the whole night went downhill. Grandma would sit in a rocking chair on the far side of the Christmas tree and ignore the fact that her other son was either a) passed out on the floor on the other side, or b) thirty minutes from passing out and still believing that he was the life of the party. We'd literally step over him to hand out gifts. It was so horrible that at 15 I told my parents that I was staying home. That was the year a new tradition started. The drunk uncle's family came to OUR house. Sometimes he was with them, sometimes not. Sadly, even though he's been sober for 20 years, his 42-year-old son died of liver cirrhosis 10 years ago and his 51-year-old daughter is dying of same.

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    1. What's a chilli parlour ?

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    2. It was a small restaurant that had six tables and six stools at the hand-made counter. On the menu was Tex-Mex chili (too hot for me), butter bean soup (my fave), milk and 7-Up. They were famous for their chili (and still are some 115 years from opening), and it was called Taylor's Chili Parlor.

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  5. Good to have you back John!

    Vegetables boiled for 20 minutes, my father outside in the garden chopping mint on the bread board for mint sauce.
    Forces Favourites followed by Billy Cotton Band Show... Ooh we knew how to live in those days.

    LX

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    1. My mother boiled them for much much longer as I remember

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  6. Poor you John, I don't really remember a hated day. My Sunday was a bit like Lettice describes above, except it was me chopping the mint, or me making the mustard (as appropriate to the joint). Later it would be homework if I hadn't done it Friday night, although I usually had. Sunday night would be mum sharpening my crayons and me cleaning shoes ready for Monday morning. Sundays were quite a nice day for all us together and a day of rest.

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    1. Sunday night , that awful feeling , bathtime before school

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    2. Sunday night was bath night. I got mine first as the youngest.

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  7. I hated Sunday roast beef dinners at my paternal grandparent's home. My dad would be angry, resentful of his brothers, and hungover, my mom would be subservient, my sister would be doted on by Grandma, and I would be labeled flighty and silly by said grandma. She had no qualms about playing favorites.

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    1. A lovely family dynamic !

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  8. Anonymous6:10 pm

    Hated Sundays too.........replace conservative club with the club room of the local pub, but no ice cream, and you could have been writing about my childhood. A few years older then you, and it was always Liber-bloody-ace on tv. MaggieB

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  9. Funny you mention this, I hate Sundays as well.
    Not really sure why, not keen on Saturdays either. I think its because my weekly radio goes up the creek.
    Briony
    x

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    1. Three agains Sunday so far

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  10. Anonymous6:25 pm

    I love every day cause Im glad to wake up to each day.The only day I dont really like is Dec 1st,cause thats the day my Dad died.But i still try to make it a happy day for all of the Family,by handing out the advent calenders,insisting that we all start wearing our Christmas jumpers..my Dad loved his!.and all the close Family coming round to my house for a meal and a drink,so that we can all say Cheers to my Dad for being such a great man and loving his Family so much,Debi,xx

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    1. If you don't wake up, you'll never know

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    2. Oh John, that is such a nurse response, black humour :)

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  11. I never actually hated a day of the week so much as a day like the Day before school started or Day that I had to go to the dentist :)
    Now, having lost a few loved ones .. I hate those dates .. Sometimes I love days though .. something special happens and I smile a lot and love the day :) ..

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    1. Sunday nights before school/ later work....a horrid feeling

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  12. Sundays! As a child forced to put on a starched dress with scratchy petticoat underneath, a wonky hat or worse yet, some kind of doily pinned onto my head and then dragged to Catholic church. Back then the mass was in Latin so, only a vague notion of what the heck was going on. Year after year...and I hated it. Put my foot down at 16 and said "I am done!" I envied my friends Protestant church. They had sips of wine and sang, in English! X

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    1. Thank goodness we had no church..that would have really capped the friggin day

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    2. LOL, you are right .. my parents had to become pals with the minister and his wife ! And I went to school with their son ... try to misbehave with all that going on around you !

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  13. I hated Sunday evening as the hours of freedom were fast coming to an end, Monday is garbage!

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    1. Forgot to say that you've grown a bit since then!

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    2. In all the wrong places

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  14. I remember the day ...

    I forgot ... Sundays for a while were the day I hated , as a kid , when I was forced to go to a church that my parents went to because their friend was the pastor. The whole place horrified me .. they baptised people .. actually dunking the whole person in a pool of water ... horrors ! for a little girl who couldn't swim

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    1. I like them now...our Sundays are usually pottering restful days

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  15. I can't think of a day I hated, but I loved Sundays as my paternal grandmother would come to lunch and always brought a delicious, homemade pudding. My Mum's idea of pudding was pointing to the fruit bowl after a meal.

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    1. Grans always were pudding queens in my day

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  16. My Sundays in a small village in Lincolnshire were -
    Sunday school in a morning followed by chapel, sunday school in the afternoon and chapel at night. Every week.

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    1. Same as me Pat. Sunday school and chapel twice. The best was we had meals at out 3 nannas rotating each week. Col at the end of the lane.

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    2. Most people only have two..how did you magic three Colin?

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  17. Lovely family picture. I don't think I hated any particular day so much as certain things that would happen with frequency on any given day. Usually it was either or both of my parents drinking too much and arguing. I hated that but as a result I have never been a heavy drinker so that is good I suppose. It is funny how we remember things in our past isn't it?

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    1. Funny and generally not always happy

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  18. No I can't say that I have ever hated a day...but I can certainly understand why Sunday was not a pleasant day for you as a child.

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    1. It got a lot better when I grew up

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  19. No but I hate the smell of Coors beer and the smell of people who drink a lot of it. And I panic at the feeling of being out of control, which can hit at the oddest times.

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    1. Smell is the nearest sense to memory x

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  20. The only thing I ever hated, John, was the wind blowing in my face.

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  21. I hate our American Thanksgiving John. I grew up somewhat like you, except my father left our family before I was 5, and we seldom saw him until I turned 13 and JFK was murdered on 22 November that year. That cheerless Thanksgiving, just a few days later, seems to have forever marked me for sadness on that day. Luckily my husband accepts it and unless the grown daughters and families are together with us, he and I do some crazy road trip thing to pick up our spirits. As you know, it's good to have a spouse who accepts your crazy side and just goes with it anyway!

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    1. I wish I had a crazy side!

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  22. weekends, holidays, weekdays...when you grow up in an abusive house it's all one shitty day after another til you break free.

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    1. That is so sad Anne Marie. Glad you're free of it now. Anna

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    2. Yes AM , you survived it x

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  23. I'm so glad you are back John.
    I may stop blogging soon but only because my blog is getting boring.

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    1. Its difficult in the winter living on a narrowboat finding something to write about. Looking forward to hearing about your journey around the system.

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    2. I've taken the pressure off myself to write...it has helped tremendously

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  24. Christmas. I've had trouble with it for years on end, finally realized why this year with my therapist On the one hand it was a special day for my mother, and her death makes it painful. On the other, I spent far too many Christmases being polite to the dirtbag significant others of my two emotionally abusive sisters.

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    1. Having insight and that " ah ha" moment is wonderful isn't it?

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    2. Yes, Christmas. With a vengeance! Never ever in my house.

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  25. While we did have many, many trips down the road to Stratford so that the men could fish and we kids could run around, I remember more than my fair share of grey, miserable days on a Birmingham council estate with the TV droning out the football scores followed as you say by "sing something simple" and/or bloody "songs of praise". Sincerely that was what me determined to leave the UK - I couldn't STAND the weather - and so I left at 21. I can somewhat understand your brother. Anna

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    1. I friggin hated jess Yates

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  26. I used to hate Sundays when I was at school because it meant I had to settle down to do the homework that I had been putting off until the last minute!

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    1. It's nice to know it wasn't just my brother and I who hated sundays

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    2. Me,too! Me, too! And it was done before the TV while the family watched the Ed Sullivan show and Dad pulled bits of WWII shrapnel from his shins with tweezers and plopped them into a small glass dish filled with alcohol. bink*bink*plip The *plip* was the odd bit of bone from the skull of the man who stood beside him when the deck gun exploded. Haven't thought of this in years!

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  27. I thank my lucky stars I have lived a fairly charmed life...not perfect...but lucky from what I now understand can happen.

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    1. You are the lucky one x

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  28. A difficult one. There were lots of rows, I can't remember them much. Mum cooked a great Sunday roast and apple crumble or pie, my brothers did sport. We always ate at lunch time. I do an evening roast so we can all do what we want to do during the day.

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    1. Anew tradition ! It's always good to make a new tradition

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  29. You mentioned your mother cooking the fuck out of vegetables. My partner's mother told me that her mother used to put the greens on at the same time as the roast - with some bi-carb in the water to keep them green. I hope she was exaggerating.

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    1. Yep. My Mum would put the frozen peas into cold water with soda bic and sugar. They were done when they had come to the boil.

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    2. My mothers veg had to be soft, ! I cannot abide overlooking veg to this day. Much to the digest of the Prof who hates crunchy veg

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    3. Crunchy veg are MUCH better.

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  30. Sundays were grandparent/ great Aunt/ family days, and I used to escape too much attention (I was the oldest grandchild but also a painfully shy introvert) after lunch by going outside and hiding by either climbing up the huge maple tree, inside the shrubbery, or, if it was raining, into the rafters of the garage. I can still be hours by myself in complete happiness.

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    1. How very pippi longstocking

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  31. Sundays come weighted with a heaviness which can hardly be dispersed for some of us. As with you and your brother, I know why I hate them so although over the years, they have gotten a bit easier. I try to spend most of them outside, doing something with dirt and water and light and plants. That helps.
    Do you hate them too?

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    1. Not now ,.....I love them now Sundays now mean cooking, cleaning, The Archers and desert island discs

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  32. Sundays now mean there are good shows on tv :)

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  33. Sundays were sunny with my mum & aunt happily cooking dinner until aunty passed on.When I was an adult I was obliged to visit a miserable woman which I managed to escape from - you look so cute John x

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  34. I didn't like Sundays as a child either, but just like River above I particularly hated Thanksgiving. Alcoholic parents with extra days off work for the long weekend always seemed to lead to family fights and drama when I was growing up. I still dread Thanksgiving to this day.

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  35. Any day my father's or brother's bi-polar systems were wound too tight. It took me a long time to learn to avoid 'situations.'
    Even though you disliked Sunday, I would guess the photo was made on a Sunday and I imagine you treasure it.

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    1. It's not my favourite photo

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    2. Sharon, my ex was bipolar too. Hadn't thought of that. It was a bloody nightmare 90% of the time - what with that and the alcohol mixed with lithium!

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  36. I can understand why your brother hated Sundays. Some activities are just awful and boring and a waste of time!

    I disliked going to church twice on Sunday. First in the morning after Sunday school. Then another long service in the afternoon. Each service was a minimum of two hours long! What? Our first prayers weren't good enough? Did they fall from the skies before reaching heaven? Is that why we have to have a second service? To boost the prayer signal sent out by the first service? There was nothing spiritual about our church services; mostly, they were like banking affairs, with every Sunday, we were raising money to pay for a larger administration building or newer vehicles for the higher ranked clergy at the main offices.

    I hated church. But I loved Sundays for the pancake and French toast breakfast, the after dinner ride or walk for ice cream cones, and the noon late lunch feast (where we had fried chicken, pork chops, and fish, and various other rich delicious dishes).

    The Sunday feast was the one day we could all sit down together as a family and share a meal and talk. My aunts, uncles, cousins, and various relatives and friends all shared in making and eating the Sunday feast. It was time to sit, share, eat, and laugh. The rest of the week, my big family had other duties or plans that meant they wouldn't be with us for meals.

    Sunday is still fried chicken day for me. And if I have friends over, it's brunch day also with pancakes and French toast. Then we have a feast with fried chicken and other rich dishes. The feast is just an excuse to share good food with good company and have a good time.

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    1. French toast ( we call it gypsy toast) is almost as good as a scotch egg!

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  37. Anonymous12:41 am

    I had to go to roman catholic church every Sunday..no matter what..It was filled with lovely sermons but I also had to go to roman catholic school..My mom died when I was 16 and that was it for me for the roman catholic church, they abandoned me and my brother and my little sister..We lived in homes foster homes where the people were not anykind of happy and or decent..MY MOTHER thought the church was the point of life, I never saw any compassion from its clergy or its parishoners after my Mom's untimely death..sunday in my eyes was just a bunch of crap...I had to work in those homes we stayed just like a cook and maid, sunday be damned..I don't go to church any church anymore and my husband is jewish and kind and loving..I love your blog, read it all the time, & I think you are a wonderful human being and your husband tooo, all the pets are adored and well taken care of and you treat others so well from across the pond in the usa have a most wonderful spring and soon summer!!!!!!!!!!

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  38. I'm sorry you have bad memories of Sundays. The good thing about becoming a grownup is that we can make better memories. Still, the old ones are persistent, whether we want them in our heads or not.

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  39. Sunday was the day very early in my marriage that my inlaws came over for "the Sunday drive." Bob's dad smoked a pipe. Bob drove. 'Dad' sat up front on the passenger's side. Bob lit up a cigarette. his dad lit up his pipe. tobacco either sickenly sweet or horribly bitter. and beside me in the back seat was Bob's mother who 'layered' her choice of perfume which is Estee Lauder's Youth Dew. it's the strongest perfume in the WORLD. I was trapped for hours. windows up (because of the hairdo next to me) and my nose stopped up and eyes streaming. yup. I understand Sunday hates. oh yes. I was 19. and aging fast!

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  40. Wednesdays at secondary school when my timetable was filled with the horrors of double maths and PE.

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  41. Oh those "sweet" memories of childhood. I don't have a "day"; I hated dinner. One of a variety of reasons I was such a skinny kid. My mother would have dinner on the table when my father arrived home from work. We would sit and listen to my father talk (rant) about his day. If we spoke (usually only when solicited by my mother or father) something we would say (anything) would enrage my father and he'd yell at us in disgust, calling us names. Family dinner.

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    1. My dad used dinner times as telling off times. My poor brother got the worst of it. I remember his tears dripping off his nose into his gravy. He was in his mid teens! The bloody horror of it. My dad was clinically depressed we would say now. (And I have no contact with my elder brothers, miniscule with younger). Dinner times with my children, now grown up, is much pleasanter, but I still don't eat a lot.

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  42. I love your family photo. I know just what you mean about Sundays. I only have to hear the music of Sing Something Simple and I can remember that feeling of panic come over me wishing I had done my homework earlier and not left it all to a Sunday evening! Jane x

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  43. Pretty much every day of my childhood was an unhappy one; my sisters say they remember some happy childhood years before my parents "found God" and became basically strict Southern Baptist religious fanatics, but as the youngest, I remember only repression, depression, negativity and judgement - and of course no drinking, no dancing, no books, movies or TV my parents didn't approve of (which was very little), and no socializing with anyone who did those things. Sundays were the worst - getting up and dressed in "our Sunday best" and hauled to Sunday School followed by a long, boring church service, then an afternoon of doing nothing, then getting dressed up AGAIN to return for Training Union and another long, boring church service. And my parents wondered why ALL THREE of us ended up as atheists... These days, Sundays are great! Other than a handful of times for funerals or weddings, I haven't attended a church service for 35 years. Sundays always start with Mimosas, and are all about fun and relaxation! Interesting how church figures so negatively in so many of the comments... I also totally understand those who dreaded "family dinner" :(

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  44. Sing Something Simple, dear lord. Weekly bathtime (different times!)listening to the Top Ten and knowing I couldn't do the maths homework and it was double maths first thing monday morning. I also hated (still do) meat and veg dinners, being forced to eat it!! Teatimes were always nice tho, despite the oncoming bath. I had severe eczema so bathing was agony. As was being a teenage girl in the seventies. Ah, me.

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  45. I hated Sundays too. My dad was home all day. Everything was closed. In the winter it was too cold to play outside, we were all trapped. It's taken me years to get over that hatred of that day. Now I don't mind it so much.

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  46. Mondays, for the obvious reasons.

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  47. Only happened once a year, Thanksgiving day, between the gluttony and the stress it made me miserable. After I moved away, I discovered a stress free holiday.

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  48. The block of neopolitan ice cream! My Dad used to buy us one of Friday night when my Mum was working. It was the small pint block. It was a really good week if he brought home a Cadbury Flake to break up over it.

    We didn't have a fridge back then. Funny, isn't it, the simple things that made us happy. It must have been his pay day.

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  49. I guess Sundays were a little sketchy for me as a kid. I was an altar boy and if my name was picked/chosen to serve mass with the pastor of the parish it wrecked my whole weekend! He was shell-shocked from the war and a nasty piece of work. If we made but the slightest error performing our duties he did not hold back in letting the whole packed church know about it!! Thanking the gods that Sundays are my favourite now.

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