Sunday evening is a time when in the UK those who have jobs get ready to go into work [unless they are on shifts].Children prepare their school bags… the weekkend is coming to an end
How different though is the earlier part of Sunday from what is was in my youth.In those days the shops were closed and we would visit relatives after we had been to Church in the morning.We would have the traditional English breakfast of eggs and bacon with delicious fried bread.. [after Mass if we had fasted in order to receive Holy Communion]
In the summer during the afternoon we were often taken out by bus into the countryside.Sometimes relatives would come.Otherwise we had no phone and would just go round unannounced and be given tea.There was a special quiet calm feeling on Sunday.
After the special Sunday dinner,mothers would do little cooking later on..So it was a bit of a rest for them.Men would relax,smoke a cigarette and discuss politics or football.Women would knit as they chatted and children roamed free in the streets and parks.
Now,Sunday is almost like any other day.Many people work to keep shops open..Instead of Church it’s Starbucks or Costa Coffee.Children even of secondary school age are supervised all the time and roaming free is no longer possible.There is a feeling of fear in the air..there were always paedophiles and fear has escalated.We have too many news programmes so if someome in Florida dies in a fire we hear it here in the UK…we need boundaries,
And the most important fact is we cannot now call in on anyone because now Sunday is not a day when everyone will be at home.Indeed a roast Sunday dinner is a rare event… more likely it will be horsemeat burgers abd frozen chips.The fridge is full and each person can pick a meal and heat it in the microwave.Some children come to school who have never eaten at a table or used cutlery.Some are not toilet trained at five!
A free day for personal and social life,as well as the time for religious activities,mediation or conversation… that has almost gone…and what a loss it is.We could drive out to visit friends as it was the only day traffic was low… but now we just can’t do that.Every day we have delivery lorries and other heavy traffic.
Mostly the loss is that day when apart from religious sevices there was the freedom to socialise and meet people knowing they were not in a hurry.We were allowed to play but women did not do washing,ironing or heavy work..so they could be with their husband and enjoy watching their children play
The one advantage is that now many old people live alone and so to have the shops and Library open is very nice for them…but the loss is something irreparable.