Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sunday, Sunday

Ah, Sunday.

It took me a while to have the full, lovely understanding of Sunday.  As a child Sundays often involved getting dressed up and going somewhere I didn't want to go, to see people I didn't want to see.  It also took a long time to get there in the car.  They did end with "Disneyland" on TV before bed, or when I was a little older, "The 6 Million Dollar Man".  He was bionic and my brother had the Steve Austin action figure.  It was a doll really.

Sundays meant sport on television: in the summer the endless hours of slow moving cricket; in winter the thuggery of men covered in mud playing rugby league or rugby union. Worse still were the days of motor racing or the days when the cricket was on the radio. At 6pm the battle over whether the television would stay on the ABC for "Countdown" or be switched for the first serving of news on channel 9.  It was a battle that couldn't be won, but every Sunday I fought with enthusiasm and optimism as though my life would end if I didn't see "Countdown".

At boarding school, Sundays were either filled with the excitement of an outing for the day (after church), or a long, blank day.

The whole boarding house went to the 8am Anglican church service in town, wearing our white church dresses and panama hats in summer and our blazers and navy blue serge tunics with a white shirt and tie, a beret on our heads.  No breakfast before church, instead we would swoop on trays of white bread and strawberry jam and stuff our faces - and sometimes pockets - to sustain us on the walk to church, the boredom of the service and the walk back to school.  We walked two abreast, there and back.

The driveway would fill with cars and girls going out for the day, while the rest of us went to the dining room for a quieter breakfast than usual.  After lunch, the boarding houses were locked and we were required to go outside.  The school had lovely grounds and in summer we'd take a blanket and school books and a battery powered radio/cassette player out and lie in the sun snoozing and reading and writing letters either to a boy at Grammar or our parents.  Often I would spend these hours in one of the piano practise rooms so small and cold it resembled a cell.

There was something uncomfortable about being locked out of your home for 3 hours while jealously awaiting the return of the girls who had been out for the day.

At university, Sunday meant study or work at the part time job to supplement Austudy.  It was like any other day of the week, nothing special about Sunday at all.

And then there was my first weekend after I entered the "proper" workforce.  After working Monday to Friday, Saturday was spent doing household chores and grocery shopping and getting ready to go out.  And then it was Sunday.  Nothing to do except whatever I wanted.  The luxury of reading in bed, late breakfasts or long lunches with friends.  A scraped together supper and the Sunday night movie on television.

That's the kind of Sunday I had today in the unexpected winter sun.  Good friends and lots of laughter.  For hours.

Ah, Sunday.

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