Sunday, 28 February 2010
When I was a child growing up in England, Sunday was always very special. No shops were open, so families stayed at home and spent time together. I have memories of the smell of the roast dinner being cooked whilst listening to "Family Favourites" on the radio, followed by the "Billy Cotton Band Show". Anyone else old enough to remember them?
My Dad loved music...all kinds of music...so we always had the radio on. We were forced to listen to "Sing Something Simple" and the "Black and White Minstrel Show" on the radio early evening, with my Dad singing along at the top of his voice. When television arrived we had to sit through "Songs of Praise" so my Dad could sing along to all the hymns. For years if I heard hymns being sung by a choir, or songs being sung by Richard Tauber, Maria Callas, Perry Como or Andy Williams, it reminded me of my Dad and Sundays.
I didn't realise, that what my brothers and I considered a bit of an ordeal at the time...my Dad and his music programmes...would become such fond memories for me of a father I loved so much, and still miss dreadfully nine years after his death.
When I was married to my first husband, before we had children, I would leave the joint roasting in the oven, whilst we popped over the road to our local pub for a few drinks with friends. We'd come back, eat our roast dinner, and fall asleep in front of the television.
When my children arrived, the tradition of Sunday roast dinner, eaten at lunch time, continued, but we also did other things. Shops were open on Sundays so we would go out for a browse. Pubs became more child-friendly and started providing gardens, so if the weather was good we could take our children for a pub lunch, and they could run around and play with other children. Barbeques became more popular, so this was another way of spending Sundays, either with family or friends at our house or theirs.
Sunday in Turkey doesn't feel like Sunday. It's the same as any other day. In my early days here I would cook a roast, in an attempt to recreate that "Sunday feeling", but it didn't really work...because you need the British atmosphere.
On my trips back to England, I've noticed that amongst family and friends, the traditional Sunday, as I once knew it, has almost disappeared. Although my daughter has been known to do a Sunday roast when I'm visiting, which I really appreciate.
And in case you're reading this Stella...this is a big hint for you for my next visit! (But we'll skip "Songs of Praise"!)