It’s Sunday, and the sun is shining, the sounds that abound remind me of Sundays past. Young lads working on their pride and joy cars, the sounds and smells wafting over of Sunday roast being cooked and the faraway sound of a dog barking it’s joyfulness as it’s being walked (or should that be walking it’s owner) Birds flitting to the bird feeder, keeping a watchful eye on the cats dozing in a sun trapped corner of the garden.
My grandmother, and mother would have called today ‘A Soft Day’ It’s been raining on and off all day, more of a drizzle than showers. The wind has died down, the temperature has dropped but it is not cold. The sun is hidden behind the low clouds. If you listen carefully you can hear birds singing. Not the vibrant songs of last week, just the calls to one another. A solitary cat walks into my garden, no longer looking for shade.
As a youngster on holiday in Ireland, we would often experience ‘A Soft Day’ I would spend the day sitting at the front door of my grandparents cottage, on the little step (my grandparents lived in identical cottages’ sometimes reading the latest Enid Blyton book I had purchased in Woolworths in Clonmel (paying the taxes that bumped up the price by 6d) as I had read all the books I had brought with me. Or filling in countless notebooks with short stories about children who climbed over the dry stone walls and met up with Leprechauns, Banshees and Pookas.
It was on days like this I could let my imagination run wild!
Funnily enough, today I have found my self sitting in the shelter of the doorway to my house, as soft rain quietly falls around me, wondering what could be behind the moss covered stone wall – letting my imagination run and jump wildly in the air. Maybe I will go and have a look!
Only it’s Bank Holiday Monday. The only sounds heard are the wood pigeons calling out to each other. The roar of a car engine momentarily shatters the peace. The car speeds by, the occupant apologetic. It feels like a Sunday even though the refuse truck has been and gone. No Bank Holiday for them. It feels quintessentially British. A throw back to the television shows from the sixties that I would watch endlessly as I grew up. Any minute now John Steed and Emma Peel would appear, roll opening credits……
It feels earlier than it is, the sun is still hiding behind low cloud, perhaps hiding in a game of hide and seek that only its playing.
There is a stillness in the air, it still feels like it should be Sunday…..
It’s Sunday. Growing up in my household, it was always the day when not much happened. It was the day when cars were washed (by hand) Usually by me to earn a little bit of extra pocket-money. Newsagents opened for a few hours. Definitely closed by 1pm. Teenagers worked on their bicycles or if they were old enough on their first car. You could smell the roast dinners cooking in each household. One of our neighbours would always pass over the fence the chicken giblets for our cats to eat (we had three)
One of our cats loved cooked chicken so much so she would sit down in front of the oven as it cooked!
Once lunch was finished, the afternoon was usually the time for a trip around garden centres and DIY stores. I never really enjoyed these trips as a youngster as I suffered with hay-fever and was allergic to a lot of things contained within them. We often would go out for a ‘drive’ to nowhere in particular.
I wasn’t to know that years later these little trips around Bedfordshire would be a great help in my working life right up to the present.
One of the places we would go to was right on our door step so to speak. Bedford River. The Great Ouse.
The view from ‘The County Bridge’ better known as Prebend Street Bridge.
The view facing the Town Bridge
The view of the Town Bridge from the opposite direction