A long morning ahead - 13 June 1858

A long morning ahead. I wonder why everyone calls it the day of rest?

You've got to be early to fit in two and a half hours' worth of worship, prayer and preaching before lunch. And then you've got to get out from lunch fairly sharpish to be ready for evensong. It's all go, on a Victorian
country Sunday.

I look back to the traditions of the 21st century rural or suburban Sunday and it all seems so different. In 2010 you could stay in bed all morning, disturbed only by those annoying church bells. Or, if you were more traditionally-minded, you would head down to the Car Boot Sale, and pick up cheap CDs, the contents of someone's garage, or even - in the right place - Polish fags at bargain prices. Then you could come home, wonder what you were going to do with another copy of "OK Computer", a broken clock and a life-size inflatable Louis Walsh, and decide you weren't up to cooking lunch. After phoning round your favourite pubs to discover they'd all been closed, you would eventually wander down to a carvery on a ring-road and queue for an hour to get your slice of lamb. You could chip the outsides off the roast potatoes while sitting under a picture of what the local countryside could have looked like before they built the ring road and the carvery on it, go back home, see the time and wish you had some kind of day of rest to get over it all before Monday.

But enough. There is much to do. Even now Dorcas is waiting to brush my hair before she carries out the bucket from the earth toilet to put in the compost heap. (We really must get Charley to move the compost heap further down the kitchen garden). Mrs Morris is putting the finishing touches to the fried breakfast. And Ned the groom is brushing down the horses prior to driving us all down to Church. As I say, it's all go in a Victorian Sunday.

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