Week-ends were always looked forward to. The main part was the sleeping in, especially on Saturday. How I loved it. The Sunday church used to be a problem. But growing up realizing that no water ever changed into wine, nor did water allow to be walked upon, I took charge of that issue around the year sixteen and stopped going. It also coincided by taking up smoking. Graven A, ten cigarettes to a packet, and eating potato scallops from the local Fish & Chips shop, wrapped in The Daily telegraph! Till this day, whenever I smell Rupert’s Telegraph I smell more fish than chips.
Of course, Saturday night was movie night. I am not sure if cinemas were actually open on Sundays in Australia during the fifties. I do know that Sundays were pretty dead. It used to be the major complaint by European migrants. The first movie that I can remember apart from a few Don Camillo movies watched when still in Holland, were the climbing of MT Everest and King Salomon’s Mines. In Holland my mother was forever urging us to see movies featuring the priest, Don Camillo. A character who was forever falling out with local communist mayors in Italian or French villages. She must have been hoping I could be saved from decadence and resulting hell-fire and brimstones. They were very funny movies and I remember them fondly. But alas, I was not to be saved.
The Drive-in also needs to be dug up. They were popular between the fifties and seventies, well before KFC and MacDonald’s started to tentatively test the waters. The Drive-in had speaker boxes on posts which by a lead you attached inside the car. It wasn’t unusual to drive off after the movie with the speaker box still inside the car. Some Drive-ins had buttons on the post to order Mars bars, snacks or Cokes which would be delivered by furiously pedalling boys on bicycles. Whole families used to go in pyjamas and I remember seeing women with hair curlers queuing at the milk bar waiting for their malted milkshakes at the Drive- in during a break.
Boys and (hopefully) some girls would of course take the opportunity to slip a hand here and there and many a muffled shout or sharp slap used to do the rounds. I don’t know if the hair curlers would inspire any romance. But who knows? Cupid’s arrow has mysterious targets. There was an enormous uptick in pregnancies when John Travolta and Grease were released in the late seventies. It was also the beginning of the end of Drive-Ins. Helvi and I went just once and there were no slaps or muffled sounds. It was a boring movie. Helvi did not think that sitting in car watching a movie was a good night out at all.
Now, in my galloping years, the week-end has lost some of its lustre. In fact, all of its lustre. I am always happiest when the Monday gets around. There is still some of that earlier Sunday deadness about. Have you noticed that in the centre of towns or cities, the Sunday goes in rapid retreat or decline between 2.45- 3.15 pm. All of a sudden the streets empty themselves of people, dogs start scratching and shops looking so forlorn. A paleness is creeping in. Perhaps the towns and cities still lack people living in them. People live mainly around but not within cities. Sunday afternoons are probably used to top up the Opal Card or with summer knocking, a late afternoon lawn mower. I believe many now also go to Sunday Gym and do push-ups. I must say that men and women over sixty, and especially when pear-shaped, should resist wearing those black tights on their way to the gym. It is really an unsettling sight, even on a Sunday afternoon.