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Puntos de vista - a personal Spain blog

Musings about Spain and Spanish life by Paul Whitelock, hispanophile of 40 years and now resident of Ronda in Andalucía .

Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Tuesday, January 18, 2022 @ 9:55 AM

Sunday, Bloody Sunday is the title of a risqué film from 1971, directed by John Schlesinger and starring Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson, Murray Head and Peggy Ashcroft. Controversial at the time it tells the story of a free-spirited young bi-sexual artist (played by Head) and his simultaneous relationships with a divorced recruitment consultant (Jackson) and a gay Jewish doctor (Finch). A box-office failure, the film garnered huge critical success, winning five BAFTAs and gaining four OSCAR nominations.

Sunday, Bloody Sunday was also the name given to the day in 1972 when 14 un-armed protesters were shot dead by British troops in Derry, Northern Ireland. It is also the title of two songs dedicated to the massacre. The first, released in the same year, 1972, was by John Lennon and Yoko Ono and appeared on their album Sometime in New York City. The second, by Irish rock band U2, was released in 1983 on their album War. It was hugely successful and remains one of their signature songs.

Sunday, Bloody Sunday for me has meant something completely different. For most of my life I hated Sundays. Other days of the week at least had something positive about them: Mondays represented a fresh start; Tuesdays and Wednesdays there was Champions League Football; Thursdays for decades meant Tom and Jerry, Tomorrow’s World and Top of the Pops; Fridays were the end of the working week and Saturdays meant the weekend was here.

But Sundays?

For the first five years of my life I probably couldn’t distinguish one day from another, but as soon as I started school Sunday became stressful. For the next 20 years through primary school, grammar school and university it was the day before the school/uni week started and there was inevitably this piece of homework or that essay to be completed.

For the next 15 years, during which I was a secondary school teacher, there was inevitably marking to be done and/or lessons to prepare. Sunday afternoons and evenings were ruined.

When I left the classroom to become a schools adviser/inspector, I thought things might improve and I’d get my Sundays back. Not so, there was often a tricky meeting with a headteacher first thing on Monday morning to prepare for or a training day to plan. That lasted another 15 years.

Then, all of a sudden, after five decades of Sunday, Bloody Sunday, I got the 7th day of the week back. I was made redundant and took early retirement at the age of 55. What a major change to my life! Suddenly Sundays became one of the best days of the week and they have remained so for the last 15 years or so.

***

Last Sunday morning, as I sat on the terrace of a café in Ronda, chilly yet beautifully sunny, eating my tostada con aceite y tomate, drinking coffee and reading the Sunday paper – SUR de Málaga – I reflected on how pleasant life has become. Then I thought: “There’s an article in this” and what you are now reading is the outcome.

This breakfast/Spanish press ritual is something I try to do every Sunday.  My wife and I have also started going for a walk/hike or taking a trip to the coast on Sundays.

Recent excursions have included the newly opened Caminito de Montejaque (Málaga), the karst rocks behind the same village and two trips to the coast, once to Manilva Playa and another time to Estepona (both western Costa del Sol).

Sunday, Bloody Sunday? Not any longer. 50 years was enough!



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