I have taken the farmer out to lunch today for his birthday. We only went about five miles down the road to The Friar's Head, which is a pub, a restaurant, a caravan park and a golf course.
Sitting there in the Orangery, where I have to say the meal and the service was excellent, I got to thinking about outings and how they had changed over the years.
There was a pub, where the pub customers were drinking and eating snack lunches, then there was the Orangery, where us middle-aged and elderly (all dressed up in our Sunday best - chaps in shirts and trousers, ladies in dresses or smart trousers and earrings, make-up etc.) and then outside on the patio the golfers and the caravanners in their shorts and T shirts, sandals, with children running around and playing in the warm sunshine. It was such a carefree occasion. And I realised just how laid back everybody is these days.
I thought back to my childhood days when hardly anyone had a car and where the outing took on great importance because it meant going either by train or by bus. Old photographs of my mother and father with me as a young girl at the seaside (usually Skegness, our nearest place) show my father in a jacket, shirt and tie and my mother wearing a hat!
There just weren't the leisure clothes available, and if there were then we probably couldn't afford them. Our annual choir outing from chapel took place in mid-summer and entailed a bus trip to either Scarborough, Bridlington, Cromer or Hunstanton (we did them in turn) and I well remember four of us rowing round Bridlington harbour in our best coats in the pouring rain.
But golly, how we enjoyed those outings; maybe because they were red letter days rather than every weekend. But isn't it lovely now how leisure clothes are worn all the time,for any occasion. No chaps seem to wear ties any more except for the most serious events. Newsreaders still wear ties but surely it is only a matter of time before they too go 'casual'.
I think maybe I am now too old to adopt 'casual' as I do find T shirts far too sloppy and irritating but I think that is a fault in me rather than in the design of the T shirt!
But to get back to our outing today. We both ate far too much and will not want anything else to eat today. It's a good job we only go out for such binges on anniversaries, birthdays etc. otherwise we would both be like balloons. As it is, we have both had an hour's sleep since we came back.