Friday, April 7, 2017

The Weekend Routine of a "Home Girl"

On weekends, I like to wake up early. Like, 6 - 7 a.m. early. I creep out of bed, so as not to disturb John (who needs all the sleep he can get after pulling 13-hour work days during the week), my fluffy bathrobe trailing behind me as I go.

From there, I make myself a cup of peppermint tea and pick up some laundry on the way, not bothering to fold it neatly, but throwing it in a basket instead to be put away later. If our cleaner's not coming that morning (she usually lets herself in on a Saturday morning, once every other week), I like to potter around the kitchen, washing up dishes from the night before or straightening things out on the counter and recycling old mail.

Then, I sit down to write. I open the curtains in the living room and the French doors leading to our garden, and I put my thoughts down - thoughts that have gathered strength and momentum in the corners of my mind during the working week.

I keep writing and writing until the inevitable text comes from upstairs a few hours later: "Tea", it reads. A single plea, usually followed by an emoji: a koala looking forlorn, hugging a bear to its chest or a yellow blob, with "zzz" being emitted from its sleeping face.

So, I boil the kettle again and make a cup of Yorkshire Gold with just the right amount of milk, and I bring it up two flights of stairs to the King, who is either sitting up, reading the latest BBC news on his iPad, or only managing to snake his arm out of the duvet to reach for said cup of tea.

At some point, he'll pad downstairs and I'll cry out, "Oh no! I'm coming back to bed!" as I scramble upstairs in my fluffy robe and he shouts, "Too late!" behind him before throwing open the French doors to inspect the newest plant life in our backyard.

I sulk until he comes back to bed before announcing, "I'm hungry and there's nothing to eat," pointedly. And he'll suggest muesli and I'll make a face and decline and he'll make bacon and poached eggs and toast instead.

Before long, our local "village" market will open and I'll take my sunglasses and straw basket and pretend to live in France, before heading up to the market in a torn denim jacket and Supergas to buy a loaf of our favorite sourdough bread. I'll probably buy some flowers to photograph and attempt to write engaging captions on Instagram like, "Happy Saturday! What are you up to this weekend? We're just having a quiet one and enjoying the sun."

Maybe we'll go to Epping Forest. Maybe we'll go shopping. Or maybe we'll go to the garden center.

I cringe at calling it domestic bliss, but it really is. My weekends feel so precious; so important. My work week is full of people demanding my time, my energy, my space.

This weekend time is mine. I have to protect it. Hold it close.

Once, I was flattered and simultaneously insulted when John called me a "home girl". "You're a home girl, aren't you?" he said, reaching over to affectionately fluff my hair. "You like to be at home."

"No!" I spluttered in protest. "I like to ... do stuff. But ..." I continued cautiously. "I like to be at home too."

He laughed. "Me too. I like to be at home too."

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