This week I’ve been off work, and rather than do my usual trick of run off to another country to catch some sun, I’ve actually spent it lounging around my home city of London.
Actually that’s a lie, I’ve spent it lounging around my lounge. And sometimes the garden.
It’s been quite an experience being in London but not working or holidaying, so here are my top ten things you can do when you don’t have to do anything at all.
Discover the world of the Yummy Mummies. Apparently, whilst the rest of us are working, the Yummy Mummies of West London all park their various prams, buggies and push chairs in my local Cafe Nero and share tales of motherhood. Actually from what I heard they didn’t get a chance to share much at all, because their little darlings kept distracting them from being able to hold an adult conversation.
If you don’t believe me, here’s a pic:
Watch endless repeats of Frasier. Have you forgotten how bloody funny Frasier was? I had. It knocks the spots off Friends for sheer brilliance of script writing and it’s worth re-visiting.
Sleep. A lot. This may seem obvious, but I never knew I actually needed so much sleep. I usually survive on 7 hours sleep a night during the week (if I’m lucky) and believe this to be adequate, but this week I’ve been sleeping from 10pm to 9am every night. The benefits are subtle, but wonderful; more energy, de-stressed and generally happier. If only our regular working lives allowed us the luxury of getting all the sleep we actually need. Wouldn’t life be great?
Take a mid afternoon nap. Now you may think this comes under ‘Sleeping” but not so.
If sleeping is a necessity then afternoon-napping is a luxury, as demonstrated by our cat, Tinkerbell
Apparently we humans are actually built to sleep twice a day with two natural ‘low points’; one between 1am – 3am and another between 1pm – 3pm. Now you know why you always get so tired after lunch. (To further prove this point I’d like to mention that it’s currently 3:46pm and my boyfriend is fast asleep on the sofa. Ta-dah.)
Do brunch. A good friend of mine was also off for a few days, so I invited him over for brunch. We had a pot of fresh coffee, sausages, eggs, beans, bacon and sat in the garden scoffing it down whilst putting the world to rights.
We also did battle with one or two wasps in the comedy way that only gay guys can do. There was lots of limb-flapping, squealing and cackling at our own lameness.
Read. I’d forgotten how wonderful it is to get addicted to a book or a particular author and get utterly lost in his or her world. Wonderful escapism from the real world. I’ve spent hours this week just lying around reading. Such a simple luxury.
Don’t go to the gym and don’t go running. They say it’s good to take a break from both every now and then and I believe they may be right. The biggest benefit being that I actually can’t wait to get back into it.
Put on weight. This is a direct side effect to the above
Enjoy some silence. It’s easy to become deaf to the noise of our great city. It never bloody stops. From sirens to mobile phones and motorbikes to tube trains – not to mention other people – we live in a bloody loud world.
And the only way you can compensate for it is to turn your iPod up in the hope of drowning it out. How ironic.
But this week gave me the chance to realise how peaceful it is where I live. Except for some occasional aircraft overhead, I’ve been able to sit in the garden and listen to nothing more than birds tweeting and leaves rustling in a breeze. Silence is indeed golden my friends. Now all you need to do is find some.
Clean the house. And by this I mean ‘try to find a decent cleaner who can clean the house for me’.
The first attempt turned up an hour late but was most vocal in her apologies, stating that the traffic was awful. When I asked her where she’d come from she replied “Lithuania”. Oblivious to my not-very-well concealed smirk, she innocently added, “I leave my car in the street, no?” which immediately conjured up images of:
Which brings me to a final additional point; another thing you can do with a week off is have an inappropriate, immature and badly concealed giggle-fit in front of your Lithuanian cleaner.
PS. Obviously one of the things I didn’t do with my week off was any cleaning.