A little time out

May 29, 2018 by Ray Morgan

I've been listening to the new Courtney Barnett album (which is very good by the way) and there's a song on it that was stuck in my head the whole weekend. "I need a little time out..." she sings throughout the song. I thought how relevant that was over the Bank Holiday weekend.

We can all feel a bit burnt out at times, can't we: work, kids, money worries, are we getting enough vitamins, relationships, finishing a series before it disappears from iPlayer... you catch my drift. I've got high blood pressure, and with a full time job, a busy social life, writing, running arts events in my spare time and the usual things like having a home that needs tidying, a front garden that constantly needs weeding, and shopping that needs buying, it can sometimes feel like it's getting on top of you.

So there's something so special about an extra day off on a Bank Holiday if you're lucky enough to get it (and if you didn't have this Monday off a) I salute you and b) I would very much encourage you to book a random day off that no-one else will have as your own personal day). If you're off on a Bank Holiday, it's like a little present from the universe, giving new life to Sunday evenings a handful of times a year.

You know the Sunday feeling - when I was a kid it would be that post-roast gloom, Mum would be doing school uniform ironing while As Time Goes By was on. I'd be mooching about for something to eat, usually a big chunk of cheese straight from the fridge to the sound of the Antiques Roadshow starting. Dad would be marking schoolbooks, I'd have to practice my guitar and the only lift would be crouching over a tape recorder with my sister taping songs off the Top 40. When the number one song was announced (to either joy or woe) it was time for a bath, me dragging my heels that the weekend was over and it was boring old school in the morning. Even in my 30s, in a job I actually like, on Sundays I feel like I should be fretting about homework while Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer spar in the background. Poor old Sundays. It's not their fault.

But this weekend, however, we got a freebie day. I'd spent the whole of Sunday and its early evening in the garden with Jo and a dear friend, listening to music, citronella incense on the go (I didn't get bitten once FYI, get yours from Spice Boat by Waitrose on the London Road), enjoying a couple of beers and some of the new vegan ice cream prototypes from Poco Gelato that we've been blessed with taste testing (it's a hard life). There was no worry of it being a Sunday and needing an early night. We sat on the new decking with the evening sun warm on our faces.

We went into town to Southend Film Festival at the Park Inn Palace Hotel, bumped into friends, watched the neon amusements, creeping tide and pier gilded by that kind of rose-gold and baby-blue-sky glow you only get on warm nights. We watched a great film and enjoyed a Q&A with the director. No "school night" checking of watches. We went home, ordered pizza, watched Friends until we were yawning for bed - and we still had a whole day stretched ahead of us like a golden ticket.

Sometimes in life, whether it's a national holiday or a personal one, you "need a little time out." I hope you make time to do that too.

To read all of Ray's previous blogs please click here


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