Monday, October 4, 2010

Thank Goodness It's Monday!

Although I am generally a fairly upbeat person, the sheer grind of day to day living occasionally gets to me, and it generally gets to me over the weekend. When it gets to Friday evening, I feel a tangible sense of relief that Saturday and Sunday lie ahead - we open a bottle of wine, dine late, watch a film and relax. Saturday morning, croissants and black coffee over the paper and a general sense of well-being: I read the recipes in the magazine and vaguely make plans to cook something tasty or go into town and browse the bookshops.....but soon thereafter the good mood begins to slip a bit. I think the problem is that there is so much routine maintenance to do: the Bright-Eyed Boy needs transporting to and from his football practice, Daughter #3 tends to go rowing and returns home boyfriend in tow to take root on the front-room sofa for the rest of the day, so no-one can really access the house-computer because they are watching some teen-drama reruns on iPlayer. Daughter #2 often texts to try and lure me into town with her so she has some company, and sometimes I capitulate.
There are generally a couple of massive washes to do - all the school uniform, sports kit and the Husband's work clothes find their way into the laundry basket overnight and require immediate attention if they are to be returned clean to their owners for the following week. A deal of time is taken in putting it in, and extracting it from, the machine, hanging it up, then taking it to the tumble dryer later on, and finally folding it to avoid creasing. Not to mention the redistribution and putting away.
The Dog requires walking too.
Saturday lunchtime, and if I haven't managed to get out, my good mood has curdled somewhat and I don't feel inclined to cook anymore..
The B-E-B returns home hungry and generally a bit cranky ('hangry' = hungry + angry) if he hasn't been picked to play in the team match the following day, turns on the telly and stations himself in front of either sport or endless repeats of the bloody Simpsons.
The Husband either goes to the gym or opens up his laptop to tackle the workload that threatens to swamp him or turn him mad. The day slides into evening and I get uneasy that I haven't done anything worthwhile. I can't really do any of my academic work without isolating myself at the bedroom workstation that I set up last year - and who wants to sit up in their bedroom on a Saturday afternoon? I can't read anywhere - I need silence to prevent getting distracted during the tricky bits and the constant hum of the telly, and music of different genres coming from the front room, plus the constant trotting up and down stairs that goes on is not conducive to study in the least!
Tea usually consists of pizza, and after a couple of accompanying glasses of wine, I am slumped, fretting at where the day has gone.
Sunday morning: generally up early for either football, rowing or Mass - if I can persuade anyone to go (an increasingly difficult task nowadays, I'm afraid). If the weather is good I will make the effort to walk into town for a coffee when the shops open at eleven, returning home shortly after lunchtime.
Thereafter, there is a noticable decline in the household mood: the Husband and I set about the tasks that need performing before Monday morning; shopping for packed lunch ingredients, ironing (taken in turns), preparing dinner for as many people as are present, persuading the children to do their homework....and before long evening has fallen and we're sitting down to Sunday dinner, usually consisting of a large home-made pasta bake or a roast dinner if it's winter time. I do manage to stir myself to do that. The puddings are a major and much-treasured feature - the Husband actually enjoys trying out pudding recipes and has had a number of triumphs in this department (especially in the bread-and-butter pudding department - his chocolate and rum version is awesome!). I encourage this. It's frankly one of the best bits of the week.
After dinner, a pause while we find out what homework is still outstanding, hard-boil eggs for pack-ups, transport Daughter #3's boyfriend home, lay out school uniforms and pack schoolbags for the following day. By nine o'clock it's all done, but so is the weekend! All done and gone!
And then comes Monday, the work and school week lies before us and we look longingly towards Friday night and its promise of scant rest and respite.
But secretly, I love it when peace and quiet returns to the house. The Dog gets an early walk, then I go over to the shop and buy a single pain au raisin, put on a pot of espresso and turn on Radio 4. I review my emails, a couple of blogs and the news headlines then exchanging the radio for a CD of subdued classical music, I settle down to read or write for the rest of the day, keeping an eye on the clock until its time for the wanderers to return.
I am put in mind the scrap of a poem by the poet Sappho, written about 600BC where she addresses the evening star ('Hesperus') who brings home all the things that dawn has scattered 'the sheep, the goat, the child to its mother'. Thank God it does!

No comments: