Sunday Girl's Sundays...

By Lucy Harbron - 17:47

Early Dawning, Sunday morning.
Dry your eyes Sunday Girl.
Learning to feel everything as I feel on Sunday.

My childhood Sundays were blissful. I remember them as calm days for family and sorting things out before a fresh week. We’d sleep in and then tidy the house, pausing for coffee and biscuits. The smell of my mum’s roast would float upstairs as I listened to music and dusted my bookshelf, a smell I can only describe as warmth. I imagine it’s the exact smell that will waft at you when the gates of heaven open. We’d sit and eat as a family, sometimes on the big table with grandparents or my uncle, having roast potatoes and gravy with a chaser of cake and custard. Lounge around in a food coma revived only when Dad gets chocolate out. There was no rush, rarely any big events beyond maybe a walk or a visit somewhere. I just remember them as days at home, calm and easy just like all the songs say.

It’s a tradition I take care to keep alive in the small way I can. While I don’t live at home anymore, I still use it as a day to reconnect, only now it’s with myself. I try to leave it quiet and calm, a day of rest worship your god which in my case is myself, my soul and my body. I spend the week looking forward to the beautiful nothingness of it, smiling to myself in clubs at 3am thinking about the calm that awaits me in a couple hours. There’s nothing on my back; nowhere to be, no work to be done, just space to sort things out.

First thing on a Sunday smells like shower steam and rosehip oil. It looks like a pink fluffy fleece and no trousers no matter how chilly it is. It sounds like Francoise Hardy and George Harrison and David Byrne, dancing me around my kitchen like two invisible hands guiding my hips.

Surprisingly, I don’t like to sleep in on Sundays. I leave laziness to Saturdays, rising late before heading out for plans or shopping or whatever. But Sundays I like to stay busy, feeling the morning as a kind of stretchy, calming yoga flow moving from gentle task to gentle tasking knowing the outcome is heavenly.

I think tidying up is my most effective act of self-care. There’s no facemask or bath bomb in the world that can give you the sense of relief that a deep clean can. The smell of fresh cleaner, the perseverance, the pay off as you step back; it's so mindful and cleansing in every aspect. If you wanted to, you could even see it as a form of aromatherapy as the scent of that lemon surface cleaner helps to boost your mood and focus. I see it as a time of easy productivity, a foolproof sense of achievement that comes without any mental strain. Turn on, tune in, drop out as my mind switches off as France Gall starts to sing in a language I don’t understand. Cleaning weirdly gives me a sensation of home, few things make me feel so centred and calm than dusting my bookshelves just like I did every Sunday of my childhood.

When the room smells like anti-bac and the hoover switches off, I hear Dylan croon one more cup of coffee before I do, I grant his request.

Recently coffee has become a Sunday thing or a weekend thing at least as I hardly drink it at work. But at the weekend, I slave over it. Brewed as masterfully as my lack of skill allows and topped with some foamy milk, I sip it while I cook something, despairing that I’m not about to eat a roast. Ruby Tandoh puts it perfectly when she talks about how we can enjoy an eggs bene or a great pasta dish or a Maccies or whatever, but we’ll never forget the ‘Yorkshire puddings that made us.’ On a dream Sunday I’d be eating veg and 2 forms of potato and some kind of vegetarian fake meat that my mum makes especially for me, the annoying vegetarian in the family. I’m always having mint sauce with it, I’m always having extra gravy, I’m always fighting over why I deserve the left-over stuffing because everyone else had more meat. On a dream Sunday I sip overly sweet rose and criticise it in chorus with my nana. But coffee will do, I think about all this which poaching some eggs. The Mamas and Papas summarise it for me; this is dedicated to the one I love.

By mid-day I want air so I put on the day. I always intend to go minimal pinpointing some concealer and patting it in with a warm beauty blender, but I normally always catch myself slicking on a cat-eye. High levels of effort is my base rate, my casual Sunday outfits morph into full character informed looks, dressing myself up as one of Warhol’s factory girls might have dressed if she was nipping out for coffee on a rough Sunday morning. The Velvet Underground becomes muffled as I pull a black turtle neck over my head and tuck it in the wide leg jeans I practically live in. I let this take a long time. Now I work full time, slow vanity has become a luxury, so weekend mornings are spent mostly in front of a mirror painting on my face while listening to music or watching some Netflix.

Then I’m out, The Beatles are calling me a rich man in my headphones. Blessed to live in the centre of a city, the second I open the door they day hits me, bustling and exciting. I run the errands I need to, weaving around the crowds, then I take myself somewhere. Sometimes to the gallery, sometimes round vintage shops, sometimes to a café. Sunday afternoons I can most likely be found in Idle Hands with an oat cappuccino and an empty plate of pie, writing a blog post while stopping myself from getting another slice. I sit and write letters to friends, maybe journal a little then wander back, stopping in and out of shops trying to stop myself spending money or getting another photobooth strip from Fred Aldous.  By the time I get home, the town is now quiet as evening rolls in far too early now.

Sunday night sound like Elton singing Rocket Man, interrupted by a washing machine and food cooking. They smell like palo santo incense. They look like a yoga mat staying untouched still as laziness takes over my bones. If the Sunday scaries have taken a strong hold on me, Sunday nights taste like mashed potato, made with lots of butter and milk like my Grandma always taught me. Sunday nights feel like warm baths while I sip gin and watch drag race, face masks and fresh sheets and hot water bottles. In bed I sip chai, try to force myself to journal but usually surrender to Netflix, distracting myself from the looming work week. Ideally, before midnight, Sunday nights sound like thunderstorm sounds and white noise, they feel like sleep till my alarm wakes me for a new week.

  • Share:

You Might Also Like


Talk to me...