I've taken a couple of days off to have a proper break over the Bank Holiday weekend. We've had a pretty full-on summer, and our annual conference is in September so work will get very busy after the long weekend and there won't be much let up. I've got quite a lot of leave left, so I thought I'd treat myself to a bit of a rest and take some action to help me feel the best I can about myself. I've got some pampering ahead tomorrow (eyebrows, eyelashes and hair!) and hopefully - if the Boy is feeling a bit better - some quality Mr and Mrs time ahead.
It's such a different experience having a day off in the week - there's this whole different London out there that I didn't know existed. A daytime London unrestricted by office hours. I went to the post office at lunchtime, and the empty Spanish cafe that I pass each morning on the walk into work was thriving and bustling, no spare table to be found as the voices of couples, colleagues and groups of students filled the air. The pavements were heaving with colour and shapes - mothers and their babies out for walks in the summer rain with bright anoraks and brollies, not the stock grey suits and black umbrellas of the city that call my eyeline and book end the working day. Groups of students eat their lunches in the square by my flat, sitting on benches where I never normally see a soul, sharing the latest gossip.
I felt really drawn to this other London, this parallel life that exists only when my back is turned. I'm curious to know more and longing to try something different, and be a part of this other community. I guess if/when we're lucky enough to have a family I'll have a year's maternity leave from work and being off in the week will be the norm, not the exception to the rule. I look forward to discovering more about this freer London life and the lucky souls who enjoy a break from the 9am-5pm routine.