Today I have had a ‘Fat Saturday’. I read about the ‘Fat Saturday’ idea in Domestic Bliss by Rita Konig, one of my favourite books-to-read-in-bed-on-a-lazy-Saturday-morning type of books. Konig, former Vogue contributor on all things home-related, describes something that I’m sure many of us have felt at various times:
‘I defy anyone to say they have not had one of these. Even the skinniest of girls complain of bloated stomachs, usually a little wheat intolerance, or even those dreadfully depressing swollen ankles, which really send your legs off kilter. But beyond just feeling fat they are also low-on-morale days when the world is doing you wrong. These are not the days to go off and try to find the perfect pair of jeans.’
This definitely sums up how I felt this morning. I was ‘low on morale’, probably suffering from a post-submission anti-climax and a sense of foreboding about the future. So what to do? Here is my six-point cheer-myself up plan – well, not quite a plan, but this is how it worked out…
1) Visited my great aunt Doreen. Like so many women of her generation, she has worked so hard & dealt with so many things, yet is always cheerful & smiling. During my BA, I interviewed her about being in women’s organisations and her love & enthusiasm for her groups really captured my interest & inspired me. Women’s organisations remained a key area of my research in my PhD, so I decided to dedicate my thesis to her. I told her this today, and although she seemed pleased, she was more interested in my love life – or lack of, I should say.
2) Went into my local town. Retail therapy is not my usual choice for cheering myself up – it can involved more traumas than joys and I’m sceptical about how ‘happy’ it ever makes anyone – but today I actually needed some things: hair bobbles and pinking shears. A random combo, but both essential for my latest crafting project (details will be added when it’s complete – and when the recipient has received their gift!). While in town, I also visited my friend’s new vintage clothes stall. And ended up buying a fab Chanel-esque red cardigan with gold buttons. It’s fab and hanging it on the outside of my wardrobe since I’ve got home has made me smile everytime it catches my eye. It’s like a huge knitted cherry.
3) Cleaned my room. Having a good clean is one of Konig’s tips for dealing with a Fat Saturday, as the end results are always so uplifting – there’s nothing more depressing than feeling like you live in a hovel. My bedroom was particularly in need of a clean as it had been heavily neglected over the last few weeks of work. Pranced around with a duster, listening to the Chelsea/Wolves game and an hour later – voila! Shiny, sparkling room. Well, almost – didn’t quite have time to hoover but with the low level lighting from my lamps you can’t really see the floor. That can wait another day or so.
4) Fish and chips for tea. With mushy peas. A guaranteed route to happiness.
5) Playing with my niece & nephew. Recreating a bit of Strictly with my niece; we developed quite a natty Charleston routine involving slapping our knees. Read to my nephew – a Spot the Dog story and then ‘Postman Pat’s Difficult Day’ – it was lovely having him cuddle up to me, plus reading was a handy distraction from X Factor which was on TV in the same room. I worked v hard on blanking it out. I didn’t even look at what Cheryl & Dannii were wearing – that’s hardcore resistance to temptation.
6) Sitting on my bed writing this blog. Reflecting on my day has made me realise that it’s been lovely after all & the black fog hanging over me has lifted – especially as I look around at my new bright & beautiful new cardigan and clean, sparkling room. Everything is glinting and gleaning, reflecting the light from the lamps – just how I feel inside.