Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturdays are Made of This

Today has been a fairly average Saturday. But the very fact that it's been Saturday makes it automatically pretty damn good. For so many years, as a student, and in my bookshop days, I worked on Saturdays, and sometimes even Sundays, so now that I inhabit the grown-up world of 'Mon-Fri, 9-5 work', weekends are always something of a celebration. Sundays are great too, but right now I'm feeling the Saturday love, and am inspired to share some of the things that define my own personal Saturday utopia...

Sleep... The all-important signifier that the weekend has landed... being woken by one's biological timeclock at 7am, opening one eye to look at the clock, then blissfully realising that you don't have to get up for work, and returning into a smug, mellow doze for several more hours. On finally rising at one's own pace, two cups of tea are essential to reinforce that feeling of weekendly indulgence.

Pampering...This could involve anything from a long hot bath, to a massage or facial, but today took the form of a well-needed haircut at my funky local unisex barber in Kemptown - Barber Blacksheep. In the lovely Sonja, I have finally discovered someone who understands my unruly mop, and so getting a trim has become a pleasure rather than a trial. As I sat waiting my turn, enjoying the mellow ska being played on the salon stereo, I also indulged one of my other weekend pleasures - reading the paper. I admit to deferring the intake of serious news in favour of heading straight for Jon Ronson's column in the Guardian magazine. His witty, informal style of writing is the sort of journalism to which I aspire. The lady next to me, with whom I happily shared my supplements, was also a big fan.

Shopping... The art of weekend shopping (as opposed to pressured lunchtime missions in Lewes) falls into three distinct camps - cultural (books, music, films), aesthetic (clothes, shoes, accessories) and food (from anywhere other than the supermarket). I am pleased to report that I successfully pursued two out of these three whilst out and about today. Hanging out in the outstanding Rounder Records is almost a hobby in itself - chatting to (and out-geeking) the knowledgeable and ever so-slightly snobby staff, and coming away with way more CDs than I intended to buy - typically a few bargain 'classics' and one or two current/chart albums. But I must confess to a rare infidelity on this particular outing, as I was sucked into Fopp, which seems to be the music shop equivalent of Ikea - tempting you with endless bargains that seem too cheap to resist, causing you to splurge unintentionally. Today I was tempted by: Amy Winehouse - Frank (I've been loving the new album, and it was only a fiver - see! SEE! that's how they get you!), LCD Soundsystem - Of Silver (a 6Music favourite that's got under my skin) and Bright Eyes - Digital Ash in a Digital Urn. I still love you Rounder, please don't be cross.

Food... Obviously eating is an integral part of every day, but Saturdays afford the opportunity to indulge a little more than usual in the art of culinary appreciation. My home-cooked veggie breakfasts are rather fine, if I do say so myself, and there is nothing nicer than lunching out at one of Brighton's many excellent cafes (regular favourites include Food for Friends, 32, Bill's, The Sanctuary). Rather unusually though, today's foodie moment didn't happen until this evening, when I concocted home-made stuffed vine leaves, a first-attempt and a personal triumph!

Drink... Not exclusively a weekend pursuit, but usually commenced in earnest on a Friday, the vino-moment is somehow more special on a Saturday, when the aforementioned activities have induced a different kind of thirst to the slumped-on-the-sofa-swigging-at-end-of-working-day kind you get on a Friday. The Saturday glass of wine is to be sipped and savoured, usually as a precursor to further drinking of the spirit variety, and often a means of warming up before heading out on the town. In anticipation of a home-based weekend, my wine rack is currently satisfyingly well-stocked, and in between typing I'm sipping a cheeky Rioja from one of my over-sized wine glasses. I really want a set of those whole-bottle sized ones, but am aware that this may not be a particularly sensible idea... just one glass... hmmmm....

Dancing... Sadly this is the one pleasure in which I shall not be indulging today. But then I am still recovering from a few hectic weekends in which there was much drunken flailing, and am consciously conserving my energy for some planned party excursions to come...
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