Sunday, 28 September 2008

A Very Good Day

I’m back. It was just a day but a day made a difference.

One of the mistakes I’ve made in life was that I always thought I had to put everything and everybody else before myself in order to be a good mum, housewife, daughter, friend, lover, employee, carer or whichever hat I happened to be wearing at the time. But that’s not so. While we do have certain duties that can’t and shouldn’t be ignored, taking time out to just be ourselves and do whatever we please makes being what we are for others so much easier and more enjoyable. Things become less of a chore. When I wore myself down so much by constantly running round after others and getting emotionally involved in the lives of everybody who felt like drawing me to the point where the stress actually landed me in hospital, I learned that Sharon has to come first. If I don’t look after myself, how can I be of any use to anybody else anyway? I sure as heck wouldn’t be much use buried six foot under the ground.

Anyway, yesterday was good. Very good.

I spent the first part in bed, hooked up to my feeding pump, alternating between an old Peter Robinson book and watching James Martin on the telly. LM came in and sat with me for a while and we chatted about relationships, friends and wotnot.

Once up I filled some rolls while LM fed the pets and we headed for the park. It was a beautiful day and I got a lovely dose of vitamin D while we watched a grandad throwing a stick into a chestnut tree, gathering conkers for his grandsons. It was peaceful and relaxing.

I usually have a bottle of chilled water with me whenever I go out but not so yesterday. When I dived into my canvas shopping bag to find the old Evian bottle (yes, once upon a time I used to buy them regularly), what did I find instead? Frozen sausages. Five plump pork and herb best butcher’s sausages. I’d taken them from the freezer before we left and obviously… well, suffice to say the water bottle was still on the work top at home.

We had bread for the ducks with us too but alas, there were no ducks. Usually, as soon as you bring out the sarnies they surround you but yesterday there was neither a quack to be heard nor a feather to be seen. The ducks had decamped.

After the park, we headed for town. LM wanted to buy a book and although I don’t actually need a new book, taking me into a bookshop is lethal. I mean, is it actually possible to go inside and come out empty handed? I’m sure booksellers cast some magic spell on unsuspecting casual browsers that compels us to buy at least one stack of printed paper bound in an enticing cover. I was good though, I did just buy the one. Well, at that point anyway.

Next LM wanted to go to Superdrug for new make-up. I couldn’t walk that far so suggested I go into a second bookshop to browse while I waited. Do I need to tell you what happened? You know the answer already don’t you? Three books and a four rolls of sellotape later LM found me. But the books were cheap; this was ‘The Works’.

I know shops like this aren’t good news for authors and while I do buy some books new and at full-price (the first one I bought was - honest), I can’t afford to buy them all like that and given the choice between everything at full price, the library and cheap, I have to go with the latter two at times. Well, most of the time actually. I could just stick to the library, and generally do these days, but it’s that being in an actual book shop syndrome thingy…. I just can’t resist opening my purse. Still, all four books cost me £14.96 so that wasn’t too bad. And one’s really useful - it’s all about bi-carb - what it is and it’s gazillion uses. The full-price book is Stuart Machonie’s ‘Pies & Prejudice’ and sounds both interesting and a good laugh. The third is an ‘unusual facts’ type book and as I love useless information it's right up my alley, and the fourth… well that’s a secret cos it’s a Christmas present and the recipient may well be reading this. You just never know who's lurking out there, do you?

Anyway, I was eventually scurfed out of the book shop and off we toddled, back to the car and headed for Morrison’s. I’d seen a three-tier steamer there on Friday for £9.98 and had decided to buy one. Ok, so that was another tenner that could have gone into the kitchen fund but I figured a steamer would give us healthier veg (well, it’d give LM healthier veg - I could eat pig swill and it’d make not a blind bit of difference to me but the veg will be tastier, I‘m sure) and would save money in the long run because I’d only need to use one gas ring for the spuds and veg instead of the usual two or three. I shall be trying it out today when those well-travelled sausages finally get eaten along with mash, carrots & cabbage. They were thawed but still cold by the time we got home.

Speaking of which, we were supposed to have the sausages yesterday - bangers and mash makes a good comfort meal I think - but by the time we got back I was shattered. We’d also been to a car lot to look for a new motor for LM y’see. Hers isn’t very well at the moment. Anyway, too knackered to bother with dinner, we decided to order a take-away. Yes… I parted with even more money. Oh, the extravagance of it all. The local Indian was called and a meal was duly delivered. £13.60...a lot of money when you’re supposed to be frugal and saving as much as possible but it was nice. Very nice. And it was my day to do whatever I liked and believe me, I liked.

We wound up the day by watching a film. I can’t remember the name of it now but it made me cry. But then so does Corrie. And Pet Rescue. And Casualty (the latter for the wrong reasons though - I hate it!). While I watched it, I knitted. I got half a sock done in that time so was quite productive really.

The best thing about the day was that while I got to do what I liked, I also got to spend the day bonding with LM. Mums and daughters need that and in today’s busy society, things like that often get overlooked. Sure, we eat meals together, sometimes go shopping together, and now and then we watch a film together, but a whole day spent together is something else. It was indeed a good day. A very good day.

Sharon J


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Anonymous said...

Oh Sharon, what a wonderful day! I too love love love James Martin - fancy writting in and setting us up?!

You deserved a day away and I'm so pleased you got a mental break.

Very true about mothers and daughters.

Caroline said...

Sounds like a lovely day, Sharon. I know EXACTLY what you mean about bookshops - I find it very difficult to go into one without buying at least one book that I don't need, but REALLY REALLY want! But there's no feeling more delicious than a new book in your hand, all that promise of those unread pristine pages .... I could go on, but think I better stop here, or the men in white coat'll be coming for me. Caroline x

Richard said...

Hey, you know I like Stuart Maconie (he's read my emails out on the wireless before) and I've been trying to get "Pies and Prejudice" or "Cider with Roadies" out of the library for ages but they're always out. Can I borrow it?

Eco Gites of Lenault said...

Sharon - you are a star!! I can't seem to find a steamer like that in France for love nor money. However, Simon is over in England in a couple of weeks so I might just send him off to Morrison's for that one. That'll make my gas bottle last a bit longer then :-)

Rosie x

Jennifer said...

I think Stuart Maconie is very funny!

Sharon, I think the steamer was a very good 'investment' kitchen piece!


Cottage Smallholder said...

A great post to read at the end of a long day.

The sausages in your handbag made me smile.

Bookshops and steamers are a joy.

WebSmith said...

If you take care of yourself first, you will be better able, emotionally and physically, to take care of others.

Sharon J said...

@ frugaltrenches. Surely he eats too much meat for you? And to be honest, the amount of butter the man uses in his cooking makes me feel quite sick. Doesn't stop me eyeballing him though ;)

@ Caroline. Yes... a brand new book is something special. I never let others read a new book that I've bought before I've read it myself. There's something about opening those virgin pages.

@ Richard. Yes, of course. But not until I've read it (see above).

@ Eco-gites. Good luck - I hope he finds one in whichever Morrison's he visits. I tried mine yesterday and it cooked the veg to perfection :)

@ Jennifer. Yes, the steamer was indeed a good investment piece. I'm chuffed with it.

@ Cottage Smallholder. The sausages made me smile too. Typical me, really :)

@ Websmith. Indeed, but when others put pressure on us, often unwittingly, it's easy to forget that.

emmani said...

good to see you back and happy...

Sharon J said...

Thanks, Emma :)

Catz said...

Glad you had a lovely day Sharon, I think you really needed it so well worth the expense. I now have steamer envy btw!

Catz x