26 Dec On the Joy of Making New Friends

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly – cover date 26 December


At family gatherings, my adorable Great-Uncle Frank – a wise and witty raconteur in a family not short of them – was fond of saying at the end of a story, “Oh, well… You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family”.

This was a potentially disastrous thing to say in a room full of relatives but we all knew what Frank meant. The story would have been about some daft cousin or irritating in-law who was – happily – not currently in the room. Instead, we were the ones celebrating together largely because we all liked each other, not just because we shared a fair bit of DNA.

We are terrifically lucky if we enjoy the company of our wider family. It is certainly not a given – all around the motu there are people who gird their loins and hope for the best each Christmas, while also putting an escape plan in place. “Would love to stay longer but we promised a fictional person we’d drop by with a non-existent gift and my partner has just given me the secret signal that it’s time – must dash!”

And while there is definitely something magical about being in the company of older relatives who have known you your whole life, these days I also relish spending time with relatively new friends.

I don’t know where I picked up the idea that, as you get older, is gets harder to make friends but this is definitely a load of nonsense. I suspect I might have heard it from those ghastly people who say your school and/or university years will be The Best Years of Your Life and it is all downhill from there. This was a terrifying prospect when I was all angst-riddled in my teens and twenties – this is the highlight?! – and I am happy to say that later life was much improved.

In fact, what I think really happens is that, as you get to know yourself better, you get better at making friends.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week – after a wild run of work and travel I have finally found time for myself and so have been meeting people for lunch for several days in a row. It feels wildly indulgent and also entirely necessary – to take an hour or two to catch up on news and celebrate the things that have been good.

People who know about the psychology of relationships – the platonic kind as well as the romantic ones – say there are key things to bear in mind. That it helps if you actively go looking for friendships (rather than assuming you will meet people by accident); that you should assume people will like you (this is an attractive vibe); and that it helps if you make yourself vulnerable – it draws us to each other and helps us connect.

This last one is harder for men, apparently, and easier for women who share universal experiences.

I am, it is fair to say, a chronic over-sharer. You tell me about your latest work project or that you’ve bought a new lounge suite, and I’ll blurt out some epiphany I just had with my therapist.

Even so, I just had lunch with four women and we swapped stories about parenting and periods and “what our mothers told us about sex when we were kids” and honestly, none of us knew each other even two years ago, and I don’t know what Uncle Frank would say about it, but we are properly bonded now.






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13 Dec Lowering The Voting Age to 16

First published by RNZ 3.12.22 “It all works better when everyone feels involved”


Democracy is a lot like helping out around the house – as soon as the kids show the slightest bit of interest, they should be heartily encouraged.

Doesn’t matter if they don’t do it the way you would. It takes a while to master hospital corners and stack the dishwasher “properly” (as in “to your liking”) but youthful enthusiasm should be tapped into and nurtured because society – like a household – works best when everyone feels involved.

I voted in my first general election in 1981. I’d been keen but too young in 1978, my last year at high school – though this hadn’t stopped me researching who I’d vote for if I could. The National MP was a family friend (too conservative for my liking), the Labour candidate was a teacher at school (not a favourite) so I’d signed up at the local library to hear more about the chap standing for a new party called Social Credit.

He duly popped round to our house, bless him – a surprise for my parents who were active National Party members, and no doubt disappointing for him once he found out I had no vote to give him.

Not every kid will want their own “meet the candidates” private viewing, but it feels normal – should feel normal – to be curious about how the world works in terms of who is in charge, how they get there, and where you fit in that equation. This is what adolescence is about – making sense of social structures and placing yourself in part of something bigger.

We are going to be talking about the voting age for at least the next six months – a law is being drafted to lower the age to 16 after the Supreme Court declared the voting age of 18 inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act. Parliament must either agree to lower the age, or argue 16 and 17 year olds shouldn’t vote.

What grounds might you have for that? Perhaps you think 16 and 17 year olds are too immature to vote. In which case we might want to reconsider other things they do – like leave school, drive a car and pay tax. Also, if maturity is a pre-requisite for voting, we’d need a test other than date-of-birth – I’ve met some pretty flaky 39 year olds.

Perhaps you think these 200,000 new voters will all be raving lefties who will skew the results – an argument which would surely reveal a lack of confidence in conservatives’ youthful appeal. And maybe a ripple of progressive idealism would balance the curmudgeonly tide at the other end.

Or perhaps you think it is pointless because they’ll vote the way their parents tell them to. This was an argument 130 years ago against women’s suffrage (that effectively they’d double their husband’s vote) so it’s a rather dusty one. The assumption of parental influence would also suggest you’ve never had, or been, a teenager.

Instead, think about what we might capture by inviting 16 and 17 year olds into the democratic process while they are curious, mostly still at home and going to school so in a relatively stable environment, surrounded by peers also learning. Engaged and actively involved.

This is not like lowering the drinking age – no one is going to get drunk on voting. Though there’s evidence it is habit forming, that you are more likely to vote if you voted last time round.

Similarly, your teenagers are more likely to use the washing machine after you’ve guided them through it that first time. That dishwasher, though, is another story.







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09 Dec Gifting

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly – cover date 12.12.22


What kind of nana buys her grandchild a kazoo? You’re looking at it. By all means, bear this in mind as I offer my hot tips on how to do Christmas gifts.

To be fair, I was in something of a dissociative state when the kazoo ended up on the shop counter. I had taken both grandchildren – one 4 years old, the other a day off 9 – to their local mall to choose a book each as a present.

My big girl turns into Judge Judy when she’s shopping – fast, decisive, unswayable. She picks a thing, bangs her gavel and it’s done. But my small boy is like a puppy in a forest full of squirrels, distracted every 30 seconds by the next thing over there.

Choices made at last, I’d discovered my wallet was missing so we’d abandoned everything and sprinted back to the car to find it (phew) hiding under the passenger seat. Returning to the store, Nuku changed his mind again and somehow a kazoo ended up beside the books.

It turned out okay – kazoos don’t seem nearly as kazoo-ish as I remember. Also, I can turn my hearing aid down.

But this gift-buying reminded me that next on my list will be Christmas shopping. (To all of you who have already done yours, well done, so happy for you, I bet you’ve made lots of other terrific life choices which I’d love to hear about it but not right now because I’m a bit pressed for time.)

My approach with the kids – and with their mother before them – is the old-school one-two-three of Something To Eat, Something To Wear, and Something To Play With. And “play with” can also mean “read” or “experience” – so a bike in a special year, but often a book, or a family trip to the zoo.

I am inspired by a birthday gift from a fabulous friend – a book subscription which started in August and will go on into the New Year. Each month there is a package on my doorstep (it’s already great because it’s six presents!) of a book chosen particularly for me by the people who work in a Wellington bookstore. Their picks are based on my answers to their questionnaire: what kind of books I love, what have I enjoyed recently, what are my all-time favourites, what would I not have a bar of…

A personal note comes in each package. “A local novel full of loveable weirdos… Enjoy!” from Jane, and “Some super wholesome essays – don’t worry, they won’t rot your teeth with sugary sentiment.” from Becks.

There has been only one misstep – a book which I’d already read and adored. Proof, of course, that they’ve nailed what I like, and easily exchanged for another I’d had my eye on.

It is a remarkable feeling, to open each parcel and see what these book-loving bookstore people have chosen for me. It is a delight to think that someone has held you in their head as they’ve scanned their shelves for just the thing you might fancy.

It reminds you that this is the magical part of gifts – knowing someone has been thinking about you even when you weren’t around, and wanting to make you happy, and finding the present that will do this.

Of course, the other thing about books arriving in the mail is that they don’t accidentally come with a kazoo. How you feel about that is over to you.









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05 Dec Get Into Your Comfort Zone

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 5.12.22


My Christmas gift to myself between now and the 25th of December is to get right inside my Comfort Zone and stay there.

Yes, you read that right. I know any number of self-help gurus and motivational speakers will urge you to “do something every day that scares you”, to challenge yourself, break out of your routine, to feel the fear and do it anyway…

Go for your life if you fancy it, but I’d be keen on a bit of mundanity. Honestly, I reckon we all deserve a few days under the duvet at this point – if not literally (I’d quite like it literally) then on a spiritual level.

These last few years have been a wild ride of learning new things, embracing the new normal, managing uncertainty and assessing health risks daily. Now I find myself craving the familiar and comfortable and predictable.

It hit me over the weekend as I drove – using GPS and blind faith – around a city I don’t know well, looking for things whose location was a mystery. I wanted to find a bookshop, a florist and some doughnuts to make my granddaughter’s birthday sparkle which meant navigating unknown roads in torrential rain.

Side note: Is there a city anywhere in this fine country not currently up to its chin in roadworks? I mean, it is terrific that our infrastructure is getting a good seeing to, but navigating city streets sometimes feels like trying to dance with someone who is undergoing surgery. (Macabre analogy but it came to me while I was sitting at a Stop/Go sign and I’m using it so I can feel that time wasn’t wasted.)

What hit me was how exhausted I felt about being on high alert in unfamiliar territory. That I wanted to be somewhere I knew, and to switch into auto-pilot. I wanted a day – maybe a few in succession – that didn’t involve launching myself into a new activity, meeting new people, or trying a thing I’d never done before.

This is unusual for me. I like novelty – unknown places, unfamiliar food, new frocks. I relish driving on roads I’ve never travelled before and go out of my way (literally) to find them. I was thrilled to take the coast road home from Russell recently, aware as I wound up each hill and dropped down to the coastline again and again that this was the first time I had seen any of this land or that view of the sea.

But we have all, I think, been moving at pace this year while also on high alert. There has been a sense of urgency about being with each other, getting on planes, catching up on things we couldn’t do for what seemed like a very long time.

Though “long time” is relative. I reflect often on my grandparents and great-grandparents whose lives were much more disrupted and for much longer by a couple of World Wars, and admire their resilience and social cohesion, and wonder if we’d have managed to keep the blackout curtains closed.

Meanwhile, there will be no Christmas gifts for sky-diving or taking up the banjo, thank you. I’m not even going to try a new recipe. We will have the usual Christmas Trifle because this is, after all, what “traditions” are for – to comfort us with the familiar.

So join me as I pop on my slippers and step right back into my Comfort Zone – a place which will feel like a bit of a novelty.




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29 Nov Happy 90th Birthday to the NZ Woman’s Weekly

Published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 28 November 2022


There is every chance that in 1934, when my grandmother was pregnant with my mother and visiting the doctor, there was a copy of the NZ Woman’s Weekly in the waiting room.

The magazine would have been 2 years old then and surely already a staple of waiting spaces. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been in a waiting room without a NZ Woman’s Weekly in it, except maybe during the early part of this pandemic when we weren’t allowed to touch things, and possibly the odd corporate foyer where they’d prefer you to have a go at enjoying their latest annual report. There’s nothing like a group photo of the Board of Executives, most of whom are named “John”, to have you hankering for some celebrity gossip and a new recipe for eggplant.

So I like the thought of this magazine being there for Grandma right at the very beginning of my mother’s life.  Certainly by the time I came along the Weekly was a constant in our lives. Recent copies would be stacked neatly in my grandmother’s living room magazine rack, while the latest was close by with a cup of tea. Any number of back issues could be found in the sunporch at my Great-Aunt Ruth’s – a terrific way to while away a rainy school holiday afternoon.

It is inside these pages that I first saw the Royal Family in colour (our TV only provided black & white images because I am very old) and I marvelled at their matching dress-coat-hat ensembles in thrilling pastel shades. The ladies of our town tended towards black for church, maybe a wild splash of navy.

I would try my hand at the crosswords and quizzes, and read Letters to the Editor that were rather more glass-half-full than the ones published in the Levin Chronicle. People who wrote to the newspaper mostly pointed out how badly someone had got things wrong, but these letters to the magazine were from people who said they’d enjoyed reading a thing, or felt that way, too, or had another story to share.

When you’re little, celebrities get mixed up with other people you’ve heard of but haven’t yet met. The name “Jean Wishart” was so familiar, I thought it belonged to an actual family friend, not the famous stranger who edited the Weekly from 1952 to 1984. She lived in a corner of my mind with Aunt Daisy who I initially assumed was a distant relative of my Dad’s.

My mother, who took her fashion seriously, subscribed to English Vogue which she picked up monthly from our local bookstore. But in between she’d collect my grandmother’s Weekly and wasn’t above giving it a jolly good onceover before dropping it round to hers.

When it briefly looked like we’d lost the Weekly in 2020, I heard a man describe it as “a women’s magazine” in a way that suggested a magazine for women was less important than a magazine for people (men). Rude. It has been one of the few places we have always been able to read our own stories over the last 90 years.

I also heard this man say, “I don’t know anyone who reads it”. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. I leave my copies in the magazine rack in my living room, and my daughter and granddaughter will occasionally pounce on them for celebrity gossip and local news, and maybe this column.

Five generations over 90 years. Happy Birthday to us, and many more.

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21 Nov What You Learn on Your Day Off

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 21.11.22


There is a moment in each holiday when you can feel like maybe this whole relaxation thing is just too stressful and you’re tempted to give up and put your work pants back on.

I almost pulled the plug on this mini break away before it even started. (As I write this I can wriggle my toes and feel the sand stuck between them so, spoiler alert, I made it in the end.) I had a job booked up north – one night only – and decided to go earlier and stay later to do… well, nothing at all. Sleep, read, walk, eat, stare at things.

I can tell when I am nearing burn-out. The voice in my head (the one we all have with that endless running commentary) turns into a right cow. I’ll be in the shower in the morning, minding my own business, and she’ll be all, “You shouldn’t have done that, you’re stupid, and also everyone is stupid and also mean, and I bet nothing goes right today, see, shampoo in your eye, typical.” And it takes a fair bit of energy to shush her which is a pity because you’re short on energy which is how she got in that mood.

So a little break away, a change of scene, waking up without an alarm seemed a sensible idea. But all efforts to clear my agenda for a couple of days were thwarted and the day before I packed my bag I realised I’d also have to pack my laptop, a box of research notes and a long To Do list with deadlines attached. Maybe just cancel the motel and stay home where I keep the stationery and the coffee? Also, the cat had seen my suitcase and he looked sad.

But I pushed on and I can tell you that ten minutes out of the city I felt my shoulders drop, and 30 minutes into the 3 hour trip I was singing and grinning, two of my favourite things.

There is something about geographical distance from the location of your usual routine that makes even routine things feels a bit sparkly. I can look up from my GST spreadsheet, see the ocean and listen to the waves for a minute, and the association of these things makes totting up the columns almost a joy.

All the work feels fun – the gig for a roomful of lawyers, even my business emails have a certain joie de vivre.

I’ve also had one of my epiphanies.

On other holidays, once I’ve relaxed, slowed down, noticed how bright the colours are and begun to feel time as something vast and full of choices, I’ve tried to sort of … bottle that feeling. “Remember this when you get home,” I’ve thought, “take this holiday feeling with you, try to live this deliberately and with this much pleasure all the time.”

But of course, you go back into your old routine. Which is when your internal monologue will grab a chance in the shower to suggest you’re a failure, that you’ve let the magical holiday feeling slip through your hands.

But of course it has – it isn’t possible to live like you’re on holiday when you’re not. Instead, it is enough to feel it mindfully at the time, to know you are capable of relaxing into yourself when you get the chance – for a week, or a day, or even an afternoon.

Heading home now to plan the next one.


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14 Nov Look Out, You’re Doing It!

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 14.11.22


There was a trip when I was about 7 to Wellington’s State Opera House. If you haven’t been there, you should put it on your list. It was then, and is again now, “a grande dame of a théatre” (it helps if you say that whole phrase with a French accent). Crisp black and white tiles, red velvet, gold paint. If it were a lady, she would smell of face powder and wear a beauty spot on her cheek. Possibly have a little lipstick on her teeth.

We had driven from Levin to see a ballet – I don’t remember which one. This is one of those things parents do when their kid has taken up a thing – ballet, kapa haka, rugby, piano – you take them to watch the pros doing it properly to inspire them, show them how good this thing can be at its best.

Our seats were in the gods – way, way at the back and up so high I thought if leant too far forward I would fall on the people in the front row. (I’ve been up there as an adult and it doesn’t feel at all like that, which is one of the disappointing things about being an adult.)

My sudden desire then was not to become a dancer, or even about spending my life dressing up and going to shows. The startling thought was that I wanted to see all this the other way round – from the stage, looking out. That, I felt sure, was the better view.

And it is. Bang on, seven-year-old me. I think of her – not just when I get to work on that particular stage, though then for sure – and I tell her I think it’s cool to know where you want to stand and which way you want to face so early in your life.

I used to think it was weird that a) I wanted that, and b) knew I wanted that. But I can see now that we all have these moments of clarity, of yearning to be in the thing – part of it, not watching it. For all of us there will be a job, or a side hustle, or a skill you want to learn, a place you want to live, the family you want to build, or the kind of person you want to be. You will have felt an instant of recognition when you saw it and thought, “There it is, that’s the thing. I want to be inside that picture, not looking at it.”

And so there are two magical moments to be celebrated when you meet them – one is knowing that you’ve spotted a future you would like, and the other is knowing you’ve got there.

It’s that second one especially you need to keep a weather eye out for in case you miss it. It can be like learning to ride a bike – finding your balance feels impossible, and you’re terrified, and then at some point the person holding you lets go but you don’t notice until someone shouts, “You’re doing it!” and you realise that you are.

See also: swimming, driving a car, learning a second language, becoming a parent, graduating, meditating, and getting a job. At some point either someone will shout from the sidelines – or even better, you will notice yourself – that this thing you wanted to do? You’re doing it.


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09 Nov On the Pain (and Sometimes Pleasure) of “Waiting”

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 7.11.22


Waiting – the act of hanging about in some degree of limbo – is rarely described in positive terms. Even the rooms set aside expressly for this purpose are mostly sad affairs – bad art, out-of-date magazines, uncomfortable chairs and an even less comfortable silence. When was the last time you stepped into a waiting room and thought, “Wow, I hope I get to be here for ages”?

Of course, in these spaces we can be waiting for potentially bad news. Sometimes you don’t know how worried you’ve been until you find out that everything is fine. There was a scan a few weeks ago that I’d thought I was totally relaxed about until I got the all-clear. At which point I drove home, cancelled that evening’s plans, collapsed on the couch and had a jolly good cry.

Where, I thought between sobs, were these sobs coming from? The news was good! But there must have been more anxiety humming in the background over those days between test and results than I’d been conscious of. How weird was I?

Not so weird – you’ve probably felt it, too. Last week there was a wonderful text from my friend who had experienced exactly this – a level of relief about good news that showed just how much she had dreaded something bad. She was texting now from under her duvet.

So there is anxious waiting, but we can forget there are other kinds, some of which are delicious. I’ve always liked the bit between exams (of the academic kind) and the posting of results. A golden period after the work, but before the judgement. There’s a chance it went well, so you can choose to imagine it has. Or at least try that choice on and see how it feels before the dread sneaks back in.

I have felt that kind of delicious waiting again in recent years during the spell between writing a book and releasing it into the wild. Again, it’s a golden time when your work is done, your deadline has been met, but no one has read it yet and it feels like a secret. Might be a good secret, no?

Ditto for opening night of a new show. That pause after the creation and before the reviews come in is when you can imagine a world where what you created is good because no one has told you yet that it’s not. As waiting rooms go, that’s a fine place to loiter.

I think of this kind of “waiting” when I’m hosting an awards night for a business or community group and at the start of the night you look out at a room filled who people who have been nominated for something special, and they are wearing a thing that’s fancy and also new, and there is the possibility for each of them that they’ll hear their name called.

There are other kinds of waiting, too. Not for “results” for but for events on a calendar, like Xmas or the return of someone we love – happy anticipation. Or when you’ve been asked to keep a secret about something really good, and waiting feels like tucking a little treasure into your pocket for later. Or the wait can be less patient when it is for things we need like money (the cheque’s in the mail, mate).

And we wait for babies to arrive, which involves a little of all the above. And almost as soon as they’re here, we start teaching them how to wait, with patience.


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31 Oct On Failure

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 31.10.22


Once, when a journalist saw me work one night at Auckland’s comedy club, he asked me afterwards how it had felt when one of the jokes I’d done hadn’t worked.

And when I say “hadn’t worked” it was in a quite spectacular way. Not only had there been no laughs, there had been the kind of silence we commonly describe as “uncomfortable”. Maybe followed by a groan? Hard to say – I’m deaf and it’s impossible to read lips in the dark. Small mercies.

Had I been mortified, he’d asked? Wounded? Shame-faced? I thought about it and realised that a new thing had happened. Yes, I felt a little of those things but mostly what I felt was pleased. Pleased that I had tried a new bit – the hardest part of comedy is coming up with new bits – and sure, it hadn’t worked … Yet. But it might if I kept working on it.

Though I’d realised that wasn’t the point, either. The point was ‘failure’ meant I had taken a risk. And taking a risk had become more important to me than success. If I was taking a creative risk, that meant I was still learning, and still alive.

It was the first time I’d thought of it that way – or been aware that this was how I’d started to feel. I used to be terrified of failure, anxious pre-show to the point of nausea. Maybe with this new way of seeing it, I could finally relax.

All of us spend a lot of time hoping we don’t fail – at work, as parents, in relationships. We are wired to want to succeed, and to survive. Also, failing sucks – it makes your face hot, and your stomach drop, and you want to crawl away and hide. Failing publicly – it doesn’t have to be on stage, it can just be in front of any number of humans starting with as few as one – feels physically and emotionally a lot like shame.

So we do a bunch of things to avoid failure. Good things, like preparing, training, doing our homework, making the effort, committing ourselves fully to a challenge. And maybe less good things – like not taking on a challenge at all, just in case it doesn’t work out. You’re not going to have a bad gig if you don’t do any gigs at all.

I’m aware that, at different times over the years, I have avoided competitions – or generally competitive situations – when I’ve been feeling less resilient. You weigh it up and realise that, at this moment, winning might feel ‘this’ good but losing would feel ‘THIS’ bad, so you take yourself out of the running.

Which is sensible for a short time, but no way to live forever. I’ve been thinking about this over recent days as I’ve watched people I admire and respect who had put themselves up for local body elections – which must feel like a kind of community-wide popularity contest. Some of them didn’t win and I imagine that feels pretty stink, to spend many months and lots of money, offering your services and then not being chosen. Ouch.

But also, how courageous to take that kind of risk, and how kind it is to make that offer.

Meanwhile, I still get nervous before every show. I’m still aware that I am always a heartbeat away from failure. But also, if some part of it fails, the bigger part of me is delighted I risked a new thing.



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24 Oct What Makes It A Day Off?

First published in the NZ Woman’s Weekly 24.10.22


Two months till Christmas, right? Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I just looked at the date and got a tiny fright myself. Ever since Covid turned up in our lives and we started spending chunks of time on “pause”, I’ve lost my inbuilt sense of “how long ago” and “how soon until”. But I think “two months till Christmas” usually comes with a mild sense of panic, right?

I am never ready for Christmas. Like anyone who works in events or entertainment, my work is seasonal and each Silly Season is delightfully mad. It starts in September, builds up a proper head of steam through October and November, and pops like a cork in December. All fun and games till someone loses an eye.

We’re not alone in this – the build-up of pressure applies to anyone who works in a business that wraps at Christmas and takes a summer break. Schools, offices, factories, tradies – anyone who plans a family getaway or shuts up shop will feel it.

So Christmas shopping happens when you are also frantically writing end of year reports, finishing projects, waiting for family to descend, booking travel and accommodation for January, and suddenly remembering one of the kids starts at a new school in February. (Again, sorry if I scared you.)

I haven’t had what you might call “a day off” for weeks – I say this not in a “wah wah” way, but with amazement that we are back to pre-Covid levels of gatherings, gala dinners and all those good things that give me a reason to shake out the sequins and fire up the curling tongs.

Though somewhere in this wild romp of gigs and travel and writing, it has made me ponder what actually constitutes “a day off”.

Is it a day when you don’t do anything you get paid for? In which case, travel days back from an event would count – except they don’t feel like rest and recreation. Is “a day off” not just about the absence of paid work, but about being able to choose what you do?

Of course, choosing what you do for a whole day is a rare luxury for a parent. Your day away from work is also their day away from school, which has you cast in unpaid roles of chauffeur, cheerleader, event manager, cleaner and cook. Some of this is fun, but it’s not all what you would choose. I recall the year my daughter signed up for water polo which involved 6am starts on a Saturday. I’m not saying I discouraged her from a second year but … I didn’t actively encourage it either.

Maybe each of us needs to think about what “a day off” looks like and see if we can design a date here and there that somewhat resembles this.

Here’s mine: Waking up without an alarm set; listening to music, not the news; not checking emails till I’ve made coffee and read something uplifting; doing some kind of bendy, stretchy exercise thing; sorting laundry and cleaning a thing till it shines; looking forward to something nice on a plate; and approaching each task slowly – even invoices or work emails or filing – and savouring it without being impatient to finish. It’s the slowness, I reckon, that makes it feel less of a chore, and tricks you into thinking it is something you choose to do.

Also, doing it – just for a day now and then – in my pyjamas. Guess what I’m wearing now.


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