What do Sundays mean to me? Bed, baths and books with happy endings. What do Sundays mean to you?
There’s something about Sundays. Have you ever noticed how Sundays grow up with us? My relationship with Sundays has developed over time, the way a friendship does with someone you’ve known for years. Take those school year Sundays for example. Those things left a lot to be desired. Back then Sundays were angst-ridden and meant racing to finish the last of my homework to the tune of BBC1’s Monarch Of The Glen. At University Sundays were spent recovering from Saturday and now? Now Sundays mean slowing down. I’ve settled into my Sundays, I’m reclaiming them.
So how do I spend my Sundays? A late start always. Any other day I like to wake up with the light but on Sundays I close the blinds and stave off the glimmer of the sun a little longer. I allow myself a moment or two lazing between the bed sheets before I reach for one of the books stacked on my bedside table. A book with a happy ending. Sundays are made for books with happy endings. A few cups of tea down the line – breakfast tea, strong, I’m a Yorkshire girl – and I migrate to the sitting room. The sitting room catches the best of the morning light. Still in pyjamas I find some sun-soaked spot by the window and flick my book open again. I can be there for hours if the storyline has me hooked.
The middle of my Sundays varies from week-to-week but being outdoors is always on the agenda. Growing up in the countryside has imbibed me with this bodily need to breathe in fresh air on the daily and it could be throwing down water like a power shower outside and I’ll still stride out. I need a breeze on my face, I need to walk on grass, I need to see trees. I want that dull ache in my legs from having walked too far.
Returning home my London flat transforms into a sanctuary. I feel like I’ve earned by evening huddled up indoors. As a beauty editor indulgence naturally translates into skincare. The ultimate treat? A face mask. I opt for something clarifying. You don’t walk your way to green open spaces in London without encountering a hefty dose of pollution along the way so my first move is to whip that away. Soak Sunday’s Midnight Storm Transformative Clay Face Mask is a failsafe. There’s something romantic about that name too, Midnight Storm. Mixing the thundercloud grey powder with water in a small pestle and mortar feels primitive and novel-worthy, then there’s its apothecary-esque blend of ginger, basil, charcoal, caffeine and kaolin clay. I paint it on slowly and methodically then reach for the bath taps.
Baths were a huge part of growing up for me. My mother loves baths and they were a recurring feature in my childhood. A deep, hot bath laced with lavender essential oil. The sound of the taps running, the smell of that lavender, my mother might have been the one in the bath but they soothed the whole household. Nowadays it’s Sunday that spells bath time for me. It’s a day I take in slow motion so it makes sense that I’d swap my shower for a soak.
Baths give me permission to switch off. Baths give me permission to soothe myself, to nourish my body and calm my mind. I always pour an oil into my bath. I remember once hearing that Sophia Loren used to add olive oil to her baths to nourish her skin and from then on I made it routine. Not olive oil it has to be said, I pick up a bottle of Soak Sunday’s Cleo’s Paradise Bath & Body Oil instead. With ingredients like oat, organic almond oil, vegan manuka and chamomile it’s my go-to skin soother and the smell hits all the right notes. I inhale its vapours in slow deep breaths as I paddle it through the water with my hand. I’ll while away the minutes in that tub, reading – of course – or dicing with technological disaster and watching a new show on my phone, precariously propped up on my bath shelf. After a few hot tap top-ups I let the water go tepid and reach for Soak Sunday’s Cleo’s Paradise Botanical Body Scrub. I smooth it over my limbs whilst standing, gently buffing back my glow before I dunk back into the water and swill the creamy formula away. Comfortably dozy I swaddle myself in a large white towel that’s still crisp from drying in the airing cupboard and slope back to my bed. I flop back and lie there a while, breathing in the still-balmy scent of my bath.
How did Sundays get so good? Yes, there’s definitely something about Sundays.