Ruth Walker: ‘Of course the sun will be shining, it’s my fantasy day off and I’ll have it my way

I ’M NOT normally prone to bouts of crying in public. Actually, that’s a bare-faced lie. The Teenager walked in on me whimpering at EastEnders the other night (something to do with Jack and the baby and Kat and, oh no, hang on a minute, that’s got me started again ... where did I put those tissues?). Anyway, I had to pretend I’d been self-harming to deflect any potential humiliation.

But today, people, today I feel like sobbing openly. Giant, blubbing tears plopping right on to this here page. Not of sadness or shame or even baby-snatching empathy. No, these are whacking great tears of relief. Today, you see, is my first day off in a fortnight. Fourteen days solid of festival reviews and magazine features and riots and financial meltdown and near-constant tweeting and, to be perfectly frank, I’m knackered with it all. And I don’t use that word lightly. I really mean it, in the sense of (thank you Free Online Dictionary): “Brit slang adj: worn out; no longer working, esp after long or hard use.”

I’m like a lame old horse that can no longer do its job. I might as well be turned into Pedigree Chum or a tube of UHU. (Disclaimer: this in no way suggests the aforementioned branded items are involved in the plundering of animal parts for their products; it is merely a device used to illustrate a point with humorous intent. Your honour.)

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So, I’m thinking: lie-in, followed by the full fry (poached eggs, please, yolk a little runny). Maybe a little light, recreational shopping. There’s a pair of boots I’ve been coveting for a whole two weeks but have managed to resist so far (and they say I have no self-control – sheesh!). A long, boozy, late lunch with friends. In the sun (of course the sun will be shining; this is my fantasy day off and I’ll have it my way, OK?). Maybe we’ll take in a show, see a film, watch the sun go down from the beach (MY day, remember?).

But back to reality. I’ll still wake up at 7.30am on the dot, fully alert despite all my attempts to slip into a gin-induced coma. I’ll reach for the fridge, only to realise (of course) that I haven’t made it to the shops in a fortnight, so I can forget my long-dreamed-of fry-up. There’s no bread, and even the mouldy cheese has been chipped away at and slowly devoured until only a few green crumbs remain. Would it be too tragic to just have jam? On its own?

Any shopping I will do is much less likely to involve tissue paper and cardboard bags with rope handles and rather more likely to feature a rattly trolley with a dodgy wheel, the dregs of society all converged in a condensed area, and all wanting the same bag of iced buns, and the slowest till operator in Christendom.

I won’t see any friends (I’ll be too busy catching up on the hoovering), I won’t see a show (too expensive) and there’s nothing at the cinema I fancy. Oh, and of course it will be raining.

The only thing I can really guarantee, in fact, is that I will drink. Other than that, I might as well be at work. Roll on next weekend, eh? n

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