Hey Alanis, you know what’s more ironic than ten thousand spoons, besides making a massive xenophobic man child Foreign Secretary? Writing a blog post about that time you had 30 whole glorious minutes to yourself during a week when a time turner wouldn’t go amiss. But, here we are.
Deep in the bowels of kitchen renovation and washing machinelessness, last Saturday I stuffed my smalls into a classy bag for life and hot footed it to the launderette. It’s been a long while since I’ve been to a washing shop and I won’t lie, I was expecting a Levi’s moment. But lol, Torquay. So all that awaited me was a randy gentleman old codger asking if I wanted to help fold his underpants.
Mouth vom swallowed down, I carefully sorted my washing like a functioning adult (read: shoved every last bit into the nearest machine with a red duvet cover), threw all of my pocket money in after it and hot footed it to the nearest uber-hipster coffee shop. ‘Third wave’ is that the phrase? I made the uber-anti-hipster (maybe first wave?) mistake of showing little to no interest in the coffee beyond ‘nothing too bitter’.
‘Erm, none of our coffee is bitter, duh’. She stopped short of making me do a GoT shame walk through the streets.
Tucked away on a bench round the corner, well out of sight of the door, I took to the serious business of hunting down a wifi code. Is it behind the vintage sewing machine? Perhaps under the super cool record player? On realisation that it wasn’t happening organically and still too ashamed by my caffeinated faux pas to ask, I dug a book from the bottom of my bag and sheepishly ordered a bit of cake.
Do you know what happened then? I just sat and read. I KNOW. Free from the distraction of Twitter and Googling random puppies, I absorbed the words. I also felt a bit inspired to write some words down in a handy super pretentious notebook I had lying around. I like words so it felt like a treat.
It was just half an hour. Thirty little minutes away from my life. Away from the constant penis measuring the world seems to demand. Away from work and home and floorless kitchens. Away from teenagers and *gasp* spaniels. I didn’t give a second thought to my impossible workload or that gaping hole in my house, the one through which you could see into next doors’ hallway. Howdy neighbour.
30 minutes of completely restorative aloneness. In a coffee shop. In town.
It was the first time in months I’ve sat and read a book, I’d forgotten what an escape it is. I’d completely forgotten the joy that comes from doing something just for me. And the shitstorm of a week I’ve had since then has made me appreciate that cheeky demi-heure more than I thought possible. Enough to make me committed to finding thirty poxy minutes every single week in which I plan to do something that is 100% Michelle.
And you? When did you last do something that was all about you?