I have just had what I would consider a luxurious Saturday. After my appointment with my hairdresser, I walked from Warren Street to the Royal Festival. The Royal Festival Hall is one of my favourite London escape joints. It’s free, there are clean working toilets, are great views of the river Thames and central London, there are endless places to eat. I feel pretty blessed to live in such an amazing city. This Saturday I just wanted to bury myself in a book and disappear. This is what I did.
I bought some lunch in the snack bar (potatoes, pea soup and a banana) and continued reading my latest purchase – ‘Brit(ish) : on race, identity and belonging’ by Afua Hirsch. I am really enjoying this book, like the other books I have read this summer (‘Dreams of my father’ by Barack Obama’, ‘White Fragility’ by Robin DiAngelo and ‘Why I am No Longer Talking to White People about Race’ by Reni Eddo-Lodge) they speak to me about identity, politics, history and race with familiarity, urgency and relevance. Many the experiences and thoughts have mirrored my own which I did not expect. It is heavy duty reading and does not leave one with a light heart reading about racism in British, American and world history, simply does not, but I am forming a clear-eyed view of the world and an understanding of how we are, in the place that we call the Western world at least. I have also decided that given my Nigerian origins, my next reading material is going to be based on the history of Nigeria which I know very little about.
I spent a good few hours there until I decided that I needed to stretch my legs and take a walk. I decided to head back into Central London – to Oxford Street because I wanted to buy a new back for work. My bright yellow bag is getting old and tired and does not serve the purpose I need it for, i.e. I am tired of carrying around a separate bag for my work laptop. I ended up in John Lewis bought a rucksack (the brand will not be disclosed!). I then discovered to my surprise that there is roof garden open currently. I made my way to the top and spent another few hours, people watching (I am fascinated by my fellow Londoners), reading, writing and taking a few pictures.
When six o’clock arrived I realised that I was hungry again. Despite the fact that we now have lots of food stashed away in the freezer to eat, I did not feel like dragging myself home prepare dinner. Instead I responded to my craving for fish and chips and ate in the restaurant below.
I spend another hour reading before I finally made my way home.
It was a bit of a luxury to essentially sit and read all day. I did not do any laundry or clean the kitchen, but I figure those things can be completed later in the weekend. I guess I am just thinking about the week that I have just had, when I was unwell and not able even to get to work. That was for a me a waste and I would like to prevent that happening again and I think for me it means slowing down, a lot more than I think, it means listening to my body. It means eating well and sleeping well. So I am not sorry I took this day to rest, life is busy and I will grab these moments when I can. The washing will keep.
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