A Perfect Sunday

I love Sundays. They’re such lovely, lazy days. You can get up after 9 o clock and not feel remotely bad about it. You can potter around in your pyjamas until lunchtime, doing nothing in particular, and it doesn’t matter in the slightest. You can get creative in the kitchen using up all the random stuff you have left in the fridge and make some surprisingly delicious meals (today’s was potato, onion, spinach and cheese cakes fried in olive oil). You can lie on the sofa reading a book for hours and nothing and no one need disturb you. In the evening you can look forward to the X Factor results show (I love rubbish TV), which you can dissect in detail with colleagues at work on Monday morning. In short, Sundays are perfect.

Today was an especially perfect Sunday. My mummy came to visit me. We went to the National Gallery and looked at the Impressionists. Then we had a beautiful walk around Waterlow Park, which was absolutely ablaze with Autumnal glory.

After seeing my mum off, I came home and made a plum crumble, just because I fancied it. Then I watched Downton Abbey again, and cried lots.

Once my tears were dry, I curled up on the sofa with a marvellous book I’ve been meaning to read for ages. I’d forgotten how good Vita Sackville-West is; witty, insightful, and yet beautifully tender. The characters in All Passion Spent are brilliantly, devastatingly drawn, and Sackville-West understands family dynamics so well. Don’t let this one pass you by.



  1. That does indeed sound like a perfect Sunday and the crumble looks delicious! I generally prefer Saturdays since Sunday afternoons and evenings are always a bit spoiled by the knowledge that tomorrow you have to be back at work, but maybe because of that they always end up being my most productive days.

      1. Thirded! And I always feel like I should be doing more on Sunday because TIME IS RUNNING OUT MAN! I never do though, because you can’t fight that Sunday laziness. Your Sunday does sound nice though. Very bakey 🙂

    1. It was a delicious crumble, Claire! Interesting what you say about Sundays and work…I tend to get a bit miserable on Sunday night but the day itself, I love. Saturdays tend to be my days for doing the shopping and cleaning and all the other tasks I don’t get around to in the week, so they’re not as relaxing. Sunday is feet up day and I love it, despite the lingering spectre of Monday morning!

  2. I have to say that your days in the greater London area sound so much more comforting, peaceful and lovely than any of the days you shared in NYC. Not that you didn’t show appreciation of your experience over here, please don’t mistake what I’m saying. I guess I think of where you are now as idyllic…lots of unrest here lately between politics, football, and heinous acts of others against children…glad for the reprieve to here about a lovely Sunday!

    1. Tina, interesting you should notice that – they ARE. Largely because I’m not running around like a headless chicken, desperately trying to pack in as many activities as I can because I only have a year…London is forever so I can take my time! Plus I have my own cosy flat and can potter to my heart’s content…my apartment in new york was too overcrowded to potter!

  3. I just got the same bookmark in the mail from Persephone! I’ve been using it to mark my place in The Mayor of Casterbridge. I haven’t read any Persphones in forever. 😦

    1. They were delicious, Lisa! And so easy to make! Fry onions and spinach, boil potatoes, mash potatoes with milk and butter, stir in onions, spinach and grated cheese, form into balls, fry in olive oil! Done!

  4. What a perfect Sunday, indeed, filled with all the things that bring you joy, Rachel.

    They are just starting to advertise Downton Abbey II here and I can’t wait. They’ll run the first part again, which won’t be too hard on me to see again, then . . .

  5. I’m retired now, but I like Sundays too and they still feel like days of rest … and they are the days my husband brings me breakfast in bed so I can sit and read without feeling guilty. Somehow, during the week, it feels wrong to read far into the morning.

    Oh, and I love crumbles, of any description.

    1. We all need a day of rest and indulgence, don’t we?! Even when retired!
      Crumbles are divine, aren’t they?! Plum is my favourite but I’ll take any fruit crumble, any day, really!

    1. I shall be writing up my thoughts tomorrow, Rachel. Yes – that feeling of remove from it all that Lady Slane has is defintely what I feel in living up here on this high ground in North London!

  6. Fallen leaves on grass in a little English park – heavenly. Was your Sunday sky slightly low and grey so that home after your walk was even more inviting?

    All Passion Spent was dramatised on Radio 4 while you were away (or possibly before). V S-W must have been an extraordinary women, very powerful but, as the book shows, a generous and gentle person too. And that’s such a modern theme: families trying to make decisions for their elderlies. Cheek!

    1. No it was actually quite a sunny and bright day – but dark and cold by the time I got home, so it was lovely to curl up on the sofa in the warm!

      Oh how wonderful – I wonder if I could still get hold of the recording. Oh yes – it’s terrible how older people become infantilised by their relatives!

  7. Your Sunday was perfect! I do envy your lazy morning and being allowed to read for hours though. Having a busy dog in the house means nobody is allowed to linger in their pj’s for very long. And Waterlow Park must have been so pretty with all of the trees showing their colours! Your Mum must love having you back so you can have such lovely afternoons.

    1. Oh Darlene – the perils of pet ownership! I bet you don’t begrudge Deacon your reading time though – he is such a gorgeous dog!!

      Oh yes – Waterlow Park is looking magnificent this time of year. I wish I had more time to spend in it!

      She is – I think she wishes I lived closer though!

  8. What a lovely way to spend the day, and I know what you mean about pottering about acheiving actually quite a lot but with no stress or time pressures. And if you want to sit down and read whilst waiting for the soup you are making to cook (like me this weekend!) then who is going to stop you. Though when you smell something burning it is time to get up and sort it out no matter how good the book!

    I like my weekends, I treasure them for all sorts of different reasons and this posted reminded me of that, thank you.

    1. Exactly – a good potter with no pressure is what makes Sundays so relaxing!

      I’m glad – we need to enjoy our time off and appreciate it to the max, I think.

  9. Oh gracious I loved “All Passion Spent.” I’ve actually seen it somewhere recently and thought how much I’d like to read it again. I wanted to do a post on how would we cast the characters (especially all her wretched ‘children’) in a film but I never got around to it. With all the great middle-aged actors you have in England (ie, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith) it would be an easy task…the challenge is re-casting Lady Slane. Joan Fontaine and Olivia deHavilland are still alive and fighting, maybe we could beg one of them! Any other suggestions, I’m all ears!

  10. This is one of my all-time favorite books. Have you ever seen the BBC production starring the magnificent Wendy Hiller as Matchett? Try to get hold of it if possible. As you are reading this wonderful book think of it as the fulfillment in fiction of Woolf’s A Room of Her Own.

    1. I never knew that, Ellen! I have seen it on amazon…I shall try and get hold of it. Yes that’s exactly what I did think – more along the lines of ‘a life of one’s own’ really!

      1. My old brain was asleep when I posted last night. Of course Wendy Hiller plays Lady Slane in All Passion Spent and she plays Matchett in the BBC’s production of Elizabeth Bowen’s Death of the Heart, another of your favorite authors and I hope you have read this, my favorite Bowen. Try to track that one down, too.

  11. I loved All Passion Spent! I first saw it as a Masterpiece presentation and fell in love with Dame Wendy Hiller (?). Not being able to find the video, I found the book. Daniel, you can find the video now and I think you will love Dame Wendy as Lady Slane. So glad to find this blog which came to me by way of a friend in Australia.

  12. Yey! I’m so excited that you love Possession too. I’m still feeling quite in awe of it. I will try and resist the film because I’ve heard nothing but bad things about it but Jennifer Ehle and Jeremy Northram are difficult to resist… I love Sundays too – they are the best days. x

    1. Possession is one of those books that stays with you…I keep meaning to reread it but have no idea why my copy is…in a box somewhere! You can try the film but just go in knowing it’s terrible and you’ll be fine. The Jennifer and Jeremy bits are great – it’s the modern day couple that’s rubbish!

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