Something for the weekend

SFTW: The restorative power of time off with good friends

October 18, 2015

Last weekend, in the middle of a particularly hectic time at work, I took some time off – I booked a long weekend and headed to London to celebrate two friends’ birthdays and catch up with my sister, who lives there too.

The title of this post has probably given away what a wonderful time I had. I think it’s easy when you’re busy (and who isn’t?) to tell yourself you don’t have time to take time out – and I am more guilty of this than most. But when you’ve got annual leave to take, it’s nearing the end of the year and two of your friends have birthdays on consecutive days, a long weekend off is irresistable.

Last Friday was Rachel’s birthday and to celebrate we headed to Pop Brixton with Thomas for lunch. We went for tapas at Donostia Social Club and it was such a surprisingly warm autumn day that we ate al fresco before heading back to Rachel’s where Nicky and Oscar popped by to join the celebrations. For our evening meal, the birthday girl prepared this perfect pasta dish and Pete served up a surprisingly delicious parsnip cake (I had been pretty sceptical when I saw him messing around in the kitchen with allspice and grated apple, but it was marvellous).

On Saturday, my friend Emma turned 30 and hosted a joint party that involved a lot of Prosecco and a hashtag. A couple of other good friends from university were there, too, and it was lovely to catch up, get drunk (so rare these days) and  take my make-up off before I went to bed. The only downside of the whole affair was losing my favourite lipstick – and that’s despite the efforts of the impromptu search party of strangers I assembled to help me track it down. As someone older, I liberally dispensed all kinds of advice to Emma about what it’s like this side of 30 and she captured some of that wisdom in a post on her blog (where she also says some ridiculously nice things about me) so that you can all benefit from it.

#30andFINE love @ms_donovan & @viechoufleur TOGETHER AT LAST

A photo posted by Emma (@emma_cantrell) on

If you recall my post from when I turned 30 last year (what you do you mean, you don’t??!) I mentioned that I take care of myself a bit better nowadays and do a bit more exercise – so one of my absolute favourite things about this city break was that it included two games of netball and a 5k run. The netball came courtesy of my siblings – I played two games with my sister and one with her AND my brother. I ran the 5k with Rachel as we hit up a park run together (we had also completed one on the previous Saturday when she was visiting me in Manchester). The second run reconfirmed our what we learned on the first – running with your best friend is a lot easier and more enjoyable than running alone.

I rounded off my long weekend with an evening out with my sister and her partner at Franco Manca and a three-hour brunch with Rachel and Thomas at Granger & Co the next morning. My conclusion? A four-day break spent having fun with friends and family does wonders for your spirit. I probably shouldn’t leave it so long next time.

How was your week? I’d love to hear so let me know by leaving a comment below. 

P.S. Rachel gets uncharacteristically personal, Nicky cooks her socks off and I should have remembered this really, shouldn’t I?

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