Mondays

Today is a Monday, at least in this time zone. It has little significance for me since I retired, as one day of the week is pretty much like any other now. In fact, I have only just realised that it is Monday.

There was a time when I had that ‘Monday’ feeling. When the precious weekend seemed to fly by so fast, and I enjoyed reading the massive Sunday papers whilst still in bed drinking coffee. But that was long ago, and stopped in 1980, when I began working shifts. I worked shifts for the next thirty-two years, until a week before I retired, in 2012.

That meant quite a few Mondays were not working days for me. Some were spent in bed, after working all night on Sunday, and others were included in blocks of up to four days off, after working for up to sixty hours previously.

There is a certain smugness about watching the world prepare for the dreaded ‘Monday morning’, but that is dampened by knowing that you will be at work the next weekend, when those same people are planning trips away, barbecues in the garden, or dinner parties with friends.

Because nobody wants to go out on a Monday, just because it happens to be your day off. Nobody has parties on a Monday, or appreciates you popping round in the evening, when they have just had a tiring day at work, and have to do the same tomorrow. Being a shift-worker can be a lonely existence, even more so if you are married to someone working the regular nine-to-five.

You have to re-think those Mondays. Make the most of going to places when they are quiet, and all the children are at school. Hit the shops on what is often the quietest day of the week, or go to museums when you might be the only visitor that morning. Mondays can be embraced, instead of being dreaded.

My Mondays in Beetley now mean something of a big ‘day out’ for me. That is the day when I go to the supermarket, and do the ‘big shop’. I get there before the mums have collected the kids from school, and after the large groups of elderly shoppers have gone home to enjoy tea and cakes. I can wander around in uncluttered aisles, and collect my items from the list unhindered by crowds. And I can always find a handy parking space too.

I no longer have to go to bed early, to get up for work on Tuesday. So if I want to, I can drink some wine in the evening on a Monday, and stay up late to watch TV, or read a book.

It is nice to be able to put Mondays behind me. Another benefit of being able to retire at an age when I am still able to be active and alert.

A Beetley Monday

For many of you, it is the start of the working week. Others might be about to go on holiday, heading off to airports, or packing up the car for a long drive. You may have appointments, a job interview, or be busy dealing with children already bored with the long summer break from school.

But for me in Beetley, it’s just another day. It might just as well be Friday, or Sunday. Days of the week have little or no relevance for me. Ollie has to be walked, dinner cooked later this evening, and if I get time, I might watch a foreign TV serial on catch-up, or maybe even a film I have recorded. Late afternoon on a Monday, I get in the car and go to the local supermarket to do the ‘big shop’. Some people hate shopping, but I don’t mind it at all. The huge air-conditioned shop is a pleasant place to while away an hour as I stock up for the week. I am also content to know that I won’t be back again, util next Monday.

Sometimes on a Monday, I might also do some housework, or even gardening, if it is absolutely necessary. But it is unusually hot here at the moment, so both of those are off my agenda. So it looks like another quiet day in rural Norfolk. Fingers crossed.