Right now I’m all about the simple pleasures in life that actually nourish me. Last weekend, I realised that I barely spent any time at home. I was on the go the whole time and by Sunday night I felt like I needed another weekend just to chill out and catch up with myself. The thing that made all of this more hectic was the current trend in noisy restaurants.
Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like sometimes the experience of going out to eat in a big city is more stressful than pleasant. You have to wait forty minutes for a table, once you finally sit down it’s so loud you have to strain your voice to talk and can barely hear the conversation at the table. There have been a few moments recently when I’ve thought it’s all got a little bit out of hand! Dining out sometimes feels just like an extension of a busy life – not enough space, long queues, people competing for tables and time – it can be the opposite of what it’s meant to be. I don’t know if it’s because there’s more of us going out to eat at the same time, or if people are intentionally designing very vibey establishments that feel more like a nightclub than a bar, but either way – I’m taking a break.
Especially after a very busy week, spending three hours battling crowds on a Saturday to shout across the table to a friend is actually not fun. It’s not an experience that helps me forget the stresses of the week, wind down and kick-back. It’s like a pumping Saturday night at 11am. I need more relaxation time in my week and so I am choosing to spend more time at home.
I miss eating in. I miss having a friend over for home-made muffins, or going to someone’s house and sitting in their garden under a lovely big tree. I miss cooking a big pot of pumpkin soup on a rainy night and eating it at home. I miss lazy Sunday breakfasts with friends when we can really catch up, without the hassle of ordering, waiting, finding a park in a busy stress etc. etc. etc. I find cooking very grounding, it’s a way to let my mind wander, my creativity to expand and it can be very therapeutic to spend some quiet time at home. You get to know people better when you are chopping potatoes and they’re sitting at the kitchen bench telling you about your day. Or choosing to make cupcakes together – even if they flop, you have bonded. I miss the simple life. The days when eating out was a luxury, something to look forward to rather than a drag that leaves you worn out and with a hoarse voice.
So I am taking some time out from the cafe rat-race. If you need me, I’ll be at home in my pyjamas baking cookies til it calms down out there.
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