I always know it’s going to be a good day when I wake up in the morning and open the curtains to blue skies. Because everything is easier on a sunny day.
Getting out of bed at 6.15am – the default time at which my little 16-month-old alarm clock goes off – is easier. In the winter months, when it’s still pitch black, it feels like that wake-up call is coming in the dead of night. While I never relish the thought of being dragged from my sleep, it’s less painful in summer, when the sky is light and the birds are singing.
Getting dressed is easier. I always notice this most on The Baby’s swimming lesson days. Our getting-changed ritual takes a fraction of the usual time when we just have to throw on dresses and sandals, rather than vests, tights, cardigans and coats.
The school run is easier. Yes, there’s suncream to slap on before we head out, but it’s still so much quicker and less stressful to leave the house when I’m not fussing with wellies, raincoats, even waterproof trousers on the wettest days. And the two-mile round trip is a far more pleasant experience when I don’t have to deal with a whinging baby who really, really doesn’t like the raincover on her pushchair.
Housework is easier. My house briefly stops resembling a Chinese laundry, with clothes horses in every corner and wet washing draped over the radiators; instead, I can peg our clothes, towels, bed linen and nappies onto the washing line – one of the few domestic chores I enjoy – and let them dry in the sun. Keeping the house clean is easier, too, with no muddy footprints of the child or feline variety to wipe up.
Eating healthily is easier. With the sunshine, my craving for stodgy comfort food, cups of tea and biscuits diminishes, replaced by salads and fresh fruit. Today’s lunch: mixed bean salad with cous cous, followed by a punnet of cherries. Shame chocolate is considerably cheaper…
Entertaining the children is absolutely, definitely, 100 per cent easier. When the sun shines, we don’t have the endless ‘What can I do now?’ questions from The Boy after school. We stay and play in the park instead, and by the time we’ve walked home, it’s almost tea time. Likewise, The Baby is easier to occupy. This morning, we sat on a sun lounger on our decking for a full hour, rolling a ball back and forth, and only coming in when her arms started to look pink, despite the Factor 50. Sunbathing on the job? Don’t mind if I do.
Of course, it doesn’t last. Come 3pm, just as I’m embarking on the 20-minute walk to school, the clouds gather – and burst. Needless to say, I have no coat, there are three loads of washing on the line, and The Baby is not impressed at being imprisoned beneath the raincover. It never ceases to amaze me how reliable the school-run rain is – even on days when there’s been barely a cloud in the sky.
But on those rare occasions, those lovely occasions, when the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the washing is drying on the line, I’m happy. The Boy is happy. The Baby is happy. Life is easy.