the joy of saturday morning

Back in the sixties as a pre-schooler my Saturday mornings were spent in the company of my mother doing her domestic duties. Dad worked five and half days a week. We lived in a country town. As was common for the era, Mum was a housewife. She and I had seven days a week but those Saturday mornings had a particular ambiance, and soundtrack: AM radio – sixties music and wedding calls. That period is a tactile memory. Many Saturdays I call it up. My partners have generally been six day week workers. I’ve always worked five days so my Saturday mornings are gold, awakening to a desk free day. In the past I channelled what is now termed my “domestic goddess”; whipped through housework, followed by a grocery shop and cooking. Now and then I still do. However, a move to a smaller apartment where housework is covered off day-to-day, a thankful lessening of my housekeeping standards, and online shopping unfettered my schedule. The soundtrack is streamed digital radio or music to my inner-city kitchen. Even free to choose my activities, old habits die hard. I usually put on a load of washing: the thrum of the machine resonates back to days when it was a reassuring backdrop. I burn incense, drink coffee, eat toast in bed, write, read a book or browse the ‘net, take recreational excursions to shops or markets. On Saturday mornings it doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do or where I am: somewhere I’m still four years old in our little house on Scott Street, sliding on Handy Andy mopped floors, smelling Mr Sheen polished furniture and chocolate cake baking. Perhaps the clearest memory I have of my mother. Thanks Mum for the gift of Saturday mornings.

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