Creative Coach + Illustrator, New York
How do you Halfternoon?
I have been told that it is the scorpio in me, but I often feel the need to retreat and restore by myself. That said, my top Halfternoons are not all solitary affairs. I came up with the idea of a ‘halfternoon’ after my son was born in 2006. I moved to New York when he was four months old, with a husband who always seemed to be away, so, for the most part it was just my son and me in New York City - a very different city to the one I’d known before becoming a mother. It was bliss, but exhausting. It was the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life (until his sister joined the gang) and I knew I needed to claim significant restorative time for me, but with a baby attached 24/7? How? There was no family nearby. I didn’t want a nanny. The Halfternoon was born to give significance to the time I had to myself by way of applying ritual and stature to whatever I chose to do. It was a rarity, but like birthday cake and bottles of champagne, I feel it would loose its charm if it became a common indulgence.
So, here is how I currently Halfternoon:
A cup of tea, a book, and the sofa with Harry and Freddie (the family Cavapoo’s). I love biographies of the sixties in London and Studio 54 era New York, anything Mitford and SOE related. I also love old Jilly Cooper books. Books about crystals. Books about interesting people… Books, bags and shoes are my main material attachments.
Any time outside in a blue sky. New York apartment living means being shut up for most of the year. When the sun comes out, the clouds clear and the parks bloom I always realize how much I love New York (which I always forget when its so cold it hurts). The halfternoon version includes a prolonged coffee on the strip of benches down the slope just south of Strawberry Fields, miraculously void of other people or sniffing dogs.
Reiki self-care surrounded by my favorite crystals, and my children reading very quietly.
Writing. I love to write. Fiction, non-fiction and just ideas. Or drawing. I love to draw and have done all my life.
A coffee from the Lobster Pot and a view of Felpham beach in Sussex, England. I always have my notebook and come up with ideas for the year ahead and write scraps of fiction for coaching stories.
A dream Halfternoon would be…
Hmmmm. It would involve somebody giving me a Birkin bag (better to be shallow AND honest, hey?) and in I’d put a note pad (an orange Leuchturm1917) and one of those crystal infused water bottles and off I’d go for a walk… and walk straight into Idris Elba. ‘Ooops! Sorry! Oooooh, hello Idris!!’ and of course I’d have to send him straight over to my sister in England, and I’d celebrate my good deed with a watermelon martini at the Rose Bar, in the best bashed up jeans ever and a massive 80’s Sloane Ranger taffeta puffed sleeve fuchsia top by Stella McCartney, and the Isabel Marant red suede poppy heels from years ago… Wallowing in scorpio reclusivity + recharging. Maybe reading one of Jilly Cooper’s 1960’s novellas, probably Harriet, Imogen or Octavia, from Heygates paperback book exchange in Bognor Regis - just to be sure the cover had Jilly in disguise. JOY.
Meditating in Hawaii with the ocean in front of me.
Visiting a cherry blossom festival in Japan.
Sam Smith is the one who is collating these halfternoons in the name of shared inspiration. Her book ‘Suss the Symmetry’ is available at Amazon.