Saturday Rituals

Reflecting on the shape of our Saturdays, there is a template, a routine, that plays out more neatly over the winter months, kitchen based most of the day, sofa, blankets and snuggling up on dark nights. Things that have to fit in, things that I like to avoid. Saturday rituals that are important, slow cooking, pots of tea, paper reading.

Saturday begins with early swimming lessons for my small boy. Like Monday to Friday, there’s an alarm to get us out of bed and we have to leave, usually with a flurry, by a certain time.

Falling through the front door again, an hour and a half later, we shift to slow Saturday mode. There is the unavoidable domestic stuff, our hurry to get out the door leaves a messy wake. On return, the washing is slammed into the machine; school uniform and swim kit. Still warm enough to line dry, washing flutters in my neighbour’s gardens too. Saturday is wash day.

For the weekend, we stock up on sourdough bread from the bakery.  Saturday is for snacking; toast, pancakes, tea and biscuits. Once the washing is out and the kitchen straight, I like a pot of tea (preferably a child playing Lego in another room) and the Guardian newspaper spread out on the kitchen table. When my partner is home, often he works at the weekend, this is the bit of the day, that whatever the weather he potters in the garden. Everything, for an hour or two, slows down.

Lifestyle Saturday rituals

The Guardian newspaper on Saturday is my most revered Saturday ritual. Every Saturday. Without fail. No matter what else is going on. I read the magazine first, starting with my favourites, the celebrity Q&A, The Measure (a guide to fashion trends, that I don’t need or adhere to). Beauty recommendations from Sali Hughes. Over a pot of tea, I scrap at half the crossword, I never manage to finish it, I leave the rest for the Mr. On to the newspaper, various sections, every page browsed.

Lifestyle Saturday rituals

Things I avoid on a Saturday

Laptops mostly. Checking my phone (not great at this). Homework from school. Shopping centres with children. The supermarket unless absolutely pressed. Cleaning. Tidying is OK. Tidying equates to pottering. Pottering is perfect Saturday activity.

Saturdays are for exploring

This weekend we explored St Werburghs, an area of Bristol we don’t know. I’d say it has a unique character, it’s small, with a few independent shops, a strong community feel. A zone of self-build, eco-homes, which have the feel of Holland or Germany, rather than a collection of houses nestled amongst Victorian brick terraces. We came to see the city farm, which has a famous hobbit house cafe and a very good lemon slice. The pub next door ‘The Farm’ is painted in very Bristol style. St Werburghs isn’t boring.

Travel St Werburghs Bristol

Travel Bristol St Werburghs

St Werburghs City Farm Cafe

the farm St Werburghs Bristol

St Werburghs City Farm Bristol

Home again, the kitchen is my base, late Saturday afternoon the radio set to Radio 2, something I’m less keen on during the week, but essential on Saturday. The end of Dermot O’Leary and then Liza Tarbuck, Saturday soundtrack. Saturday night is for slow cooking; risotto, lasagna, curry. Food that requires faffing and a bit of time. Food for kitchen smells, stirring with a glass of wine on one hand. Crumbles, I love making crumbles to eat on the sofa, currently new-season Bramley apples and blackberries, picked and frozen a few weeks ago. Pre-children the ritual early evening, was quick food and faffing devoted to hair and make-up pre-leaving the house. Leaving the house on a Saturday night is so rare, I can’t remember when I last did.

Lifestyle Saturday rituals

As the evening gets darker, fairy lights and lamps on, a shift to the living room.  We are Strictly people, not X-Factor, I think you are either one or the other? No? To be honest, we ostensibly watch Strictly. The TV is on, I’m reading the paper and my boy, because it’s the weekend is stretching his time on Minecraft, while celebrities twirl in sequins in the corner. We raise the odd comment, just to keep up appearances. The evening drifts and I’m happy to let a small boy, stay up late, my evening and his merge. Eventually, the child goes to bed, maybe, if the Mr is home, we watch a bit of catch up TV. Mostly the week catches up, all there is left to do is read the last bits of The Guardian magazine.

With the shift in the seasons the weekends take on a more habitual nature. Much as I miss the events and activities that punctuate the summer months, I like the slow nature of cold weather weekends. Slower and ingrained with preferences, which become the rituals that shape my Saturdays. What shapes yours?


  1. Ravi Roshan Jaiswal

    Hello Gemma,

    Wonderful post indeed. I highly inspired by reading your post on Saturday rituals. There are many things to acquire from this post and I’m so glad to found it useful for me.

    I’m a person who avoid using gadgets such as laptops, smartphones and many other things on Saturday and Sunday and feel myself better doing that. This day, go for shopping in malls to complete the requirements on me. As you have said here that Saturdays are for exploring, yeah, I highly agree with you and I do it so. Also, I feel more sleepy this day so I keep sleeping for a while and then do other things.

    Also, I take time to organize things chaotically in my home. Glad to know about you that the newspaper on Sunday is your most Saturday ritual. Thanks for sharing. Have a nice day. 🙂

    This post was so interesting to learn for me.

    – Ravi.

  2. Happyhomebird

    Sounds like a lovely Saturday and what an interesting area of Bristol that you explored. I love that is called St Werburgh’s, we have a connection with her in Chester, she was an Anglo-Saxon princess and there is a tale around her bringing a dead goose back to life.

    Crumbles and fairy lights sound perfect and that is very much my kind of Saturday too 🙂 x

  3. Heather (PhotoPuddle)

    Our Saturday starts the same as my daughter has swimming lessons and I can usually be found at Parkrun in the park next to the swimming pool. Then when that is done our weekend can start. Even though it means setting an alarm when it’s the weekend it’s nice to get up and out so we don’t waste the day. It also means we appreciate the lack of alarm even more on a Sunday. 

    1. helloitsgemma

      Heather, that is so true, I love Sundays for the lack of alarm and yes, I’ve done loads before 11am. I’ve heard so much positive stuff about park runs. Enjoy your weekend.

  4. 76sunflowers

    Your Saturdays sound divine! I used to buy the Guardian religiously on a Saturday but only ever scrape the surface of its content then realising all the articles I read popped up on FB anyway! Never attempted the crossword. Bristol sounds a perfect city to explore and discover new places time and time again. Perfect.

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