A Silent Valentine’s Day

February 15, 2016
Kate Marillat
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My husband Nigel is away for the week on a retreat and my parents whisked the boys off for an adventure-fuelled few days.

Some friends asked me what I was going to do with myself…How would I fill my time? Easily, I thought.

I had a party to go to on Saturday night. Beforehand, I bathed luxuriously then danced in my dressing gown whilst sipping on a glass of red.

The radio DJ played a garage mix from 97 and I was suddenly 17 again. Enjoying the slow process of beautifying, aware of the butterflies fluttering at the thought of the night ahead, excited at the conversations I might have.

I wore a gold-starred jacket and shoes to match.

It was a good night. Unlike the dark sweaty boxes I used to dance in, fuelled by chemicals. I listened, asked questions like ‘what’s your favourite book store?’ and we laughed at how motherhood changes us.

On Sunday, I stayed in bed until 13:00. I made myself a gourmet bacon sandwich and went wandering by the sea.

IMG_0384I sat on the stone pillars listening to the waves rushing over the seal-skinned stones.


IMG_0393 I stopped at a cafe and read The Artist’s Way to remind myself of my creativity.

That all I ever need is within me. I just need to show up and do my part of the job.



I contemplated a week of reading deprivation and what that would mean for me, not so much a book worm, more a book dragon.

I returned to a silent house.

The toys are constant reminders of how loud my life is. How full it is. Perhaps like you my world is full of chatter, questions, demands, small children tugging on my leg, emails that have stars next to them begging for a reply.

I craved this silent day. I took it from Valentine and made it mine. If you want time to yourself you have to ask for it and be willing to sit with the guilt that whispers;

‘Why do you want to be on your own?’

‘Surely you should be with your children or your husband?’

‘You need people with you on Valentine’s Day.’

Creating a silent day for yourself where you simply sit with yourself can be a soothing balm to the busyness of life. Treating all parts of you with respect and giving them gifts they need, the party-goer, the mother, the artist, the interior designer and the chef.

Tonight I’m off to meet my husband after a week apart. We will rendezvous at the station and it reminds me of all the times he visited me in Paris. I’d spend hours preening myself for his arrival and would meet him at the Gare de Nord at midnight under the ‘Tabac’ sign.

We are texting like teenagers.

I may bring him roses.

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