The Sunday Evening Blues

A wintry Sunday evening in Joburg. Mellow sun and the work-harder dove seep below the horizon into grey dusk and the desultory barking of bored dogs. Derek Watts will be on TV in an hour, and Carte Blanche will depress us all as we hold on to what remains of our personal time before it’s back to the grind of traffic and office and traffic again.

I have work to do, of course. There is always work to do on Sundays. I haven’t had a Sunday where I have had some sort of work to do in years. Even when I was in Australia, I had client updates and emails and writing and uploading photos and and and. There’s always something, and even if there isn’t, I will find something Productive to fill that time and distract me from the gaping chasm I know lies there in the shadows beyond.

Sundays mean guilt and obligation. When I was procrastinating over my PhD, Sundays would trigger anxiety attacks, especially if my ex-husband and I had been away. On the drive back, we’d always end up fighting because I’d be miserable and antsy and completely ruin the weekend vibe.

This time I’m feeling guilty because I spent time at the Winter Sculpture Fair instead of working. It was lovely, and I enjoyed every minute of my time at the Mastercard Gourmet Theatre, but now I feel bad because I should have been working, that I can’t extend the bubble of contentment that formed around me into the night.I’d heard, vaguely, of the Nirox Sculpture Park before I got the invitation, and now that I have discovered it, I am entranced. Lush stretches of lawn and bright still lakes provide a soft backdrop to the sculpture in one of the loveliest places anywhere near Johannesburg. It is the anti-Montecasino.

At one point, in the distance, I saw a herd of horses cantering along the path. I’m not sure whether they were real or I imagined them, but they were wonderful, and the memory remains even as I haul out my to do list and sigh, knowing that there is always, always more work to be done.

Sarah Britten