Author Adele Parks on her perfect Surrey weekend
Best-selling novelist Adele Parks has sold over a million copies of her books in the UK alone and is published in 20 countries. She lives in Guildford with her husband Jim and eight-year-old son Conrad. Come the weekend, they like to make the most...
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine February 2009Best-selling novelist Adele Parks has sold over a million copies of her books in the UK alone and is published in 20 countries. She lives in Guildford with her husband Jim and eight-year-old son Conrad. Come the weekend, they like to make the most of the stunning Surrey countryside
My weekend begins at 3pm on a Friday, which is - I suppose - a bit premature, but it's one of the perks of working for myself and from home. By then, I like to have cleared my in-box and completed any tasks with deadlines so I can walk to school to pick up my son, Conrad, who is eight, and we can dawdle home together. On a Friday, we often invite a pal of his round for tea and the mood is demob happy. Once inside, it's teacakes and glasses of milk all round. My husband, Jim, usually stops working about now or an hour or so later. That Friday feeling Friday nights are relaxed and sometimes (if I'm lucky) romantic occasions. After Conrad's playmate has gone home and he's bathed, had some reading time and finally fallen asleep, Jim and I try to carve out some time for each other. This might be a chatty, cosy meal (usually cooked by me but it's not a strict rule) or, if we are short on energy, we'll flop and watch a DVD. Our taste in movies is wide; we like pacy thrillers, romantic comedies and compelling dramas, depending on our mood. Swimming at the Spectrum Saturday is taken up with kids' clubs. We're so lucky to have so much on our doorstep. Conrad goes swimming at the Spectrum in the morning and fencing in Esher in the afternoon. Jim and I either throw or attend a dinner party on Saturday evening or nip to the cinema. Most people think it's such an indulgence to pay a babysitter just to go to the movies but it's our big treat. Everyone benefits from a bit of escapism. Devouring the papers Our Sunday is rather old-fashioned and traditional. We like a morning walk and we're spoilt for choice as we're surrounded by stunning Surrey countryside. There are dozens of short, four to six-mile walks linking the North Downs, Surrey Hills and Wey Navigation. I have to confess, though, I'm a fair weather walker, so if it's raining I only manage to wander into Guildford town where we mooch around the castle and the High Street. Invariably, we have a pit stop at the Garden Room where we devour the Sunday papers and Very Berry Smoothies (essential if I've had a heavy or late night and I feel I need to treat my body to some vitamins!). Then, it's home again for Sunday lunch. I eat Yorkshire puddings whenever I get an opportunity, so in our house they are likely to pop up on the plate whether it's roast chicken or roast beef. Sunday afternoon games In the afternoon, we play board games (if it's a good day) or video games (if I've lost control!) and we're usually comatose by the evening.My son and husband are my favourite people on the planet and I adore weekends when we get to spend so much time together