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I decided to write about today, my first day off in 11 days. A Saturday.

Ok so this is not my average day off as it’s a weekend but after what I think was pretty much a perfect day I had to use this as an example of what I would love all my days off to be like.

I had planned to lie in in the morning as long as I could but as every day off goes my beast of a dog wakes at 7am and pounds up the stairs, busts through the bedroom door and I get a cold wet nose in my face. He has to go outside and patrol the garden in case the cats have taken over during the night. Coffee machine goes on, open curtains, feed the dog. Once the coffee is ready I’m on the couch checking my work emails and scrolling through social media. My latest addiction is Instagram.

This morning at 10am I went over to collect my Mam, we decided to do a hill walk up Brandon in Graiguenamanagh, Co.Kilkenny. I love the outdoors especially places that are quiet because I can let Baloo off the lead and he gets the exercise he needs. He’s a cross American Akita, German Shepherd so he is a very big and unusual looking dog. In the woods near my house where I go daily there are always people walking dogs or giving him funny looks so I always have to keep him on the lead, the hills are so much more enjoyable for both of us. This walk was tough but felt great, the weather was perfect, there was a nice cool breeze to keep us cool when the climb got harder and warm enough that we didn’t get cold at the top from the wind. My mam likes to go off road so it was a bit nerve racking when I wasn’t sure if she actually knew where she was going for not. We did it in 2 and a half hours, not bad considering she brought us the long way around.

On the drive back to Kilkenny we stopped in a local shop in Gowran, ‘Glasrai and Goodies’ it’s very well known for supplying local artisan foods, homemade breads, great coffee and cake. I was looking forward to a fresh roll for lunch and Mam was in need of a coffee. We nearly did the weeks shopping, the only reason we didn’t spend more was because there was a guy behind us in the queue that was clearly getting irate because we had so much and it was taking ages to ring up the till. I had lunch with my parents and then Baloo and I went home to freshen up.

I got 2 loads of washing on, dishes washed, bathroom bleached, sheets changed, floor hovered and mopped. 10 minutes later it’s like I never cleaned the house at all, Baloo’s paw marks are now all over the floor again.

I collected my friend Aislinn after 5pm to go to the cinema; she was hungover and also shattered as she had been out with horses all day. We drove to Carlow, the cinema is much bigger than Kilkenny and we wanted to catch a show that wouldn't be too busy. It turned out the show was in 3D, I haven’t been to a 3D film in years, I was very excited. We both went for a large coke and popcorn with minstrels, nothing better than pouring the minstrels into the popcorn… yum. The film was brilliant. Of course we dissected the whole movie for the entire journey home.

After dropping Aislinn back I drove home, at this stage it was about 9.30pm. I always feel a bit guilty when I have a weekend off and don’t go out. I'm not a big drinker so a Saturday night out in Kilkenny is not very appealing. It’s mostly hen and stag parties and people falling around the streets. If I was to have a night out it would have to be well planned in advance with all the girls, most of which have to plan babysitters, husbands, money or work.

After getting home I let Baloo out for his last patrol of the garden and while he did that I was on the couch again seeing what I’ve been missing from work, I like to know what’s been going on when I’m not there, it’s easier to go back into the hotel knowing what’s ahead of you.

I am a manager in The Pembroke Hotel, Kilkenny’s number 1 hotel. My job is demanding and it’s challenging to find the work life balance in this industry and even more challenging to keep it. Luckily I have always loved my job so when I do have to get work done on my days off it’s not the worst thing in the world. Although, I have to admit having a day like today every so often where I get to switch off completely is worth gold.

Lucie is Deputy General Manager at the Pembroke Hotel, Kilkenny

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