In summer, sleeping in is for mugs. The best thing to do is to roll out of bed straight onto the bike, and be at the pool before you’re even 100% awake. Track the sun’s trajectory as you peer over a kickboard, go to work with slick hair, eat a banana while you clear your inbox. Easy.
But now, even in tropical Brisbane, the seasons are turning. As the autumn mornings get chillier, it takes more coaxing to crawl out of bed’s warm cuddle. So here is one method I’ve developed for getting up earlier, even if the sun’s sleeping in. Not to get anything done, necessarily (though you could fit in a load of washing or some writing). Just for a taste of mid-week luxury, or to start your working week gently.
1. Put a cup of rolled oats into a saucepan with 2 cups of hot water and a pinch of salt*. Just to soak. No cooking yet.
2. Have a shower.
3. Hit play on Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues
4. Add 1 cup of milk to the oats and turn on the hotplate as low as possible. Forget about it for half an hour.
5. Make coffee.
6. Make your bed or you’ll be tempted to get back in.
7. Read something nourishing in the half light. The latest Lifted Brow. Anything free and lengthy from the New Yorker. Or if you’re not up for words at that hour, prep yourself a good packed lunch.
8. After half an hour turn the heat up slightly on you porridge and stir as it thickens. A few minutes later it’ll be ready to serve – stir through some cinnamon and grated apple or pear, pour on some milk and sprinkle some brown sugar. You should have enough porridge to last you three generous breakfasts (reheat for 2 minutes in the microwave, stirring at the minute-mark).
9. More coffee. Finish your reading.
10. Apply shoes and ipod headphones, ride bike to work, smile serenely and infuriate others doing the Monday morning struggle.
*Recipe for slow-cooked, old-school porridge borrowed wholesale from the deliciously talented girls at Trotski & Ash. Forget packets of instant oats – this recipe can turn 50 cent Home Brand rollers into gooey liquid gold.