Sunday with Gyles Brandreth: ‘Busy people are happy people is my mantra’ | Sunday with…

October 31, 2021
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Sunday morning? For 53 years, I’ve been promising my wife that I won’t work on Sundays. I’m yet to achieve this regularly. ‘Busy people are happy people’ is a mantra my prep school headteacher instilled in me as a 10-year-old. Many weeks I’m still up early and off to a tour date.

And on days off? I wake up at 7am and drink a cup of tea in my dressing gown. By 8am we’ve arrived at our local church in Barnes, St Mary’s. It’s a wonderful building, 1,000 years old. As I step out 45 minutes later, and chat to the vicar, I can pretend I’m in a Jane Austen film.

Sunday lunch? My signature dish is beans on toast; I’ve raised my game by adding a layer of Marmite. We’re pescatarians, so a Sunday roast doesn’t get our juices flowing. The perfect meal would be eaten on the sofa: fish fingers and baked beans with a glass of sparkling water on my lap tray, while watching Bargain Hunt on TV.

A Sunday sound? The house phone ringing, or it used to be. Friends and family used to telephone on a Sunday, calling the landline. We no longer have one: I abandoned it once Nicholas Parsons died.

Sundays growing up? I was brought up in South Kensington in the 1950s and worked at three different churches every Sunday. I was paid to be in two choirs, and was a server elsewhere. I’d often find myself praying for the death of an older congregant, knowing a funeral would earn me five shillings a pop.

Sunday evening? I write in my diary, and write a list for the morning. I don’t drink alcohol, there’s no great moment of relaxation. For about half a century I’ve been reading my wife Samuel Pepys’s diary. If she needs to fall asleep, I read to her aloud and she’ll be conked out in no time. I read a poem to myself, and then it’s lights out.

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Life is like a running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting News is my passion. Because my visitors have the right to know the truth and perfectly.

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