With Age Comes Freedom … To Miss Out

2 MIN READ

FOMO is for mugs … and millennials: staying in is the older woman’s going out … while sleeping in is a luxury long awaited

When Jane Austen wrote “There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort” in 1815, she’d probably never stayed in a swanky hotel, where uber-high thread count linens are changed daily and one petulant phone call procures an in-room masseur, manicurist, mojito and man-to-figure-out-the-remote. Tempting though “affordable luxury” getaway offers may be, I figure if I can afford it, it ain’t luxury. And then there’s the hassle of getting there, threatening to extract all the flavour, like gluten-free pasta, and the pleasure, like ethical fur. Instead, I opt to stay in, to luxuriate in stolen time on my ownio, untethered from email, Beyoncé on the Bose, bath run, bottle of €23.95 Marqués de Riscal Reserva breathing heavily on the naked countertop, Bob Fosse’s Cabaret in the DVD player, in which Liza Minnelli’s Sally Bowles asserts her supremacy over my husband’s film hero Jason Bourne. In my version of the 1990 adventure/comedy Home Alone, husband/dogs/relatives/staff/Facebook friends/LinkedIn colleagues all feck off to Paris, leaving me (and my discreet imaginary housekeeper) locked in, to fend for myself for a week. All meals are delivered by @beezlarder and I still manage to lose eight pounds. Something crazy happens to the wifi, and I’m unable to follow world events, newsfeed replaced by audiobooks I’d been meaning to read since September 15, 2008, the day Lehman Brothers fell. I spend the week in a fugue state, listening to Lyric FM, staring at my emerald, Sally Bowles-inspired nails, dreamily imagining what it might feel like to rake them across some muscular back, in Italy, in a luxury hotel room. Susan Zelouf

My family would snort with laughter if they knew I was writing about the luxury of sleep; I’m renowned for being something of a professional. And to be good at sleeping is strangely frowned upon: world-beaters must conquer the world on a scant few hours; you can sleep when you’re dead. There’s a growing awareness, though, of sleep’s myriad health benefits – Arianna Huffington has written about our sleep deprivation epidemic, while neuroscientist Matthew Walker’s book Why We Sleep is nothing less than a wake-up call. It can take the arrival of children to reveal with absolute clarity what a luxury sleep is: take back your mink, take back your pearls, you’d sell your soul for a straight eight hours. If you can grasp it, sleep has an alluring magic: the cinematic escapism of dreams, the divine decadence of closed shutters in a foreign city in the heat of the day. Like a cup of tea, sleep solves most things – “sleep on it” is always good advice – and should be taken seriously. Screens of any sort have absolutely no place in a bedroom. In fact, no accoutrements are necessary beyond a good pillow, but if pushed, I’m certain that a pair of Asceno’s silk pyjamas would make a good night’s sleep even better, as would an item from Louise Kennedy’s new sleepwear collaboration with Turnbull & Asser. Add in a mist of Chanel Sycomore and some Rodin lavender face oil, and a silk sleep mask to add Holly Golightly glamour to the whole business. The ultimate luxury? Dropping off to the sound of the sea. With the person you love breathing (quietly) beside you … Sarah Halliwell

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