Sunday with Louise Minchin: ‘I’m an activity addict’ | Sunday with…

Lie-in or early start? It depends on the season. If it’s summer, I’ll be up early to do open-water swimming at 9am at a nearby lake. I know, I’m a lunatic, but compared to years of getting up at 3.40am for BBC Breakfast I class that as a lie-in. In winter it’s a proper lie-in and my husband will bring me a cup of tea in bed.

Sofa or sweat? I’m an activity addict so, after my swim, it would be a dog walk in the hills, culminating in a pub lunch.

Roast out or in? Could be either. But if we’ve had an activity-filled day, we’ll do a nice roast chicken with all the trimmings– and red wine – for about 5pm.

Work or down tools? If I’ve got a deadline, I might write, but I try not to. I want my Sundays to be fun and I want to be around in case my children, who are 22 and 19, decide to make an appearance.

Sundays growing up? I had two siblings and we’d always do a walk with our little terrier, usually by a river, for a couple of hours and in the right season would end up blackberry picking for hours and hours, which I found really boring.

Sundays senses… I love the smell of the fire when my husband lights it, which he does in every month of the year. And I love sitting on the sofa reading the papers.

Sunday guilty pleasure TV watching depends on who is in the house. We’ll all watch David Attenborough or Strictly or Gogglebox. But if my daughters are in charge of the remote, it’ll be Made in Chelsea. My husband loves romcoms and I’m into sci-fi or extreme sport documentaries, and we were obsessed by The Traitors. We’re not into anything too cerebral. For us television is pure escapism.

Looking ahead I like to get organised for the coming week, so I’ll look at what I’m doing and if it’s a writing week I’ll make sure I’m ready for it. Without a deadline I get distracted.

Fearless: Adventures with Extraordinary Women by Louise Minchin is published by Bloomsbury at £18.99. Buy it for £16.71 at

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