I'M lucky in that for the past few years I've spent every weekend in Carlow, unwinding after a busy working week in Dublin, so to say I think Sundays are very special is an understatement! I will usually head down straight after work on Friday. That means the extent of my weekend's socialising might be a trip to the nearby Lord Bagnal in Leighlinbridge or, usually, entertaining at home.

Because of the relaxed time we have down here . . .

myself, my husband Tom McGurk and his girls . . . we'll usually get up around 8am.

My first job is to head to Bagnelstown to buy all the papers and the makings of a full Irish breakfast.

I absolutely adore the Sunday papers . . . the British and Irish ones . . . and read them with relish. Then I'll settle down to read them with whomever else is in the house . . . we often have guests staying who'll have chosen to escape from the city, like my sister Louise.

Brunch is prepared entirely to fit around the Coronation Street omnibus!

It's my only Sunday TV essential, so I will work the cooking time around whatever episodes I may not have seen during the week.

Then we settle down to rashers, sausages, eggsf it's my personal Sunday indulgence and so it's a real case of don't spare the Shaw's White Pudding for me.

Now that Tom hasn't a weekly commitment to The Sunday Show, it's great having him around, and we'll usually head off on an adventure. It could be to a garden centre, or the stunning Altamont Gardens which we've only discovered recently. I'm also looking forward to trips to Inistioge and Kilkenny, along with the craft workers' studios of Thomastown.

We have been doing up the house for the past few years, but there's always something to attend to, and Sunday afternoons are great for getting those sort of jobs done. Or even making notes as to what might need to be bought, ordered or organised for the week ahead. Tom loves the garden while my department is indoors.

As the evening comes along, it's time to head back to the city and so we'll gather up all our bits and hop into cars. When there's a full household, this can take some considerable time, but we'll eventually hit the road by about 6pm.

Once back in Dublin, Tom and I will settle down to a light dinner. We rarely go out on a Sunday, although, having said that, and now Town Bar and Grill is open on Sunday evenings, I think that might change.

While I swear every Sunday that I will write the ultimate work 'to-do' list for the week ahead, it never really materialises. I always seem to head to sleep thinking of the house in Carlow . . .what might need to be bought, and most importantly, did I leave it ready for our return next Friday?

Melanie Morris