Sunday with David Olusoga: ‘I feel this urge to check for major disasters’

Describe your Sunday morning… I tend to get up early and work. I’m incapable of sleeping past 7am – I lost that skill in my 20s – and see no point in just lying there. I used to write late into the night, but now I find I’m more productive before breakfast and my daughter appearing.

How do you relax? Taking my dog, George, for a walk or my daughter to the playground. After a very urban life, enjoying being in nature has been a discovery from my first experience of semi-rural living. And I try to play my guitars, although I’m out of practice. I dream of a retirement returning to, and building on, my young self’s musical abilities.

The perfect Sunday lunch? Food doesn’t play a huge part in my life. I like to eat, but don’t watch Bake Off or enjoy cooking. I sometimes feel today that’s barely allowed: 80%Eighty per cent of television is of no interest to me – it makes you something of a social pariah.

Sundays growing up? I had lots of siblings. We were always together, playing out on our estate, climbing hills and trees, or watching television. And then came the point when the fun had to end – I was never a child to do my homework before the last minute. It’s funny, bBack then my relationship with work was probably healthier.

Sunday night? Once my daughter is in bed I’m back in the office preparing for Monday. I don’t drink, so I unwind in the garden with my partner. And then I’ll sit and read: right now that’s Orwell’s The Lion and the Unicorn, Afropean by Johny Pitts, and Peter Mitchell’s Imperial Nostalgia.

Last thing you check on your phone? The news, just to make sure there’ve been no terrible global developments. It’s not hugely relaxing, but I’m trying to reduce my screen time before bed, because I have chronic insomnia. I just feel this urge to check for major disasters. It’s a hangover, I think, from the days of Donald Trump.

Black & British: An Illustrated History is available from the guardianbookshop.com for £14.78

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