Written by Sooz Kempner


Leaping lizards!

When Sooz Kempner found out she was getting a free day in February the possibilities seemed endless.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Leap Day? A whole extra day for me to do as I please? Well I never! The tradition of Leap Day dates all the way back to colonial times when a fun pirate would cheekily sell people an extra day and then laugh as he re-boarded his galleon, pockets spilling over with doubloons. He’d be so excited he’d literally leap aboard shouting,

“Arrrrggghhh, ‘tis Leap Day!”

But enough about my ancestors of yesteryear; Leap Day is here to stay. A month with 29 days is something we don’t see very often. I was at school with a young lady called Linda Mallon who was born on 29 February and it must be very difficult for her to watch all her classmates grow up to be strapping 31-year-olds like me while she is only turning eight. Really makes you think.

For Linda and for me, I’m using 29 February to do all the things I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve scheduled every hour so that I don’t waste a moment of this magical Earth-spin. Why not join me?

Get up. Time on 29 February works differently to ordinary time. You can set your alarm for 5am and wake up as fresh as a daisy (waking up early on Leap Day is where the expression ‘fresh n leapy’ actually comes from). Why not make good use of this time blip and start your Leap Day a little early.

Bring your spring clothes up from the cellar. Saves you doing it on 1 March!

Check your router settings. Leap Day is traditionally the day where you check your router settings and, call me old-fashioned, but I like to stick to traditions. BRING BACK HANGING! (Just kidding.) But seriously, it’s a lot of fun to look at router settings that haven’t been so much as glanced at in four years and reminisce.

Dress in your finest. A special occasion like Leap Day is worth celebrating in your eveningwear. Leap Day is the topsy-turviest day of the year so, ladies, why not don a tux? It’ll shake up the neighbourhood!

Breakfast. Time for a traditional Leap Day breakfast of eggs, beans and sausages arranged into the shape of a pirate’s face on your plate.

Time for a workout. A Leap Year is always an Olympics year and our hero Olympians don’t take a day off for Leap Day. Show your solidarity by joining them in their exercising. Who knows, maybe you’ll be showing off a sparkly medal in Rio this year? Stranger things have happened and on Leap Day anything is possible!

Call up your Leap Day birthday chums. Having a birthday on Leap Day sucks, guys. Like having a birthday on Christmas Day, everyone is too caught up with Christmas that they forget to make your birthday-day special. Imagine having that on Leap Day! Do the right thing, give them a call.

You’re halfway through Leap Day. Are you having fun? If you’re not you should make some changes. Perhaps change out of that tux into a different tux?

Lunch of nuts and berries, foraged from a local forest (don’t pick bluebells, guys, Leap Day or not).

Tune in to the Queen’s Leap Day Speech.

Overthrow the government. Down with the Tories, right guys? Parliament never expects anything to happen on Leap Day and they’ll all be having amazing Leap Days of their own so it’s time for you to sneak in and make a few changes.

“Leap Day is the topsy-turviest day of the year so, ladies, why not don a tux? It’ll shake up the neighbourhood!”

Hit the beach! As you are aware already, Leap Day weather doesn’t behave like ordinary weather due to time and space on Leap Day existing in a vacuum. I can’t explain this fully as I am not a scientist but all I know is it’s roasting outside! Get yourself down to the beach and soak up some rays for an hour.

Make a shell picture. You’re bound to have collected some shells down at the beach (and if not, why not!?). Create some beautiful shell art to wow your friends with.

Win a Leapy. Awards season really ends with the Oscars… unless it’s a Leap Year!

The Leapies are for everybody and best of luck to you. I am proud of my Best Admin Leapy for 2008; I did my taxes two months early and that netted me the award.

Drinks for friends. Drinks on Leap Day taste fantastic and you’ve earned a brewski or three. Why not take your shell art from earlier with you (providing the glue has dried) and show it off to the whole pub/bar.

Leap Dinner. More popular in the US than it is in the UK, Leap Dinner is gradually growing in popularity and some people like to put even more effort in to it than Christmas. Make sure you enjoy your Leap Dinner with all the trimmings: onion rings, mussels, the works.

Leap Movie. After all that fine food you’ll be ready to kick back with the day’s Leap Movie. Disappointing romcom Leap Year starring Amy Adams will certainly be playing but don’t worry, you’ll be napping anyway.

Wake up for the end of Leap Year starring Amy Adams.

S-Leap Day. It’s been a long Leap Day and you’ve got a heck of a lot done. With just four years until your next Leap Day you’re going to want to get some sleep. Back to boring old 1 March the following day, but with this guide you’ll have enough great Leap Day memories to get you through the next 48 months. Goodnight!


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Written by Sooz Kempner

Funny Women Variety Award Winner 2012. ASDA Kate Bush.