An unremarkable day

Christina in Scotland and Leanne in Cornwall have recently written lovely posts about a day in their lives. I found these posts fascinating – I’m nosy and I enjoy reading about what others get up to in their daily lives – so I thought I’d write a diary post about my day today. It has been an ordinary non-work day, a drifting day of errands and hum-drum life (it’s long, so maybe make yourself a cup of tea!). Unlike me, you may not enjoy reading about the minutiae of everyday life, in which case let me know and I won’t repeat the exercise 🙂

6.45am – My daughter wakes me by climbing into bed for a hug (this routine won’t last much longer, I’m sure) and I hear one of my sons going into the bathroom (noisily). My daughter goes into my bathroom (she uses ours because it avoids arguments and banging on doors to hurry up). When she’s finished, I drag myself out of bed and splash water on my face. I don’t shower because there’s no time. I could get up earlier and make time but I don’t. I look at myself in the mirror, then put my reading glasses on to look at myself in the mirror. I’m looking tired and every day of my 52 years. Sigh.

7am – Dressed, I’m downstairs making tea, sorting out breakfast and making packed lunches for my younger two (the eldest won’t take one; he prefers to starve all day until he can get home and ‘eat proper food’). My children traipse into the kitchen, one by one, for breakfast. It’s only the second full day back at school after the long summer break but they’re all a bit subdued. None of us are morning people. The boys in particular are not going to bed early enough, despite my ‘strong advice’, so they’re not getting enough sleep. It can take a week or so to get back into the school routine. I drink a mug of tea and scroll through Instagram while I wait for them to get ready.

7.40am – We leave the house and drive to the station. On a clear run it only takes about 5 minutes but we need to allow at least double that to cross a busy main road to get from our village to the next village where the station is. There’s usually a constant stream of traffic and it can be quite stressful if we’re running late. Sometimes a kind-hearted person will slow down to let a couple of cars across but more often than not it’s a case of waiting for a gap in the traffic and zooming across. Very occasionally there isn’t a car on the road which is spooky. Today isn’t too bad.

7.46am  We arrive at the station where there are several other cars emptying themselves of children to catch the 7.51 train to school. There is no bus to the school from our village and the only other option would be to drive them, so most parents choose the train. My eldest is coming home early today (the sixth-form timetable has several ‘study periods’) and I remind him to get off the train in town as I’ll meet him there.

7.55am  Back home I notice what an absolutely beautiful morning it is, so I grab my camera and head into the garden where the sunlight is highlighting cobwebs and making everything look gorgeous. I notice that I forgot to bring in the washing yesterday and there are some cobwebby sheets on the line. My neighbour greets me from his garden and we agree that it’s the best time of day to be out and he wonders whether we’ll have an ‘Indian summer’. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

8.20am  Distracted by taking photos, I’m now off schedule for getting to my yoga class for 9.30am. I drink another mug of tea and eat a bowl of muesli while scrolling through more Instagram.

8.40am  I’m out of the house with the dog, who is particularly bouncy this morning. She’s not going to be impressed with the usual pre-yoga short walk – it’s the sort of weather for a long stomp across the clifftops. Oh well. We walk up the Leas and past the grazing Dexter cattle and ponies (one is having a good old scratch in a thorny bush). They don’t bother us and we don’t bother them. I see a friend walking her dog and stop for a chat (ignoring the time), then I notice swallows gathering on the telephone wire next to the hut where they’ve been nesting and zooming about the field with their chirrupy calls. I watch them for a while and film them with my phone, then jog back to the house.

9.20am  I run indoors, give the dog her after-walk treat, fill her water bowl, grab my yoga mat and car keys and rush back out. I am late. I have to say that I love yoga and it does me the world of good, and I am normally on time. I usually give a friend a lift but she’s not coming today and I’ve not booked into this session online – I think this is what subconsciously causes me to slack! If the road is clear I should be there during the warm-up (an acceptably late time to arrive). The road is not clear. I get stuck behind the slowest driver in the world and I finally bail out when I realise I won’t arrive until the session is well underway. I turn right instead of left and drive home, thinking that a shower and a coffee will do me just as much good. (I know it won’t really.)

10am  I shower, then go into the children’s bedrooms, pick up wet towels and open windows, and sort the laundry. There is always laundry. I put a wash on and take a mug of coffee outside and sit on the bench in the sunshine looking at the sea. The dog comes to lie on the grass beside me. She doesn’t seem that bothered about the short walk. I lift my face to the sun and enjoy the peace and quiet.

11am–1.30pm  I sit at my computer and check emails. I answer a few, make notes and rewrite some copy. I do a little research for a work-in-progress. I have more coffee and some toast. I hang the washing outside. I love hanging washing on the line and I am a little ocd about pegging it out in a particular way, shaking out t-shirts so they’re straight, hanging shirts at the seams and so on. It probably takes more time than it should but there’s something soothing about doing such a simple mindless task. I know: weird.

1.30pm  I have an optician’s appointment at 2pm so I drive to town, taking a couple of jackets to the dry-cleaners en route. I wear glasses for reading but I’ve noticed my eyesight is getting worse and I’m starting to find distances a little blurry and my eyes get extremely tired. The optician is reassuringly thorough and, as I suspected, she says I need new glasses for reading and a pair for driving and watching tv. It seems my eyes are also showing their 52 years. She hands me over to someone else who gives me several pairs of glasses to try on. One pair looks fine, good even, and is really lightweight but they’re £360… Maybe not. I decide to go back at the weekend with David – I want a second opinion if I’m to spend big bucks on two new pairs of glasses.

2.45pm  I call my son to tell him to meet me in Sainsbury’s car park but it goes straight to voicemail. I walk to the supermarket and see him waiting near the car – his phone isn’t working properly and he’s grumpy. I give him the keys so he can wait in the car for me while I pop to get a few things. I buy some fresh soup and bread for a late lunch, and milk. We always need milk.

3.15pm  Back at home, I put the soup in a pan to heat and eat a chunk of bread and butter while I wait. My son and I eat lunch quickly and chat about school.

3.40pm  I drive to the station to collect the other two. There’s a long queue of cars waiting for the train and it takes a while for everyone to sort themselves out and drive out of the busy car park. Both children have had ‘meh’ sort of days. My daughter is still having friendship issues and she has a good moan on the way home. My son offers typical brotherly advice from the back seat.

4–6pm  Back at home I bring the washing in from the line and the children eat the last of the loaf I bought for lunch. I make a pot of tea and we chat more about their days. The boys disappear to their rooms hopefully to do homework and my daughter lies on the sofa. We chat while I check my emails. She’s watching ‘Gilmore Girls’ on Netflix and is soon absorbed. I go into the kitchen to peel and chop some Bramley apples that are in danger of spoiling and freeze them. David phones and we have a chat, then he speaks to each of the children.

6pm  I unload the dishwasher (this is my eldest’s job but he’s fallen asleep and I don’t have the heart to wake him), I tidy the kitchen, cook dinner and listen to ‘The Archers’. I call the kids for dinner (eldest son mildly revived after his kip) and we all sit down to eat. There’s no sparkling conversation, just eating and low-key chat.

8pm  Everyone disappears to finish homework and I clear up. It’s not long before there’s an argument over whose turn it is to use the computer. This is the perpetual flash point in our house and it drives me nuts. I get cross, shout a bit and it takes a while to sort it out. One boy stomps upstairs and the other goes on the computer (but makes a pot of tea first as a small peace-offering). I sit down to start writing this.

9pm  My daughter goes up to bed. She rarely needs encouragement – she’s always loved her sleep. I go up to say goodnight and she reads for a little while. David phones again to say he’s off the river (he sculls on the River Thames after work and often goes out after dark; he phones to let me know he’s safe). We have a chat about weekend plans.

10.15pm  I boot my son off the computer and he comes into the kitchen for food before going to bed. My daughter is fast asleep and my other son is in his room. I’m about to sign off, make sure the boys are heading to bed and go to bed myself and read (I’ve just read Margaret Atwood’s ‘Hagseed’ – very good – and I want to read the ending again).

Goodnight and thank you for reading.