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.

 

 

 

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39 thoughts on “An unremarkable day

  1. I enjoyed reading your ‘day in the life,’ Sam. I guess most of us have more in common than differences, so seeing what others are doing confirms that. 🙂 I love hanging laundry the same as you do – it’s a form of meditation for me. Hubs just can’t do to my standards. 😉

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  2. I loved reading this, thank you. And ocd washing line stuff yes me too. I count pegs in my head as I go, don’t know why so I try and mess the number sequence up to try and get out of it, ooer.

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    1. Thank you, Lyn. Hmmm, counting pegs?! I think most of us probably have ways of making very dull chores that we have to do very often more interesting 🙂

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  3. What an incredibly, hectically full day you have – I know it’s the norm for many mothers, and certainly was for me when I worked, but to be reminded so graphically was rather shocking! I so felt for you when you had to turn back from your intended yoga class! I think I may do a day in my life just for contrast, and as a great illustration of how retirement allows us to do one thing at a time and to pause in between. (Or is that just me? I’ll await comments with interest!) I’m glad you have a garden to draw you outside and allow you to stop for a few moments.

    Re the new glasses – having spent far more than intended on new extremely lightweight rimless specs recently, I find they’re the best I’ve ever had – so comfortable and unobtrusive. Go for it, I’d say; your nose will thank you for it.

    Re the washing – same attention to detail here; I dislike people being helpful and hanging things out for me skew-whiff or not properly colour-coordinated, and have to creep back later to rearrange the offending articles. Or leaving the pegs on the line permanently…..Oh dear, better stop here….

    Anyway, a lovely post, thank you.

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    1. Compared to usual, this wasn’t a busy day for me, Rachel; I normally pack in more. I was hesitant to press ‘publish’ because I thought maybe it was a little ‘over-sharing’ but your lovely comment reassured me that it was ok – thank you. Yes, pegs on the line a big no-no here, too. And thank you for the advice about the glasses.

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  4. What a great idea! I’m pretty nosy, too, and it’s nice to see how people’s days differ to mine or else I nod and think “ooh, yes, same here”!
    I don’t blog but I think I shall follow your lead today and put pen to paper, record my day just for my own amusement.
    I’m 53 and most days I very much look it! X

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  5. I love these sorts of posts, it’s very reassuring somehow to hear about someone else’s day. I’m exactly the same with the laundry, and I see we’re not alone. Have a lovely weekend Sam. CJ xx

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  6. I loved reading about your day. I also enjoyed your previous post and seeing the flowers in your grandmother’s jug- really, really beautiful. its so nice to have things passed down to be treasured by another generation, and as a way of remembering a family member. I was struck by the process of taking the children to school, the car and then the train and the busy road to cross- is it a long train journey? I liked hearing about the bread that everyone ate – I hope you do another day in your life. someone wrote that we are all doing the same days and thousands of miles away with a married son with children,and a generation older than you I am having a similar day -I hurry to squeeze in a morning workout, I pick up my kindergarten grandson mid day, make lunch for him and his sister who comes home from school for lunch and sometimes take them to after school activities. I always enjoy your blog the flowers the words, and your header – such a beautiful scene.

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    1. Thank you, Jean. No, it’s not a long journey – 15 minutes – and they all enjoy it as they meet all their friends. Your days sound busy! I hope you manage to carve out some time for yourself. Thank you for your lovely comment.

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  7. This was a great idea, Sam, I loved it! You know, I was sort of relieved when you turned back from yoga, that you showed yourself to be (a) human (cos, you know, I thought you were actually super-woman) and (b) honest. I’m not sure how many people could do the exercise with honesty. I’m not certain I could (although I might try).
    The bit that resonated most was the busy road-crossing. I have a similar 90 seconds of extreme stress every morning and I HATE it! The laundry-hanging mania seems to be common to many of us, who’d have thought?! I’m a little envious that your girl spilled all her woes on the drive home. My girl, I’m certain, has similar problems but isn’t telling us which leaves me feeling helpless. For a ho-hum day, you got a lot done! I hope you find the right pair of glasses. Have a great weekend, Lynda.xx

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    1. Thank you, Lynda! I was a bit embarrassed that I’d revealed myself to be slightly flaky in that it was entirely my fault that I was so late and ended up not going to yoga, but I thought it was important to do a ‘warts and all’ post. I am far too open/honest for my own good and often chide myself for over-sharing (here and in real life!). Yes, every time I cross the busy road I mutter ‘I HATE that road!’. I do hope you get to the bottom of the issue with your daughter. I thank my lucky stars that mine is open with me (so far) and know it’s unusual. Off to look at glasses shortly… x

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      1. Reading this, I just had the thought that the thing with my daughter feels like needing glasses. I sense there is something at the edge of my field of vision that I just can’t see clearly.
        Over-sharing…guilty. I try not to worry too much about it unless it affects the kids. It’s nice to have a voice. xx

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      2. I agree – I feel blogging has given me a voice and it’s hugely uplifting that people read and comment. These connections are by far the best and most surprising benefit. x PS I’m sure you’re keeping the channels of communication open with your daughter but is there anything that just the two of you love to do, when you can chat together in a relaxed way? They are often the times that things come out. Hope there’s nothing to worry about xx

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  8. I enjoy these posts – maybe I’m too nosy for my own good! I visited the optician recently, had a quick eye test and then had to wait an hour while the person in front of me faffed about trying to choose her glasses. As a result, I said yes to the first pair I was shown and now feel I shouldn’t have been quite so hasty, particularly as I seem to have chosen an indentical pair to the ones I was replacing. Have a good weekend.

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  9. Hey Sam,
    I always think it’s amazing what is actually ‘done’ during a normal day. It’s also good to know that we’re all in it together. Most of my days involve chasing my tail and picking up and putting back. And the washing is endless here too.
    Thanks for the mention here. I’m dead chuffed!
    Have a great weekend.
    Leanne xx

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  10. Such a lovely post again Sam! It was enjoyable reading about your day. I don’t have children, but this brought back memories of my schooldays – problems with other girls, rushing to get the bus in the mornings, and sitting down with a cuppa with my Mum when I got home in the afternoon. 🙂

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  11. I just love the way you start your day – a cuddle from your daughter, it can’t get any better. I really enjoy reading this kind of post, I always feel like we are in the same boat, all busy, juggling many balls but still finding time to marvel and reflect. Thanks for sharing your day. And thanks for the link, too. Have a smashing weekend. xx

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  12. I always been a bit voyeuristic, so thoroughly enjoyed a peek into your day. Maybe we should do a world-wide “a day in the life” for bloggers–all on the same day. Your post brought back the busy days when my kids were at home. Although I can’t say that things are much more leisurely in retirement–just a different flavor of busy. Savor the time you have with your kids–jam-packed though your days may be–they’ll soon be off. And thanks for sharing your bit of the world with us, Sam.

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    1. That is SUCH a good idea, Brenda! Let’s do it. How will we co-ordinate it? I’d love to find out what a load of us do all on the same day. Could be really interesting.
      I do try to enjoy every moment with the kids but I also enjoy the peace and quiet of an empty house 🙂

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  13. I echo all the fascinating comments about this post: I really enjoyed reading about your moments of enjoyment in the garden and looking at the sea; I shuddered at reading about your struggle with the traffic; I felt the frustration of trying to communicate with your sleepy son in Sainsbury’s carpark! Overall, I loved that this post was a kind of celebration of the everyday, of surviving it, with the heart intact. Thank you so much.

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  14. I loved Christina and Leanne’s posts too and really enjoyed reading yours. There’s much to be said for reading the simple snippets of other people’s lives- its reassuring and comforting. I’m exactly the same about washing- it’s a standing joke here. I get twitchy if M does it because he hangs it out all wrinkly and twisted and all the socks aren’t paired 😆. Loved the interactions with the children, a real sense of lovely, normal family life. I have been known to forget to go to yoga, at least you attempted it. Well done, Sam, a really lovely post which I may shamelessly copy Xx

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  15. For an unremarkable day you have done a lot. A lovely light, entertaining read and I can imagine the setting. I am nosey too and would like to read more of your blogs – a great way to keep in touch and uptodate.

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  16. Thanks for sharing your day. I’m 57 years old and although our lives are different there is the thread of sameness – of trying to slow down and find a moment to breathe. Dawn

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  17. These are my favorite posts to read, Sam. Thank you for writing it. I’m always struck by how different and yet how similar all of our lives are. Your daughter sounds a lot like mine, though they are years apart in age. Mine still goes to bed at 7 pm, though she turned 9 last week. She reads for half an hour and then it’s lights out, and she sleeps straight through to 7 am. She has always needed lots of sleep. She napped daily right up until she went to kindergarten at almost 6!

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. Our daughters do sound similar. I couldn’t believe how different mine was to the boys when she was a baby – I’d put her in her cot and she went straight to sleep, often right through the night; magic!

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  18. Reading about your day makes me nostalgic for when our kids still lived at home. Your children sound delightful. Lovely photos too, especially the Cosmos in the grass. We are in Japan sitting through a typhoon right now! Incidentally, how did your friend enjoy her trip to Chicago?

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