One random Tuesday

October 17, 2006

Soraya sent me a link earlier in the week to the One Day In History project, which is being run by the National Trust. The only ways of getting into the British Library I know are by writing a PhD or being a published author, neither of which are likely to happen to me anytime soon, so I thought this would be kind of cool.

I dutifully wrote my detailed account of what I've been doing today, and then the bloody stupid website wouldn't accept it. I don't think it's optimised for Firefox. Dammit. Anyway, as they don't want it, you all get to read it instead. Lucky you. (I've edited a few parts for clarity).


I got up today at 7.20am. I had breakfast with Matt and Izzy, practiced the latter’s ‘tricky words’ for school (‘he’, ‘like’, ‘this’, etc – words which can’t be pronounced phonetically) and shepherded her off to school. We had to pop into the doctor’s on the way to collect my prescription for nicotine patches (I am giving up smoking tomorrow morning).

We got to school without incident, I dropped Izzy off and walked back home and got in the car. I drove to work – a ten minute drive, which goes directly past the school, but I insist on walking the school run anyway – and arrived at 9.20am.

I am an office manager at a firm of specialist surveyors. Today I typed the minutes from yesterday’s staff meeting and had a meeting with our independent financial advisor about the company pensions. I ate a plum, a satsuma and an apple at my desk, had a cigarette outside and went to the butchers downstairs to buy two pieces of fillet steak for dinner (cost: £6.58).

After that I went to the chemist to collect my prescriptions, then came back to the office to pick up Eddie. Eddie is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross that belongs to one of my colleagues, who is going away overnight for work this week. He often asks us to look after Eddie when he’s away, which suits me fine because we are getting a puppy early next year and it helps Izzy get used to having a dog around the house.

Eddie and I got in the car and came home about 1.20pm. (I work less than four hours a day since Izzy started school in September). I had leftover homemade ginger and butternut squash soup and a slice of toast for lunch, then drove to the gym.

I go to the gym about five times a week. It helps me to stay fit, but I would go even if it had nothing to do with health because I really enjoy it. I did circuit training – a total of 45 minutes cardio and 20 minutes of heavy resistance work, followed by some stretches and abdominals. Had a lovely shower afterwards, got a text from Lee-Anne saying she had finished her final exam for her Open University degree, then stopped in the gym reception for a double expresso before heading home.

I got home at 4.15pm feeling shattered. I had a cigarette, made a few boring phone calls (booking a hairdresser appointment etc), hung out the washing and pottered around on the internet for half an hour.

At 5.15pm I put my iPod on, chose a playlist featuring Courtney Love, Avril Lavigne, Franz Ferdinand, Dandy Warhols etc and Eddie and I headed off to the park. She pulled on the lead all the way there. When we got there it was just starting to get dark, really misty with a feeling of dampness in the air. I go to that park all the time with Izzy but today it had a really special feel to it. It is a beautiful, well-established park, the kind that don’t exist in Milton Keynes and tonight it was almost empty bar a few dog walkers. We marched at top speed across the open expanses of grass, bordered with huge oak trees, and I got that fantastic ‘at one with nature’ feeling you usually only get walking on cliffs, or beaches, or in gigantic thunderstorms. It was great – the total highlight of my day. We walked all the way round the park and the lake, then back towards home. Izzy had gone to a friend’s house after school so we stopped there at 6pm to collect her. I chatted with the friend’s mum for a few minutes while Izzy put her shoes and coat on and gathered her belongings, then we walked home.

When we arrived home, Matt had already got back from work (he cycles – it’s only 3 miles) and we got straight in the car and drove to the school for parents evening. We had a look at Izzy’s work in the classroom – she knows more sounds than anybody else in her class, apparently – and spoke to her teacher who says she is settling in well. There was a book fair so we bought her a couple of books, walked back to the car and drove home. We got back at 7.10pm and hustled Izzy into her pyjamas, read her a couple of books and tucked her into bed.

Then I went downstairs and started on the dinner. We were having steak ciabatta – basically you warm the ciabatta in the oven, season the steak and grill it, drizzle olive oil on the warm ciabatta, pile in some rocket leaves, put the steak on top and spread wholegrain mustard on it. It was delicious, even if I do say so myself. I had a small piece of stöllen for pudding – I know it’s only October, but I ADORE that stuff and can’t possibly wait until Christmas!

After that I was knackered so I went and lay down in bed for half an hour, then got up and tried to phone my brother but he was out. I chatted to Matt for a while, then downloaded some pictures from my camera onto the computer. I’ve got to take a huge load of photographs on CD-Rom to Jessops to get printed. Matt’s Dad and Nan don’t have computers so we have to get a load of pictures printed every now and again for them.

After I’ve typed this, I’ve got to sew some name labels into Izzy’s gloves for school, take up a pair of trousers and go and have one last cigarette before I go to bed about 11.30pm.

I’d like to say that this was an insanely busy and hectic day for me, but to be honest it was pretty average. I like being busy.

It sounds like the diary of a Grown Up
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