A word of note: having read some of my fellow writers ‘Day in the Life’ posts I hope that my own version does not seem too odd. Here in the UK, in one of the Sunday papers, the back page of the magazine runs a ‘Life in the Day’ column where (famous) people describe their life through the medium of their day. This is the way I have pretty much chosen to write mine. And apologies for the lack of photos.
My day usually starts around 7.15am when my radio springs into life playing Radio 4′s Today programme. More often than not I go back to sleep for as long as possible, foregoing make-up and breakfast time in lieu of just a tiny bit longer in bed. I have always been an owl rather than a lark and one of the first things I loved about my now husband was just how much he liked sleeping during the same hours as I did. We live in a (rented) country cottage and mostly sleep with the window open so we can hear the river running outside when we wake up. I usually drag myself into the shower, wash my hair, cleanse, tone, moisturise and clean my teeth before getting dressed in whatever outfit I can cobble together which is work suitable, not too boring and is clean. Much as I would like to be one of those people with neat organised clothes, mostly my clothes are anywhere except in the wardrobe. I usually then have a small cup of instant coffee, collect my food for the day from the fridge and leave for work. It’s hopefully 8.15am but in reality more like 8.30am. Even as a child I was one for sleeping in as late as possible, breakfast eaten on the trot, arriving at school on the dot of the morning bell, or later, as I got older and less scared of the consequences of being late.
My journey to work has immensuarably improved since leaving London. Whereon once I would walk down the road to the tube station, fight to get on the tube, ride in fuming silence pressed in a crowd of people to alight in the city and fight through the crowded pavements to my office, I now get in my car and drive through beautiful English countryside to my work. These days, my stresses are getting blocked in by the builders, driving behind tourists who drive at 25mph and brake for every corner and trying to avoid the pheasants and rabbits which get confused and think they can cross in front of cars. I usually carry on listening to the radio in the car, with the air vents on full blast to dry my hair.
I park fairly near to work and walk the last little bit down the road, arriving in time to be at my desk for 9am. My morning routine pretty much consists of making coffee, checking e-mails, deciding what needs to be done and working out if I have any meetings and so on. I am a lawyer so my time is divided between meeting new clients, seeing existing clients, working at my desk and attending court. I like to take a lunch break unless it is impossible and will either eat at my desk checking my e-mail, catching up on google reader and so on, or will go for a walk. Sometimes, I go to the beach and on other occasions I sit in the work garden.
The afternoon consists of more of the same, usually with a tea break around 3pm followed by a mad rush to get my letters back from my secretary and into the post before 4pm. I am a big fan of afternoon tea and will use any excuse to bake scones or cakes and serve tea. At our wedding I collected all of the vintage china and we now have enough tea cups, saucers and milk jugs for about 100 visitors. At work I usually drink out of a pretty mug, as the work dishwasher is less kind to vintage china. My office backs onto the work garden and I even have my own door, so, if it is sunny, I try to stand outside and have my tea, with a piece of chocolate or cake to keep me going until the end of the day. My contracted day ends at 6pm but more often than not I am still in the office at 7pm or later.
When we left London my husband’s job remained there. He commutes each Monday evening back up to London from the West Country where we now live and gets the train back on Thursday nights. Monday and Wednesday nights are my own. I usually potter leisurely back from work, perhaps stopping to buy some food or go for a walk. I am trying to find a yoga or pilates or dance class but sadly rural England does not offer the same opportunites as the city and I have yet to find one with spaces that is at a conveniently late enough time slot. We have an AGA to cook on so in the summer I tend to eat mostly cold food. I don’t plan what I eat and generally, if I do cook, I cook enough to eat all week. I usually blog or catch up on e-mails or reading blogs whilst I eat, snug in our kitchen. We don’t have a TV, so if I know something is on that I wish to watch, I will watch on my computer. Often, I will read a magazine whilst drinking tea. This is a habit I have carried through my university days since my first subscription to Vogue: I have my entire back catalogue, much to my husband’s disgust/amusement as they do take up a lot of space and are rather heavy to lug from one house to the next when one is renting, as we are. I thought I would be lonely in the evenings, but really, after supper and reading and entertaining some light cleaning, laundry and so on (although, who am I kidding, I leave all that til Wednesday night just before bed and frantically clean in preparation for husbands return) there isn’ t much time to be lonely. Add catching up with friends, chatting to my mum and sisters on the telephone and there isn’t much time for anything, let alone loneliness.
Tuesday nights I am a scout leader and rush home to change into my uniform before driving to the scout hut. We do lots of outdoor activities and challenges and I enjoy being part of the community. As a child I was a girl scout (Brownie or Girl Guide in England) as well as doing lots of gymnastics and ballet so I love being busy and helping provide other children some of the same things I enjoyed so much when I was little. Scouting was also a great way to get to know people in our new village, something I had never really had in London.
I usually then potter about, shut the house down, have a bath and clean/floss etc before calling husband in London to say hello and good night. Sometimes I watch DVDs in bed on my laptop, other times I read a book. I like our bedroom to be peaceful but really it is husband who keeps it that way, clearing up piles of clothes when he comes home. I collect him from our nearest station (45 mins drive away) and we enjoy our weekends in a way that we never did when we lived together all week. We often have visitors, as our friends, thankfully, love escaping London to visit us for country weekends. We go walking a lot and explore the local area. Often we sit and have a drink in a local pub and husband spends a lot of time cooking. I prefer baking and often make cakes and puddings. In autumn we collect blackberries and we eat as much local food as possible.
Last thing before sleep and I check twitter again. I recently upgraded to an iphone from my old BlackBerry and have been using a sleep cycle progamme to see how long I sleep for. I try and go to sleep the same day I got up but invariably it is after. I set the alarm and listen to the radio as I drift off to sleep…