Friday, 14 March 2008

A Day in My Life - 14 March 2008

Little Jenny Wren is going to write every month about her day to day life and has invited other bloggers to join in. I've signed up, at least to do one, as I am lazy about posting, though I always manage to read lots of other people's blogs and post a few comments.

So here goes, this was my day today...

Woke up at around 5.50am, my alarm is set for 6.00am but I usually wake up before it turns on. The radio comes on rather than an buzzer (though I do have a back up alarm clock that goes off at 6.27 (don't ask why 6.27 rather than 6.30! Just one of those things) but rarely need it. The radio station I mainly listen to is Radio 4 but in the morning from 6-9 its the Today programme, which is a really smug, self congratulatory news programme. The women presenters particularly annoy me (Sarah Montague and Carolyn Quinn) and I frequently get so irritated with the programme's style and content that I turn the radio off. Depending on how early I wake up, I sometimes read for a while, but this morning the house felt cold and I just stayed snuggled under the covers until about 6.15 then went to investigate why it was so cold. The heating was on, but for some reason the hot water tank and some of the radiators were luke warm rather than hot. I switched the hot water tank over to the immersion heater so that there would be hot water for a shower and while I waited for it to warm up I went down to put the kettle on for tea and to let the rabbits out and to feed them. This morning they had a big handful of hay, a big scoop of dry food, a carrot and half an apple chopped up. I changed their three litter trays (one inside their house and two outside). The litter trays are such an easy way to keep them clean, I just empty the used ones in the compost bin as I just use newspaper for a liner and straw and it all composts really easily.

After a cup of tea it was back upstairs into the shower and get dressed. Today I wore a navy blouse and navy trousers and a cream cardigan. I wash my hair everyday, so I had a quick blow dry then back downstairs. My son goes to college and he'd already got up and got ready so he was just about to leave though he said he didn't feel very well. Both my children hardly missed any school through illness, and would never take a day off school/college/university/work unless genuinely too ill to work.

I then made myself some lunch (today was a cheese and tomato roll, banana and pear) to take to work. I quickly ate some plain Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of nuts and dried fruit then suddenly remembered I had to feed the tortoises. We are looking after two tortoises for a week or so while their owner is away. I felt a bit panicked because I remembered how cold the house was, and these are tropical tortoises that need warm temperatures, but fortunately I've got an electric heater set up on a timer so they weren't cold! Today's food was a few cape gooseberries (physalis) and some strawberries.

Then I set off - today I had to go to Witham, which is about 10 miles away from my house, to carry out a risk assessment of a school crossing patrol site. Today's site was one that has not been manned for a long time, so I needed to count traffic and pedestrian movements at the busiest time of the day (in this case from 8.30 - 9.00) to see if it is worth keeping the site. In half an hour a couple of hundred cars passed the site, but only two people crossed the road. We will probably abandon this site.

I then headed to my office. I don't have an allocated parking space, but my line manager lets me use his sometimes as he often catches the train to work. It sounds lazy, but it takes me about 15 minutes to walk from the car park to the office and this is just too far to walk there and back. I'm not a fast walker, and I'm usually carrying a briefcase, as well as a handbag, my lunch, knitting or a book etc, so most days after I've done a site visit I will drive home and cycle into the office - it takes me less than 15 minutes and it's a much pleasanter journey, and I can put all my bags in my bike basket. Today, as I had to go out on site again in the afternoon, I drove into town and parked and walked to the office. I spent a couple of hours writing up notes of site visits, dealing with emails and phone messages, then had to complete my staff appraisal form with my manager. We have to do this every year in order to get our pay progression. I think the less I say about this the better as I feel it is just a paper exercise....

Lunch time, I whizzed out for a few minutes to get a bunch of daffodils (my favourite flowers and the local market sells 5 bunches for £2.00) and to have a poke around in the Oxfam shop. I picked up a nice piece of material for .99p which I may use for the shopping tote swap I've signed up for at down-to-earth.

This afternoon's site visit was in Billericay, which is only about 12 miles away. Some days I have to drive 30 or 40 miles each way to get to a site, but this only took me half an hour. Our crossing patrol ladies and men are great - they do a very difficult job and they are really special people. I do hate to see inconsiderate drivers and the way they behave to our patrols. People parking on the school keep clear markings, speeding, failing to stop even though they've been signalled to do so... There are a lot of selfish people out there, but the patrols take it all in their stride and are out there whatever the weather.

I drove back towards home, but the traffic was horrendous, so I decided instead of sitting in a queue of traffic I would pop into Lidl. It's not a shop I generally go to, but I got some real bargains from the fruit and vegetable section - red onions for 20p, 1 kg carrots for 55p and a mango for 23p. Amazing! I must go there more often. The carrots will be great for the rabbits, and for us too, and the mango will be great for the tortoises (if I don't eat it all myself!). I usually only shop for food once a week at the most, so this was not a big shopping trip, and I didn't really need much. I could have got quite a few more things, but I resisted the temptation!

When I got home it was about 5.50pm so I turned on the computer to catch up with emails and reading blogs. I usually listen to music when I have the computer on. This week I've had a few new CDs arrive that I'd bought either on EBay or from Amazon. I do like a bargain and the CDs I bought this week each cost less than £4 (one was only .75p) though of course there is also the cost of postage, but even so none came to more than £6.00. I drive a lot for work and find music more relaxing when driving than radio but I do get bored listening to the same stuff over and over. I probably won't buy any more CDs for a few months, and these should keep me going for a while. While catching up with my favourite blogs I saw a post at Belinda's place about Earth Hour and have signed up for it, and I will see if I can get the County Council to join up too. As they employ over 20,000 people it might make all the difference.

I fed the rabbits - fresh water, a scoop of dry food and some greens and then shut them up for the night. Then I phoned my mum for a chat. She's hoping to come up for a visit Easter weekend so we were arranging that.

When my son got home from college he still wasn't feeling well and went straight up to bed. He's got a sore throat and feels achy. He didn't even feel like eating any dinner, so I won't bother to cook tonight. I've just been snacking on yogurt and nuts, and might have some salsa and tortilla chips. Not very healthy I know, but I don't really like cooking for one.


I had that salsa, and a cup of tea, then my younger sister phoned and we chatted for about an hour (maybe longer).


So here we are at the end of the day. It's now just after 10 and I think I might turn on the TV to watch the news and do a bit of knitting - my daughter wanted me to make her a hot water bottle cover and I've nearly finished it. I'd better hurry up, it's nearly spring!

I'll probably go to bed around midnight, maybe read for a while before I go to sleep.

Not a particularly exciting day, but doing this has been fun. I've visited a couple of the other blogs that signed up for this. It's interesting to get a little window into other people's day; we all have such different lives and experiences. This has been a typical day for me, the way I currently live, but one day I'd like to be able to record a day filled with gardening, growing my own vegetables, baking bread and finding time to be creative.

If you got this far, thanks for reading! I'm posting this now, but I do have a couple of photos to add and will do that tomorrow, but it's been a long day!


Saturday Morning Note: I've added a few photos to make this post more interesting (not so sure that a shot of the inside of my compost bin is all that special but you know what I mean!).