Seeing as it’s Sunday, my fun day, my I don’t have to run day, I thought I’d ‘borrow’ one of my favourite items from the Sunday Times Magazine and have a go at writing my ‘A Life in the Day’. For those not familiar, this is a weekly feature where a typical day of a person, sometimes famous, sometimes not, is brought to life. For the purposes of the below I used a typical weekday as a Saturday would basically be; went to the pub and got drunk and a Sunday would be; recovered from going to the pub and getting drunk on Saturday…
Now that I’m an unemployed wastrel I usually wake up naturally somewhere in the region of 7.00 am. Back in the dark days of full time employment I used to get up at 5.00 am every morning and swim one mile. I did this, partly for fitness reasons but mainly so I could feel human enough to actually enter the office. I still swim most days but later in the day with my new best friends the ‘ladies who lunch’.
Depending on the current state of play between the mother of my children and myself this will either be in a bed we share, in another bed, on the sofa, in a hotel or in the chicken shed. Recently, as our current ceasefire holds, this is mainly in the bed we share so we spend a few minutes eyeing each other suspiciously before Adele (she doesn’t want me to use her name in the blog, which I obviously just did, so don’t tell her!) gets up. If I’m lucky I will then get a twenty minute ‘bonus sleep’ before she comes clattering around with hairdryers and straighteners and demands that I get up and supervise the children readying themselves for school. Charlie leaves first, around 7.45 am, usually looking like he’s being sent off to be tortured. He really hates school and struggles to fit in which is a big worry, particularly for his mother who loves him like nothing I can even comprehend. Max comes downstairs around 8.15 am and we heartily enjoy our morning exchange where I apologise for not telling him it’s a school day and that the tramps convention is at the weekend, for some reason he doesn’t laugh but nor does he complain when I tuck him in, straighten his shirt and brush his hair. Once I’ve got him looking halfway decent he then disappears under his red and white spotted blanket with his iPad and watches YouTube videos that are inappropriate for a boy of his age until it’s time for school.
Before Adele leaves for one of her two jobs she has fifteen minutes watching a recording of the ten million episodes of ‘Come Dine With Me’ she has stored up. I usually hide in the kitchen at this point as this period of the day is definitely well within the danger zone where something I did, but can’t remember, about half a dozen years ago could be brought up, out of the blue, and used as a reason why the least I can do while she’s out is run a vacuum around the house. It’s worth saying at this point that, although we have our difficulties, Adele is an amazing mother and the hardest worker I know so anything I write in this blog about her is only for some form of comedic effect and not really a reflection of who she is. Also, there’s no chance she’ll read it so I’m on fairly safe ground.
At 8.40 am I walk Max to school and we converse on a whole range of topics relating to the issues of the day. When I say converse, what generally happens is I talk and he steadfastly ignores me. When I get back from school I make my breakfast, usually just toast and coffee, and watch something from the greatest invention ever, Sky Q. I like box sets and am working my way through Grey’s Anatomy as I’m hopelessly in love with Meredith Grey. I think she loves me too as she often looks as though she’s thinking about me as she undertakes a hernia repair or similar. Hopefully she’ll never find out I was driving the car that ‘accidentally’ smashed into McDreamy at the end of series ten.
At about 10.00 am I’ll either go swimming or I’ll fire up the laptop and do a couple of hours work. This might be related to the online TEFL course I am doing, with a view to doing some short term assignments abroad teaching English, before I need to decide on a real career or, in the last few days, messing about with this blog. Whatever I do at home you can guarantee I will do it whilst being periodically attacked by the killer kitten that somehow has resident status in my house. I generally do this until about 1.00 pm when I stop for lunch and watch the news. Lunch is a sandwich, or a Covent Garden soup, washed down with a cup of tea.
After lunch I’ll either go swimming if I haven’t already been (obviously once the correct amount of time needed to digest lunch has been taken) or I’ll peruse the job sites and make myself feel uneasy as I see roles I’m qualified for, that pay well, but I’d rather saw off my own left leg than apply for. I really have no idea what I want to do in the future, I just want to do something that makes me happy and be with people who make me happy. I guess that’s what we all want though so let’s just wait and see.
At 3.00 pm, on the dot, Charlie returns from school. I ask him how the office was? He replies that it was terrible, I say; “oh, that’s good” and then he disappears off to plot revenge on me for moving to Wrenthorpe and making him go to the school he detests so much. Thirty minutes later I walk to meet Max. I think that during the day he forgets that he’s trying to be a teenager like his older brother so always gives me a little wave which never fails to warm the cockles of my heart.
Adele gets home at about 4.30 pm and generally goes upstairs for a snooze while I make tea. Two or three nights a week she also has a night job as a carer for a young man who has Muscular Dystrophy so she’s entitled to her forty winks. Before we eat I have to remember to take my depression and anxiety medication, I’ll write more about this when I feel I can do it justice and/or the idea of writing something about it doesn’t make me anxious and depressed.
After tea I spend an hour tormenting the children by making them do horrendous activities such as homework and getting showered. They’re both now at an age and, to my own shame, have enough access to technology in their own rooms that they’re happy to disappear until bedtime (see blog on the grief wave). Charlie occasionally comes downstairs to obtain my opinion on who would win in a fight between Batman and a Ninja with three arms but, on the whole, its a quiet period of the day. If Adele is home we might watch some television together. There’s no getting away from the fact that she is still a very beautiful woman so I often sit and silently grieve for how much of our relationship has been a battleground. Sometimes I’d like to go back fifteen years or so and have another go at it all over again, other times……. If Adele is out I usually watch whatever sport is on the television and post endless nonsense on Facebook or Twitter. One of the symptoms of my ‘illness’ is a need to be alone, but to not be alone at the same time so social media has often been a bit of a lifeline, even if I know I should really use it a lot less.
I don’t tend to stay up that late during the week. Falling asleep is not usually much of a problem. A few pages of whatever book I’m reading, currently an autobiography of an Auschwitz survivor as I do like some light relief before sleep, and I generally drift off. Staying asleep is another matter though, let’s just say me and the hours between 2.30 am and 5.00 am have a very close relationship. I do a lot of thinking during these hours, some of that is productive, some destructive. The aim is for more of the former and less of the latter. Sleeping would also be nice but one step at a time. When I am asleep I do have vivid dreams, some people I know seem to pop up regularly and it’s always nice to see them even if I had no idea they like being naked quite so much in a public place.
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