As soon as my radio alarm goes off, I wake up quickly to turn it off. It used to take three hits of the snooze button when the radio was set to the mellifluous tones of John Humphreys on the Today programme but somehow, the dial found its way to some ghastly local radio station with a presenter who has the most awful voice and talks utter tripe and so I’m up as soon as possible to stop his dreadful diatribe.
I usually then pad down to the kitchen to make that all-important first cup of coffee for my husband and myself and after I’ve taken him his, I head onto the patio with mine and have five minutes or so in the fresh air. I do that throughout the year unless it’s raining and then I just look out at our garden through the window. I love it – it makes me feel peaceful and helps me set out my thoughts for the day ahead.
That luxury means that I then rush around getting ready, either while listening to Today or half-watching Breakfast TV just so that I know what’s happening in the world and can talk semi-intelligently on current affairs if the need arises. There’s usually some shouting involved as the kids take their time and husband chooses to enter the shower just as I am about to but eventually we’re all ready.
I can’t face breakfast so the husband sorts out something for him and the kids and then, one by one, we all set off for where we need to be.
Sometimes, I work from home or sometimes I head straight to an event or to a meeting with a client but mostly, I go to the office. I work in senior management for a major PR company and we can be involved in anything from small news conferences to major celebrity galas. It’s challenging work that’s always different and I get to meet a lot of interesting people. My day can be spent with clients or planning events or attending functions and it can be long. When I get in, my assistant usually gives me a wad of messages which is the first thing I get on with. Then, I find out where we are with the various projects we are working on, ready for a daily meeting we have around mid-morning when the teams report on their progress and where we allocate any new jobs that have come in. They’re a good bunch of people and there’s a lot of laughter. I don’t think I would have stayed there so long if that hadn’t been the case.
I’ll usually be besieged by runners through the day who keep plying me with coffee and the occasional muffin and/or cake. It’s most tiresome! If I’m not meeting a client for lunch, they’ll usually get me a sandwich or a salad which I’ll have at the desk although if it’s a nice day, I’ll sit in the park or take a walk by the river.
We’ve been encouraged to twitter by the big bosses but personally, it’s not for me. There are enough young things in the office who do it and use it for following stories but it’s a step too far for me. I do keep a personal blog which is as basic as it could possibly be, which just records what is happening in my life - no pictures, no gizmos, just words and they have proved to be most therapeutic. I tend to write that at home but I have been known to do it at work when it is quiet and I will often deal with personal emails there too, if I have the time.
If we have no evening functions, I try to leave work as early as possible so that I can spend time with the family who are often neglected when work is busy. My mother lives with us (she moved in after my father died ten years ago) and usually has a meal on the table for when we get back, which we sit down together to enjoy. That is a real luxury that I know I’m blessed to have. It’s so special to spend proper time together talking about our day. I have a teenage daughter and son who are both doing well in their respective schools and of who we are very proud.
The evenings for me are usually spent catching up with household chores and making sure the kids have what they need for the next day and then I’ll flop down in front of the TV with my husband. Often, he’ll wake me up as I’ll have fallen asleep on his shoulder, dribbling usually! Then, it’s up to bed where I’ll try to read for a bit but usually don’t make it through more than a couple of chapters before I’m asleep again.
My husband likes to sleep with his arms around me and that’s a nice way for me to drift off away from the world into the black comfort of sleep. Usually I sleep very well, very deeply. Sometimes though, I talk in my sleep and have often woken up to find him asking me questions! Going back to sleep takes a while then as I stress about all the things I might have just given away ……!