Tuesday, 21 January 2014

a day in the life

I am joining a thing.  Look at me, being all join-y and internet-y and what not!  This is a first!

Laura from Navigating the Mothership is hosting a Day in the Life thing and she's specially invited foreigners.  I am foreign to North American types (kia ora! welcome to internet Aotearoa, visitors!  Internet Auckland, specifically) but other than that I am about to flout all Laura's fine print and skip the hardcore photography because, well, I'm lazy and vaguely trying to maintain some anonymity up in here.  Also, Laura says she doesn't mind that I am not a Mom (or a Mum, for that matter), but I'm not sure whether she minds that my cat-obsessed work-a-day life is dull.  If you haven't been to this wee blog before, consider yourself warned. (Also, disclaimer: I am profane, vulgar and excessively parenthetical/wordy.  Annoying, basically). 


So.  Knock yourselves out, guys.  A day in the life of A. 


5.30am: wake up needing to pee.  I'm supposed to get up at 6, so I am furious that my body needs to leave the warm bed cocoon before then.  Drag myself to the toilet, get fright at standing on black toy mouse in the dark.

6am: five more minutes in bed, please. Checking facebook, extremely important stuff.

6.05am: Throw on a dressing gown and go into the dining room to wake and feed the kittens.  The dining room is their current abode until they're big enough to partake of the great outdoors when they're a bit older.  We don't have a laundry or a bathroom big enough to house the litter box sadly, so there'll be no dinner parties for us until the cat-faeces-in-the-dining-space issue has been solved (i.e. once the cat door is in and they're pooping outside).  One of Tabitha's eyes has partially gummed shut in the night due to the cat flu, so I take her carefully in my arms and apply the corner of a moistened piece of toilet paper to soften up the crust.  Poor wee Tab, she must feel like the only time we hold her at the moment is when we're punishing her with eye wipes, eye drops and antibiotics. 

6.10am: Shower.  Hum to myself my wee shower song: "Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Don't wanna get out of the shower! Out of the shower! Out of the shower!' (Have I mentioned I'm kind of a morning person? Yep. Annoying.)

6.15: Get out of the shower in a raging hurry despite song when I spot a spider.  It was a Daddy Long Legs - i.e. completely harmless but rational I am not when it comes to creepy crawlies.  Yell for P to sort out the bathroom wildlife.

6.20am: stand in my underwear in front of the clothes rail (nope, still no wardrobes or indeed any damn cupboards in this godforsaken ancient cottage) bemoaning the lack of things to wear.  Eventually throw on a black skirt and a grey short sleeved top with a little black scottie dog print.  Notice food stain on skirt and think 'must remember to wipe that off'.  Throw on standard work jewellery - watch, wedding rings, white gold band on my right hand and super cheap wee black and brass triangle studs in my (giant, lobular) ears.  Strike a pose for P who dutifully informs me I look very nice.  He's a well-trained liar.

6.25am: Marmite on Vogel's toast and Earl Grey tea.  Breakfast of champions.  Tabitha wants a bite but no such luck, puss.

6.30: P emerges from the bedroom and into the bathroom.  The resounding call of 'I don't wanna!' from him eventually morphs into the gentle refrain of the shower song (he doesn't want to get out, either, apparently).  I start trying to brush my hair, apply make up (minimal at best - concealer, eye liner and a coat of mascara, plus a spritz of Chance by Chanel), pack my bag, empty the litter box, refresh the cats' water etc in a timely manner.  I keep getting interrupted by playful swatting from Timothy, who appears to be developing a foot fetish. 

6.45am: We are running around tidying in a frenzy, as we've just recalled a wardrobe lady is coming to measure up our bedroom.

7.10: P is not fully dressed.  Wardrobe lady is due.  I walked into the bedroom and had to cry "Husband, where ARE your pants?!".  I enjoyed it; not often enough do I get the opportunity to say that.  

7.15: Wardrobe lady arrives.  Timothy promptly tries to eat her skirt.  When diverted from that attack, he demonstrates his very best pouncing skills on the duvet while she works.

7.30: Wardrobe lady finishes, we medicate Tabby and depart for work.  The walk to the central city is about half an hour for me; 40 minutes for P who works down on the waterfront.  We attempt to hold hands but the weather is pretty humid and quickly we give up as it's a bit sweaty.  My colleague S often passes us on his scooter en route and has been merciless to me about how 'cute' we still are, holding hands all these years later  (he smirks).  I don't really care, as when I hold P's hand, I get his full attention.  We discuss the Big Day Out (festival-concert-type-situation) which we're attending on Friday.  I'm quite upset about the clash between Pearl Jam and Snoop Dog.  I have very eclectic 90s taste, apparently.

8am: arrive at work, change into lady-lawyer shoes.  Sigh at state of shoes; I need some new ones as my favourites have lost their heel stops and the patent leather is pretty battered.  Consider whether I can colour the scuffs with a black vivid (marker pen, for the non-NZers) but decide that the damage is too severe.  Quick check of papers online, another cup of tea.  Then work-y stuff.

8.30am: already freezing. I am still wearing winter wardrobe items to work because it's so ridiculously cold in here, despite the relatively temperate summer we're having.  Also because I am too cheap to have purchased new season items.  Throw on a black blazer and shiver at my desk, while gazing out wistfully at the sunshine over the harbour. 

10am: coffee with the girls from work.  'Going for coffee' is a misnomer - I'm off the demonsauce and have a chai latte instead.  Everyone else orders a flat white.  We gossip.  I manage to resist the siren call of the toasted banana bread - must. demonstrate. willpower. as this Christmas weight is not shifting itself. 

12.30pm: lunch at a Japanese restaurant with two friends; sounds nice but I ordered terribly boring food - teriyaki chicken, green tea and a diet coke.  So much for food restraint.  We gossip. Look down as I leave, had completely forgotten the old food stain on my skirt. Am unhygienic, awfully presented person.  Run into another friend recently returned from a stint living in London as I depart the restaurant and promise her a catch up soon.  I trust I'll dress myself in clean clothes for that encounter, but there's no guarantees.

1.30: arrive back to the office to discover voicemail from my mother, claiming she's calling on official business.  Rue the day I gave her my business card and quickly call her back.  She wants to know how the grandcats are and to tell me about the new rock wall she's planning to build with Dad.  Quick convo, then more work. 

4pm ish: an email from P arrives: 'I'm not going to be early tonight.'

5.15pm: Escape the office at this absolutely unheard of hour with not nearly enough billables recorded - because my wee Tabitha needs me!  Power walk home, crushing candy en route.  I nearly walk into a tree because the candy crushing is swallowing my attention.  Hide my face from any sniggering pedestrians or drivers and until the flushed cheeks die down.  I am a notorious tomato-face and it takes a while.

5.45pm: arrive home to wipe wee Tibby's eyes again.  Play with the kittens and graze out of the fridge - nibbling on left over cauliflower from last night's delicious venison meal made by P.  Chores - litter box cleaning, throwing work skirt into the washing basket, cat feeding, ignoring my work emails, halfhearted toilet cleaning in preparation for P's friend P2's visit.  P2 is coming to stay for the BDO as he lives out of town.


7pm: start preparing dinner.  We're having spaghetti bolognese for no other reason than some mince in the fridge is about to expire and I cannot for the life of me be bothered being more original.  I slice onions and garlic carelessly while Tabby twines her wee self around my ankles.  I look mournfully at a delicious, empty bottle of pinot noir we drank earlier in the week that I haven't yet deposited in the recycling.  After the excesses of summer holidays 2013/14, I need a break from the turps and am trying to go booze free three or more nights a week again.  I resist temptation, but probably only because the pinot's gone and all the tonic is flat. 

7.15pm: the landline rings.  I race for it, as the only people who have that number are my mother and sister-in-law.  Sadly, it's a guy claiming to be from Microsoft, having had a report of issues with our computer, could I please confirm its serial number?  Ah, that would be a no.  I get my snootiest lady-lawyer voice on while informing him that I have never given that number to Microsoft and that I've just googled his scam so could he please go fuck himself.  Except I didn't really say that last part, I just wish I had.  I hung up instead.

Continue pootling around preparing dinner.  I've flicked the TV on in the background and am listening to NZ's longest running soap, Shortland Street, in the background.  I used to be an avid Shortie fan, once upon a time, but once I moved in with P he used his power of veto on Shortie in the house.  Similarly, I give side-eye to any of his fishing shows, so I guess it balances out.  However, he's not home tonight and it's kind of soothing, hearing TK have yet another marriage crisis and the nurses deal with yet another emergency.  I am also reading blogs on my phone, while stirring the pot mindlessly. 

7.30:  Duck in and out of the house, snipping some herbs for use in the spagbol.  There is no beef stock left which is irritating, as dinner won't be fab without it.  We need to have another stock making day: I adore the results but by god it makes the house smell vile, so I have mixed feelings about stock production. 

7.45pm: I hear a key in the door - P is much earlier than expected.  The kittens race for the door to greet him (for which, read: try to escape while the front door is open).  I give him a hug, he goes to change and we yell at each other down the corridor, exchanging gossip for the day while I cook.

8pm: we give Tib her medicine (it's a two person job, the wee wriggler), then wash hands before dinner.  We eat on the couch, given the dining room/cat situation.  We're both pretty vacant, work having been reasonably stressful for both of us today, so we mindlessly take in more television.

8.30pm: P commences clean up duty.  I wander in and out of the kitchen, halfheartedly drying a few dishes, but I'm not very helpful really.  I am the chief dishwasher of the house and I am feeling pretty resentful about it today, though I generally don't mind.  P suggests playing the new Arcade Fire album, as we're seeing them at the BDO, but I feel like quiet.  It's unusual for me to have such a long evening available - my departure time from work is usually much later, and I'm revelling in the time and space. 

9pm: start texting my similarly cat-obsessed sister as I play with the kittens.  I've given them access to the heretofore off-limits spare bedroom, where Tabitha has discovered herself in the mirror.  She keeps noticing another cat pouncing on cords in the mirror, then checking behind it to find out where that cat is.  Hilarious.

9.30pm: my quiet mood has taken a turn; I feel groggy and hot.  It's turned into a humid summer night.  Decide to go to bed.  Climb in and get pounced on by Timothy.  I take a picture of Timmy's eerie eyes stalking me from the bottom of my bed to send to sister K.  P's still up and about, so the kittens haven't been banished to their bedroom yet.  Usually, I wind down with an audiobook or a hard copy book, but tonight I feel pretty manky, so it's lights out.

10pm: P climbs in beside me.  I wake from a doze, briefly, to burrow into his side and drape a hot arm around him.  Out like a light. 

[Author's note: I have just reread this and am sure you will be shouting 'what a grandma! and just where is your exercise, woman?!'.  I am also blushing at the shameful amount of television I consume on a weekday and the woeful admissions regarding general adult beverage consumption.  Wow, am I good at turning an exercise in recording my life for posterity into self-flagellation or what?!]


  1. A delightful read! Full of foreignness (to me, obvs not to you)! Spagbol! Mince! Spots!

    Now, what is a "flat white" at a coffee shop? Must know in order to be able to request that of my husband or perhaps a coffee shop worker in an awkward manner.

    1. thank you! least there was foreignness to keep it interesting? I did notice my use of 'wee' was out of control!

      Flat white is basically a double shot espresso with warm milk. Antipodeans are obssessed! (feel free to chime in kiwi readers who actually drink flat whites). I feel you on the awkward ordering - do you know how flustered a starbucks makes me?! Tongue-tied, that's what it does.

    2. Laura you forgot to ask about Marmite ;) and no your not missing anything!

  2. I found this to be great and really weekdays are usually pretty dull so a lunch out would be great to me!

    1. thank you - that's very kind :) I probably should have qualified japanese restaurant though - more like cheap + cheerful japanese lunch spot stuffed with city people in suits, you know the kind?

  3. I think it's super cute that you and your husband walk to work together.

    Worry not...I always had various degrees of spots and stuck-on food on my work clothes too.

    1. I'm so glad I'm not alone in wearing my lunch on my skirt! Thanks for the solidarity ;)

  4. I love this - I knew I was going to like you when I glanced at the tags and saw that "assholes" are prominently featured here. What is going on with Pearl Jam and Snoop Dog? I must google. I am impressed that you walk 30 min to work - that is more exercise than I get most days. And holding the hubbie's hand no less. I thought that part was cute too, but in a completely smirk free way.

  5. Thank you! the 'assholes' tag is generally applied to some dopey conduct I've been involved in ... identifying that I'm behaving badly must be the first step, right?

    Love that you qualified the cute with smirk-free ;)

  6. Glad to know I am not the only one who is never as put together as I should be I could have written the part about the food stain on the skirt and the shoes that were past their best.

  7. I loved reading this and seeing how different and yet the same life is like so far away from my Minnesota home.


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