Mass Observation Diary | 12 May 2021

I treated the day like a Day in the Life entry and my key word was detail. I wrote the timed entries without much thought to structure.

For our cast of characters, I promoted The Brainy One to The Doctor. 🙂

I couldn’t resist including a photo of Tilly and part of a scrapbook page. 🙂

I did give consideration to grammar and spelling. I like to think that my voice has come through. I like to think that there’s humour in some of my entries.

I really like the thought that someone will read about my 12 May 2021 in the years ahead. 🙂

06.30: I’m awake before the radio alarm comes to life (Radio 2) and realise that The Cavachon is curled up on the end of the bed.  The Doctor appears to be still asleep.

06.38: Get out of bed, go to the bathroom to use the facilities and remove and clean my retainers.

06.45: Go downstairs to take The Cavachon’s (seemingly unused) bed back to the kitchen, open curtains, switch off the porch light and unlock the backdoor.  Say good morning to The Boy who is already eating his breakfast (Cheerios and a yoghurt).

06.50:  Back upstairs to shower.

07.00: Out of shower.  Realise that The Cavachon has moved from the foot of the bed to under the duvet 😊 (She is not a morning Cavachon.)  She pretends to be asleep.  I spend far too long deciding what to wear – I settle on cropped stone-coloured trousers (FatFace), white scoop-neck t-shirt (Boden) and cropped cardigan (periwinkle blue, cashmere, Boden).  The Doctor brings me a mug of tea (decaf, white, no sugar).  I open our bedroom window.

07.15: Downstairs for breakfast.  The Cavachon decides to start her day.  I listen to Radio 2 as I eat a bowl of cornflakes and finish my mug of tea.

07.20:  The Cavachon declines to go outside and settles herself on The Doctor’s knee.  He is drinking coffee (strong, milk, no sugar) and scanning the latest edition of The Boy’s Aeroplane magazine.  I spend too long discussing with The Doctor why my laptop hadn’t shut down properly last night.

07.40:  Back upstairs to clean my teeth and make our bed.  I check that The Boy has cleaned his teeth and made his bed.  I open the window in his bedroom.

07.50:  Back downstairs to the hall to put on my trainers socks and trainers (bronze in colour, Boden).  Switch on a load of laundry.

07.55:  Pop into the downstairs cloakroom to put my contact lenses in and slap on some make-up.  I ask The Boy to put a phone charger cable away and to remove yesterday’s washable face mask from the sink.  He asks me to stop ordering him about. 😊

08.05:  Put on Spring-weight anorak and cotton scarf (decorated with cute dachshunds).  Put harness on The Cavachon (who is still sprawled across The Doctor’s knees).

08.10:  The Cavachon and I leave the house with The Boy, parting ways at the corner of the road.  The Boy heads off to school and The Cavachon and I head to the park.

08.20 – 08.55: Walk round the park with The Cavachon.  She has fun chasing squirrels.  We don’t meet any of our usual dog-walking crowd.  I dodge the schoolchildren on their wayward scooters.  I dodge the runners and joggers.  I pick up The Cavachon’s poop.  I check on The Boy’s whereabouts via the Find My Phone app on my mobile.  I may check twice (#autism mum).  I text friends who are nurses and wish them a happy International Nurses Day.  The Boy calls me at 08.47 to announce that he has arrived at school safely.  I know this because I have checked. 😊

08.55:  I drop The Cavachon off at the dog grooming salon for an overdue haircut.  Realising that I have forgotten a face mask, I use my scarf as a make-do measure.  I’m inside the salon for all of two minutes, so I think it will be okay.

09.05:  Back home.  Use the facilities.  Pick up my shopping bags, shopping list, face mask and purse.

09.10 – 09.45:  Walk to the shopping centre.  Visit Tesco Metro and the food hall inside Marks and Spencer.  In my baskets are everyday groceries like: milk (£1.09 for 4 pints), avocados (£1.50 for 2), yoghurts (£2.00 for 4), The Times newspaper (£2.20) and a whole cucumber (43p).  I spend a total of £34.09.  Walk home.

Am still annoyed/irritated by people who don’t wear facemasks properly.

09.55:  Spot the contractor working on the property next door to us and ask him to stop propping his hoarding against our wall.  One of the coping stones has already been damaged.  I’m nice about it; he’s going to be next door for at least a year, so we need to cultivate a good working relationship.  He apologises and subsequently moves the hoarding.

10.00: Enter the kitchen just as The Doctor has put the kettle on.  He makes me a cup of tea.  I wash my hands and then wipe down the shopping before putting it away.  I wash my hands again.   Have a quick chat with The Doctor about the work going on next door.

10.15:  Move to my office and The Doctor goes to the main office in the loft.  **details of employment redacted**

10.30:  I remember that 1) I’ve left my tea in the kitchen and 2) the washing machine needs emptying.

10.50:  Leave home to go and collect The Cavachon.

11.15:  Back home with a beautifully clean and tidy The Cavachon.  At £55, her pampering session costs almost as much as I pay to have my hair cut. 😊  I wash my hands.  I take my contact lenses out.

11.20:  The Cavachon and I move to my office.  She goes to sleep and I make a start on the daily admin.

11.50:  The Doctor has an early lunch.

12.10:  The Doctor leaves home for a medical appointment.

12.15: I top-up The Boy’s school lunches account and report a missed collection to the council (both of these were actioned online).  I give The Cavachon her lunch.

12.20:  I have cheese and tomato on toast, two satsumas and a Greek yoghurt for lunch.  As The Doctor is not here, I scan the newspaper and read a chapter of my current book (Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez).

13.00:  I head up to the loft office to tackle sorting through one of the boxes we are clearing out.  It’s a dusty and boring job.  I have a huge pile for recycling and a smaller pile for shredding.  Only about six boxes to go.

13.30:  I let The Cavachon out into the back garden so that she can bark at the workmen next door.  It’s her way of letting them know that she’s on guard. 😊

13.45:  It might have been a small pile of shredding, but I have to empty the shredder twice.  I can see from the Find My Phone app that The Doctor is on his way home.

14.00:  I put the kettle on for tea just as The Doctor arrives home.  I might have eaten a peanut butter and chocolate bar, which might have jumped into my basket in the M&S food hall this morning.  I pick up the post – a postcard and a copy of Private Eye magazine. 

14.10:  The Doctor goes back to the loft office to continue going through boxes of papers.

14.15-15.30: I’m back in the my office downstairs and I work on personal projects – I compose and schedule several blog posts,  I look through some family history papers I came across in a box in the company’s archives (no idea how they got there) and I read a few book blogs. 😊  I make a scrapbook page.  Scrapbooking has been a form of therapy for me, particularly during the pandemic.  The Cavachon makes herself comfortable under my desk.  The Boy called at 15.02 to tell me he is on his way home.

15.40:  The Boy arrives home from school.  He washes his hands and gets changed straight away.  No matter that he always changes into his pyjamas.  Because, autism.

15.45:  I prepare him a fruit plate and find a biscuit to go with his mug of coffee (decaf, milk, no sugar).

16.00: The Boy plops down in front of the television (there’s no homework today).  The Doctor and I prepare to take The Cavachon for her second walk of the day.

17.20:  The Doctor, The Cavachon and I return from our walk in the park.  The Boy is encouraged to put his phone away. 😊 The Doctor and I wash our hands.  Switch the fan oven on.  I run the dishwasher, which I meant to switch on before we took The Cavachon out.

17.30: The Boy gives The Cavachon her supper.  I lay the table for supper.

17.40:  Start on supper.  It’s a mid-week lucky dip from the freezer – tonight’s offering is quarter pounders with chips.  And at my insistence, a salad.

18.05: Supper is served at the dining table in the kitchen.  Our evening meal is the only one where I insist that we eat together and we all eat the same thing.  There’s no television on and phones are not allowed.

18.30:  Supper is over.  Three clear plates – I had the most salad. 😊 The dishwasher is emptied and restacked.  I prep what I need to change the dressing on The Boy’s toe – he is 4 weeks on from toenail surgery.

18.45:  The dressing is changed.  There’s a lot of grumbling and backchat from The Boy, mostly about how strict we are about screen time.  Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before.

18.50: Lateral flow test carried out on The Boy – a requirement in order to attend school. #lifeinthetimesofcovid.

19.15:  I escape to our bedroom for 10 minutes of Pilates (it’s mostly stretching).  It’s something I began during the first national lockdown and I still really enjoy it.  I follow a woman on Instagram – @pilatesatyourdesk.

19.35: I report The Boy’s negative test. 😊

19.40:  I iron what’s in the ironing basket.  I like ironing, but I’m still glad there’s not much.

20.00: I empty the dishwasher for the second time this evening and then put the ironing away.  The Boy goes upstairs for a bath (with The Doctor helping him wash his hair) and I can hear a fair amount of shrieking ….

The Cavachon barks at nothing.

20.20: The Boy is out of the bath and pottering around upstairs.  He will settle down with a book in bed and put his own light out.  The Doctor makes a pot of tea for him and me.

20.20-22.30:  The Doctor and I watch television – the second half of The Repair Shop on BBC1 followed by Danny Boy on BBC2.  I might have nodded off for a few minutes during Danny Boy. 😊

22.30:  The Cavachon goes outside for the final time.  The Doctor switches off the lights and takes The Cavachon’s bed upstairs to our bedroom.  I check that the front door is locked.

22.40: I lock the back door and The Cavachon and I go upstairs.  I use the bathroom, clean my teeth and take off my make-up.

22.50:  I climb into bed and read another chapter of my book.  The Doctor attempts to read his new Private Eye but is asleep within minutes of getting into bed.

23.10: Lights out.

13 thoughts on “Mass Observation Diary | 12 May 2021

    1. I was happy to be detailed in the diary because that is truly anonymous, but I hesitated about how much to share on the blog post … putting personal information out there in cyber space comes with a sense of responsibility. How much to share, what not to share, do readers really need to know that, will that make us more easily identifiable … and on and on.


  1. What a great way to document ‘A day in the life …’ I am sure that if ‘Find my phone’ had been a thing back when my son was at school I would have been using it a lot, and possibly not liking what I saw 😉 It is certainly a handy thing to have and must be very reassuring to be able to check that The Boy is safely where he should be. Maybe in years to come we will all be microchipped to cut out the computer tracking!
    I think that The Cavachon and our The Cavapoo are cut from the same cloth, I don’t know why we wasted money buying her a bed of her own when she clearly wanders around the house at night moving from room to room.
    I wonder how many other houses are hearing the same discussions about ‘unfair’ screen time restrictions!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a detailed account of your day … it will be fascinating for others to read in years to come. I am so reassured that you nodded off watching TV – happens to me too :).

    Liked by 1 person

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