We've all got somewhat institutionalised over the last few months, those of us without jobs or caring responsibilities especially so. Our activities restricted and horizons limited, one day merges relentlessly into another. A bit of routine helps, although there's always a danger it ends up a repetitive rut. Ideally we discover what works for us to get us through.
Here's how my days generally pan out at the moment, and have done for a while, and will do for a while more. n.b. These events happen most days, but most days aren't exactly like this.
n.b. Think more weekday than weekend, because there is still a difference.
n.b. Things that don't happen most days, like shopping, aren't included.
My daily routine
6-7: Come to. Check time. Maybe a bit longer.
7-8: Come to again. Reach out and turn on the Today programme. Turn off as soon as it hits either a) the sports news b) Thought For The Day. Get up. Mug of tea. Check early responses to today's post. Smile/sigh as appropriate. Doomscroll back to midnight.
8-9: Switch on Radio 6 Music. Ablutions. Weigh self and record result. Porridge. Check RSS feeds. Insert contact lenses (if can be arsed). Hibernate laptop. Tog up appropriately for current weather. Check pockets include essential stuff.
9-10: Set off on daily exercise. Follow carefully-worked-out routine to leave building without touching anything. Set off in designated direction. Plug into two- or three-hour programme downloaded on BBC Sounds (likely a Sounds Of The..., a weekend breakfast show or the latest Dance Devotion). Keep eyes peeled for next numberplate in sequence.
10-11: Keep walking. This is all very exciting, relatively speaking. Reach farthest point of journey. Hope to see something interesting and blogworthy. Take notes/photos if appropriate. Yes it is a long walk home. Try to follow a route back which meanders down some street or path I somehow haven't followed before.
11-12: Finally open packet of Mini Cheddars. Attempt to make it last by eating half and putting it back in my pocket. All gone within five minutes. Switch to additional BBC Sounds programme if still some distance from home. Wave goodbye to the great outdoors for another day.
12-1: Return home. Check mailbox. Wash hands. Change out of jeans into something more comfortable. Unhibernate laptop. Restart browser. Mug of tea. Upload carefully-selected photo to Instagram. Update compass rose of post-its stuck to hallway wall showing approximate direction and distance of seven most recent walks.
Run bath. Pick 30 minute programme to listen to while soaking, for example More or Less, Counterpoint or The News Quiz. Make sure to have exited bath by 12.50. Start making lunch at 12.53. Finish making lunch at 12.59.
1-2: Watch BBC One O'Clock News (in preference to the Six or Ten later in the day - once is enough). Toast, something spreadable, cucumber, cheese, bag of Frazzles, cup-a-soup, choc ice. Tackle today's sandwich sudoku. Follow up with BBC local news. Wash up. Say hi to BestMate, virtually.
2-3: Consider doing one of the many tasks I've been putting off, like sorting out that box of stuff from the 1980s or cleaning my trainers or rationalising some shelves or filing some bills. Decide against because there isn't time. Instead head to iPlayer and find something worth watching for approximately two hours, like a film or two episodes of a mini series or four half-hour episodes of something (or equivalent).
3-4: Pause streaming. Mug of tea. Hot cross bun. Restart streaming. Stray onto sofa. Pick an unread bit of the weekend newspaper and read/solve it. Attempt to do this before it gets dark (n.b. this has got easier lately).
4-5: Switch to BBC Sounds on smart TV. Fire up this morning's Chris Hawkins early breakfast show (because it's 2½ hours long but only interrupted by a single news broadcast). Start writing tomorrow's post (or earlier if particularly long, or later if inspiration has yet to strike). Try very hard not to eat a Kit-Kat.
5-6: Continue writing. Ignore any government press conference because I've learned my lesson. Turn on oven. After appropriate interval remember to go back and add mainstay of evening meal. Heat pan of water. Add potatoes.
6-7: Add mushrooms, carrots and sprouts. Add peas. Pile onto plate. Add pepper, plus gravy, vinegar or ketchup as appropriate. Find something to watch while eating, maybe on YouTube. Fruit yoghurt. Clean hob. Another mug of tea. Succumb to Wagon Wheel. Continue writing.
7-8: The Archers, if I remember. Continue writing. Switch to linear TV, depending on what's on.
8-9: Continue writing. Continue watching. Probably an apple.
9-10: Continue writing. Continue watching. Maybe a hot chocolate.
10-11: Hopefully reached the tidying-up and adding links stage by this point. Switch to something more music-based (but at low volume).
11-12: Finally press publish. Finish doomscrolling. Clean of teeth. Retire to bed. Write diary. Play Threes once too often. Muse on the extraordinary mundanity of life.
12-1: Listen to Radio 4 Midnight News. Try to stay awake until weather forecast. If unsuccessful, reawaken during Sailing By. Sleep.