I want to describe my daily actions which I did, more or less regularly, on weekdays during my final year at school. There was little variation in my life then, all days except weekends looked very much the same.
On weekdays my working day began early in the morning. As a matter of fact, I am not an early-riser, that’s why I hate getting up early, but I got used to it. I usually got up at about 7 o’clock. Then I did my morning exercises and went to the bathroom to wash my face and hands with a soap and brush my teeth with a toothpaste. 1 didn’t take a shower in the morning, I generally did it late in the evening before going to bed. At a quarter past seven I was ready to have my breakfast. As a rule, I had a quick light breakfast which consisted of a cup of coffee or tea, a boiled egg or an omelette and a cheese or sausage sandwich. After breakfast 1 put on my coat, took my bag and went to school.
As my school is not far from my house, it took me 10 minutes to get there. I never took a bus or a trolley-bus on my way to school, I usually walked there.
Six or seven lessons a day was the ordinary timetable. 1 seldom had lunch in the canteen, because 1 usually had packed one in my bag (an apple and a sandwich).
The classes at school were over at about three o’clock. Twice a week I stayed at school later to play table-tennis or was busy with the English language club.
When I came home my mother always had dinner ready just in time. Then 1 changed my school uniform and had a rest. While resting, 1 listened to music or looked through the newspapers or magazines. Then I started doing my home assignments. It took me about five hours to cope with my homework properly. I normally finished doing my homework at 10 o’clock in the evening. So I hadn’t much time for television and friends, because I had to work hard at all the subjects during my final year at school. But sometimes I managed to see an interesting film.
I did well in most school subjects without any effort. Besides, I managed to help my mother about the house and do our shopping, go to the library and have private English lessons in order to improve it.
And I must admit, that school life was a very interesting page of my life. 1 had good friends at school and some lessons were interesting.
After supper I usually relaxed for some time and then went on with my homework.
As a rule, 1 went to bed at about 11 o’clock or even later.
1 wake at about seven o’clock and then it is time for me to get up. 1 like a cold batli every morning, so I put on my dressing-gown and slippers and go to the bathroom. The water Teels very cold on winter mornings, but I rub myself hard with the towel and soon 1 feel quite warm.
Then I shave, brush my teeth and wash my face and go back to the bathroom to dress. I brush and comb my hair, take a clean handkerchief out of the drawer and go downstairs for breakfast at a quarter past eight. After breakfast I sit and read my morning newspaper and smoke a cigarette, or in summer 1 have a walk round my garden. 1 go into my study at nine o’clock and meet my students there, and the day’s work begins. At twelve-thirty I have a break for lunch. [ usually have this at home, but sometimes I go out for lunch and have a chat with my friends before beginning work again at two o’clock. I generally finish my work by about five o’clock. Then I have a cup of tea and a biscuit, and in summer I spend an hour or so in the garden and play a few games of tennis, or go to the golf club and have a round of golf.
We have dinner at about seven-thirty or eight o’clock, and then we sit and talk, listen to the wireless or watch television, or Mrs. Priestley plays the piano. Sometimes, in summer, we take out the car and go for a drive in the country; in winter we go to the cinema or the theatre. But that is not often. I have a lot of work to do, and
usually after dinner or supper 1 go to my study and read or write until twelve or one o’clock.
Mrs. Priestley, too. gets up soon after seven and goes downstairs to help Susan with the work. She cleans out the stove and fills It up with coke, so that they get plenty of hot water all day. Then she takes out the ashes from the sitting-room fire and re-lays it with paper and sticks and coal. Then it is all ready to light, and only needs a match put to it.
While Susan is doing that, Mrs. Priestley gets the breakfast ready. She puts the table cloth on the dining-room table and puts out the knives, forks and spoons, and the cups, saucers and plates. Then she goes and cooks the breakfast. She soon has the bacon and the eggs cooking in the frying-pan. She makes toasts, boils the kettle for tea or coffee, and we are ready to sit down at a quarter past eight.
After breakfast, Susan and Mrs. Priestley clean away the dishes. Then Susan washes and dries them, and Mrs. Priestley goes to do her shopping. Sometimes she goes to the shops — to the butcher’s to order the meat, to the grocer’s to buy tea, coffee, sugar, etc., but often she rings them up and orders what she wants by phone.
Then Mrs. Priestley and Susan go upstairs to make the beds, dust upstairs and downstairs, and do the carpets with electric-cleaner. It is about eleven o’clock by this time, so Mrs. Priestley changes her clothes and begins to get ready for lunch. After lunch she does some sewing or goes for a walk and visits her friends.
Then I join her for afternoon tea in the sitting-room — usually bringing one or two of my students with me. We have bread and butter (cut thin), jam or honey, cakes and biscuits.
Sometimes, in fact very often, we spend our evenings at home. You see, John is at the University and Margaret is now at a board- ing-school and comes home only at the weekends; so, except when they are on holiday, there are only two of us at home. On these quiet evenings we have a very simple supper round the fire in the sitting-room, and when that is over I sometimes work in my study at a book that I am writing, but quite often I sit in my armchair at one side of the fire with my pipe and, for a change, a detective story. Mn>. Priestley sits on the other side with her book or her sewing; and Sally, our cat, lies on the carpet before the fire or jumps up on my knees. And when the wind is blowing through the trees outside and the rain is beating on the windows, our warm fire seems warmer and more cheerful than ever — and we often think that these “quiet” evenings are the best evenings of all.