I managed to get my entry for the mass blog uploaded to the 'History Matters' website, with the aid of my boringly detailed diary. It's not too late to record what you were doing on the 17th October 2006, if you are resident in the UK. Here is my entry, a little less flowery than my normal blog entries.
Wake at 3.30 am to the sound of 5Live radio, which I always have playing quietly thoughout the night. As usual, lie awake worrying; when will we ever be able to afford our own house (never, the way the market is going) how the horrific rent rise of fifty pounds a month is going to effect us, whether our ghastly neighbours will be moving soon, taking their neglected and noisy dog with them, (please God!) and finally, will I get another decent illustration job in time for Christmas? After an hour chewing on these worrisome thoughts, fall back into an uneasy doze until 8.15. when I change radio stations for 'The Today' programme on Radio 4. Start the morning with a pot of tea and the Times, before finishing the painting of a Christmas card design for my fledgling card company, Red Flannel Elephant. I am promoting this mainly through my blog. I am excited to be part of a new wave of artisans who are taking their careers in their own hands, selling their creations directly to customers, rather than relying on the confines of commercial companies who tend to underpay and constrict creativity, not to mention a shocking wave of copyright grabbing which many publishers are attempting. Midmorning an official looking young man knocks on the door, asking for our awful neighbours, who aren't in. He has a yellow form resting on a small zip-up folder. Can't help hoping that whatever it is means they will have to move. At noon, my partner goes off for a driving lesson - after years of resisting we have finally decided to get a car, as we live in a rural area in West Oxfordshire with a useless bus service. He has been motorbiking for several years but his commute is long and hazardous in the winter. This year he has hit 2 deer, and enough was enough. I would love to be able to drive, as on my own I can only travel as far as my feet or pushbike will take me. Update my blog, with a description of my first attempt to pluck a pheasant we found, freshly knocked over in the road. We try to source our food locally and not be feeble about knowing where our meat comes from. Andy returns rather stressed, not had a very successful driving lesson. Prepare a cheap pork joint for tea, dressing it in chutney, rosemary and soy sauce, and begin making a bread dough, for rolls to go with it. We buy all our flour from a mill a mile down the road. Much of it is ground from local wheat. Now it is getting colder I have to keep our tiny kitchen very warm by having a hot plate on to help the dough rise. We don't have central heating, just a woodburner and a couple of inadequate storage heaters which eat up so much electricity we only use them when absolutely necessary. I receive a lovely e-mail from a blogging friend to whom I sent one of my own cards - I find more and more that I network through my blog, and often this leads to making real life friends. There was a misconception in the early days of the Internet that it would lead to social isolation, but I have found that the opposite is true and I am blessed with many wonderful friends round the world, with whom I have so much in common and who often support me when I'm down, as I do them. At 7pm I lie on the sofa with three dozing cats, listening to 'The Archers'. We don't have a television and I have never lived with one - on the rare occasions I do see one, I am thankful not to be part of its culture, which seems to be concentrated around money, greed and sex. Our evening finishes with a supper of pork and the herby bread rolls, which have risen nicely. We watch a DVD on our computer, the second season of 'The Wire' which is excellently written and superb drama. I wonder on the differences between our 21st century lives and the past dwellers in our 240 year old cottage. No doubt there has been the occasional pheasant hanging from the beams, and until recently they would have baked their own bread - but I think the internet would have astonished them.