ShutUp30.23: A Day in the Life


Take a character from one of your stories. Answer some questions about them. Then, write their average day before the story starts.

Ivy woke long before the light, as she did every morning. She clicked on the bedside lamp and turned over to squint at the dial of the alarm clock. 4:32, it said. That was 36 minutes more than yesterday, at least.

Turning sent a shooting pain down her gammy leg. She spent the next five minutes massaging the aching tissue, and the five minutes after that trying to breath deeply like Doctor Singh had taught her. She didn’t really believe that it helped, but it was probably worth a try.

At five to five, Ivy swung her bad leg over the side of the bed and lowered it gingerly to the floor. She turned off the ringer on her alarm clock, wondering when the last time it had actually rung was. Still, Sharon had been thoughtful to pick out one so solid and familiar. Ivy hated the red buzzing lights and over-cheerful morning DJs that came with most modern clocks.

It took Ivy about five minutes to get down the stairs these days. The kettle isn’t going anywhere, she thought ruefully, using both her cane and the rail to bolster her bones against the shocks of gravity. By the time she arrived in the kitchen, she’d more than earned a cuppa and a sit down. In a wee while, she’d put some porridge on. Once the sun came up.


What do they do in their free time?

Bingo, shopping, a walk on the beach.

Where do they go on vacation? How often?

Madeira, once a year, with the Legion.

Do they collect anything?

Porcelain ornaments.

Do they give support to a charity? Which one?

Royal British Legion, volunteers in Marie Curie Cancer Care charity shop

Do they read books? Go to the movies?

Reader’s Digest, Silver Cinema at the Odeon

Do they have plants in their home?

Cheese plant (dusted every day)

Do they cook?

Since Arthur passed, mostly tinned fish and toast. Porridge for breakfast. Discounted breakfast pastries when she can get them.

Are they politically involved?

Politicians are all the bloody same.

What are their habits?

Early to rise. Fond of comparing greengrocers’ prices across the town, using her free bus pass. Walks with a cane. Tuesdays bingo, Thursdays Silver Cinema. Tea with Sharon and the boys on Saturdays. Church on Sundays.

What do they have in their bathroom cabinet? Under their bed?

A lot of pills, mostly Arthur’s. Under the bed there is a chamber pot, although Ivy isn’t quite sure why. It just seems a shame to throw it away.


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