5:35am - I start to make my packed lunch and packed supper for the day ahead. It would be so much easier to throw money at the problem than prepare two meals at 5:35 in the morning but:
a) I am poor - I have no money to buy sandwiches
b) I have only a half hour break and work on the 14th floor of a massive hospital...if I attempted to buy sandwiches in my lunch hour I'd be still in the queue for the till when I was due back on the ward.
So I make packed lunch and packed tea. Both of them substantial, because I can never be entirely sure that I will get both my breaks. If a patient suddenly deteriorates, then your half-hour supper break is not the ward sister's priority.
5:45am - Farming Today comes on the radio, and I know that I need to finish faffing around with my lunch and supper and make some breakfast.
5:50am - I don't want to eat breakfast at this time in the morning, but I make myself, because I might not get another chance to eat until 3 or 4pm, and patients don't need nurses who are delirious with hunger. I usually have a bowl of oats and dried fruit that has been soaking in milk overnight, mixed with yogurt, and some chopped fresh fruit.
6:00am - The Today Programme starts and I need to finish up breakfast and pack my bags. Clean uniform and my portfolio of achievement in one bag, food in another bag.
6:12am - I switch off Radio 4, am out of the door and walking to the station.
6:28am - I get on the train. Standing room only.
6:50am - I arrive at the hospital and make my way up to the 14th floor.
7:15am - I am in my uniform, hair tied back, make-up on, food for the day stored in the staff fridge. I make my way to the handover room, and start taking notes from the big whiteboard about which patient is in which bed.
7:30am - Handover from the night staff begins and I start my shift.