A Day in the Life of Living Magazines: Our entry into the MOCO Mass Observation Project in Llandaff

We recently took part in the Mass Observation project, that records the changing history of our communities. Here’s our diary entry for Thursday 12th August, when Llandaff was the focus for recording one day in history.

5.40am The small pitter-patter of tiny feet stirs me from my slumber. Not just two feet, but four. This is Kaytu, our disabled but very beautiful Siamese cat. With his back legs being very weak due to his abandonment as a kitten, he can manage to climb the stairs but not go down them. He’s a wise cat for his three years though. He knows that I am not going to let him attempt to descend the stairs himself. So he takes himself to the top of the stairs and starts to go down. I have to get out of bed and carry him down. Another step towards his breakfast.

6.10am I fire up the computer. There is plenty to do today. 6,000 copies of Whitchurch and Llandaff Living (Issue 9) were delivered to the house yesterday. Having managed to stock the main distribution points last night, today was all about blitzing the areas of Whitchurch, Llandaff and Llandaff North with more copies. For now though, there are a few adverts to design, and an interview with Welsh rugby international Gareth Delve to prepare questions for.

8.30am Time for some breakfast. Out of Cornflakes and very low on milk. Toast with marmalade and a cup of tea it is then.

9.30am Time to get out and about. After a quick shower, and it’s time to load up business partner Steve’s car. He drops me in Whitchurch with boxes. I set about delivering magazines throughout the village, before setting out on foot to Llandaff North and Llandaff.

11.30am All deliveries finished and my stomach is rumbling. One place I do know that’s open at 11.30am is Top Gun chip bar. Steve joins me. But the decisions are difficult. In the end, it’s easier to get the chips, the pie, the large sausage in batter AND the curry sauce.

12 noon Steve and I try to eat our chips while watching an old episode of Top Gear on Dave Channel. Danielle, co-editor checks in with a phone-call to see how we’ve been getting on. Kaytu joins us for lunch.

12.30pm Calls to advertisers are put in. The next issue of Rhiwbina Living is almost full as far as adverts go, but it’d be great to fill the last few pages. This is also an opportunity to source the history feature for our next issue.

2pm The doorbell goes. Itâ’s one of my pupils. As a former English teacher, I still do private tuition from time to time. This is a one-off lesson but it’s good to see how well someone can pick up knowledge on just one hour.

3.30pm More calls to advertisers. A few orders come in by email. Invoices are prepared and sent. Records are updated and space allocated on the pages.

4pm Time to move onto updating our website. We try to do the best for our advertisers, so I upload details of the Cardiff Bed Centre, and also some news about the Christmas Light Appeal that is running in Whitchurch.

5.30pm Time for some tea. Spicy chicken noodles. Yummy.

6.30pm Design work needs to be done on one of the adverts. By half seven, the proof is ready to be sent by email to the advertiser.

7.45pm I get a Facebook message telling me that my girlfriend has been taken into hospital. I immediately arrange to borrow the co-editor’s car. I dash to the hospital to find my girlfriend out for count on a bed in an Assessment Ward. She’s had X-rays for stomach pains and is on a saline drip.

9pm I need to get the car back, so I leave the hospital. A huge meteor rips across the night sky above the car park. I had been hoping to watch the Perseid meteor shower but that was now out of the question.

9.30pm I arrive home and grab some things and some work to take with me. Not sure how long the wait at the hospital is going to be!

10.30pm I get a cab to my girlfriend’s house and then drive her car to the hospital. Fortunately, she’s had the all clear and is allowed to go home a few hours later.

1.45am We arrive back at my girlfriend’s flat. We make some tea and toast, reflect on the strange day we’ve both had, before turning in for the night.


Patric Morgan (co-editor, Living Magazines North Cardiff)

MOCO is a JISC funded project based at the Centre for Community Engagement at the University of Sussex. The project also works in partnership with the Mass Observation Archive, Adam Matthew Digital, and Bolton Museum and Archive Service.

Together with a wide variety of community, history and support groups around the country, they are creating history by recording what is happening today. Their website can be found at www.mocoproject.org.uk

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