After all the lovely feedback for my rather childish birth story, I have been wishing this week that I kept more diaries when I was younger. I just know they would have been incredibly entertaining (in a laugh at me rather than with me kind of way) as I was a fairly precocious yet oftentimes naive child, with a sense of humour only a close family member could love.
I probably did write things down, but having moved house nearly 30 times in my life so far I am not what you’d call a hoarder. I have been forced over the years to be ruthless with what I throw away and don’t have a loft full of childhood memories I can plunder for the sake of a blog post.
My mum and my sister are a lot more sentimental than me, and have dragged boxes of what I call rubbish and what they call treasured possessions from house to house, certain in the knowledge that one day it will be very useful or significant. I must admit (don’t tell them), that as I get older, I do see more value in hanging on to things from the past, not least because I am beginning to forget things that happened more than about a week ago. As my own children grow up it is useful, when faced with difficult questions like ‘what was I like when I was little’, to be able to present them with a box of photos, letters and mementoes to rummage through.
It was in a box of my sister’s keepsakes that I recently found my diary from 1990. I say diary, but it really only has room for a few sentences a day. 1990 is probably pushing it a bit too, as I appear to have lost interest by 13 February. Still, the six weeks I spend spilling my heart and soul onto the pages of my M&S Snoopy diary are a fair reflection of the contents of my 11-year-old mind – it is mainly an account of what I ate and the occasions I did well at school. I am still very much a person motivated by praise and by snacks, so not much has changed really in 20 years.
So, for your enjoyment, here follows some unedited excerpts. For youngsters reading this – this is what life was like before kids had TV and the internet and had to make their own fun. (Although I’m not sure all 11 year olds made antique maps of their homes and clothes for their teddies)…
Jan 2: Went to town in the rain so I bought an umbrella. Both Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe tapes are broken. I am making Teddy a knotted hankerchief. Had fish and chips for tea.
Jan 5: Mummy stayed in bed until 5.30pm. I played Sylvanian families with Annabel. I made a map of our house and to make it look old I painted it with yellow water.
Jan 8: Back to school. School was quite good, but I forgot my dinner money again! Rubbish art lesson. Vicky doesn’t do anything to help. I have to do all the work.
Jan 12: Cross country today. I was almost in a state of collapse at the end. Time was 9mins 36secs. I was second from last.
Jan 21: Went to Bristol for Grandma’s birthday. Everyone was there. Even Auntie Jill.
Jan 24: Went to textiles to find Vicky hadn’t done anything towards our hat. Took it home to finish. Went to Grandma and Grandad’s for tea. They had beef!
Feb 5: We had a French test about the weather and we had to be able to spell them! I got 18 out of 18. In textiles we did drawing. I drew some brill shells and Miss Newton said I was a very good drawer.
Feb 8: Had a big fight with Leann in physics today. I have a massive bruise on my shin where she kicked me. Me, Paul and Michael got some special homework because we were so good.
Feb 12: Drama – we had to go to court. All the boys were the judges so none of the boys got a chance to do anything. I am making Teddy some clothes.
Now don’t let anyone ever tell you I don’t know how to have fun.