Uborka!

Be Your Own Hero

I brought a box of books back from Hungary, and it contained a few of my old diaries. Not the full series, just a selection from age 8 to about 22. They are probably of interest only to me; I have spent the last couple of nights alternately giggling and horrified at the things I have written down over the course of my life. I have just pulled out the few phrases that might be fit for public consumption:

The first couple of years consists of oneliners about who is currently friends with whom, and the welfare of my guinea pigs. We then move on to a wealth of schoolgirl crushes, which are all pretty much characterised as follows:

18/11/83
Today in science RC used MY pencil. I was the very second person he asked!

There are several detailed reports of dreary family camping holidays, the most thrilling of which is a trip to the Peak District where I spent all the journeys sharing my side of the car with Mickey the dog; my airbed had a puncture, the lens fell out of my glasses, and my ancient third-hand Brownie camera died. Luckily the whole thing was redeemed when I uncovered the Bumper Biggles Book in a book sale and read all five stories before we got home.

It's easy to spot the point at which I turn into a teenager:

4/3/85
I hate everyone. I want to die sometimes. No-one would notice. No-one likes me. I'm going mad.

Music was an important feature of my teens. Not the sort of music you would approve of, I'm sure; I used to listen to Tommy Vance's Friday Rock Show, and I wrote about ten pages on the first concert I ever went to, which was Bruce Springsteen in Roundhay Park, Leeds, on 7th July 1985. In February 1986 I recorded my disgust and horror at the Frankie Goes To Hollywood version of Born To Run. I probably needed to get out more.

Then there's all the horrible bit where my parents split up, bad hair for a decade, first boyfriend, and first experience of getting drunk, which is graphically documented, in very big letters. In 1988 I weighed 8.5 stone.

I studied psychology at university, and the contents of my course seeped into every aspect of my existence. Even my dreams:

2/6/90 [Pages and pages written about one dream]
F [my sister, who would have been two years old] was saying words and sentences. I told her she should only be in the holophrastic stage [of language development]. She seemed to understand.

I move on from dreaming about linguistic development, to reporting fascinating facts about stress and anxiety...

12/6/90
Buzz Aldrin was chronically depressed after landing on the moon. Probably because of the stress.

... to diagnosing the reason for the placidity of an acquaintance's baby:

2/4/91
Apparently she never cries. Well, she was a Low Birth Weight premature baby, and both parents smoke, so perhaps she's a bit retarded.

I spend a summer au pairing in France, and go on and on and on and on about how lonely and how bored I am. There is also much discussion of a novel that I'm writing, of which I now have absolutely no memory. I wonder what happened to it.

Towards the end of my three years at uni, I develop the scale of Boring-Bastard men, where a score of 0 means the bloke is dull on a stick, and a 10 is utter cad. At that stage in my life, I considered a 5.5 to be ideal.

8/4/92
I conclude that "I love you" is a very overrated phrase anyway. If it is true, you don't have to say it.

One is so very wise, aged 21.

Karen · Thursday September 18, 2003 10:59

Can I nominate you for post of the month?

qB · September 18, 2003 11:19

The entry for 4/3/85 sounds like lunch with Sally.
Today's lunch, in fact.


sue · September 18, 2003 11:52

Then at least I can provide you with cold hard evidence that this is a passing phase. 18 years on, I no longer feel that way.

Karen · September 18, 2003 12:00

I also used to feel like 4/3/85.

You might have rubbed shoulders with K on 7/7/85 - if he hadn't turned down the offer of a free ticket, that is.

I still feel like 8/4/92.

This was an absolutely lovely post, BTW.

mike · September 18, 2003 12:19

4/3/95
I've been trying to feel like a writer all day.

[snorts with laughter at her own pretentiousness]

Karen · September 18, 2003 12:29

I love 2/6/90! I am damn sure that I must have equally intense degree-related entries from the same stage!

Yeah ace post!

Gert · September 18, 2003 13:00

Just imagine if we'd been blogging this rubbish!

Oh, we do.

Karen · September 18, 2003 13:07

I can't bear to post any of the drivel I found in my one and only diary, which chronicles the years between 13 and 15 in sporadic, but in places, cringe-inducing detail... yet, I've probably blogged far worse in the last three years.

Oh, the shame.

pix · September 18, 2003 13:20

"Met this young man from paris, oo is he scrummy, I get all gooey at the knees when he talks to me"

D · September 18, 2003 14:11

Whatever happened to that young man?

Mark · September 18, 2003 14:59

Vaughan breathes sigh of relief that he never managed to keep any decent sort of diary until he, um, started blogging. Phew.

Vaughan · September 18, 2003 15:44

"Apparently she never cries. Well, she was a Low Birth Weight premature baby, and both parents smoke, so perhaps she's a bit retarded."

Sitting here, crying with laughter. Post of the month? Post of the decade! Bravo the honesty. And more please.

Daisy · September 18, 2003 19:37

I've often wanted to nominate Karen for a potm, but alas, alak, and alaska, as organiser she is illegible.

Pete · September 18, 2003 20:47

Then someone else is going to have to do a one-off, ne'er to be repeated potm - any takers?

Daisy · September 18, 2003 22:11

*blush*

Karen · September 19, 2003 09:16
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