Monday, 4 April 2011

Diaries of my youth


I kept a diary for about three years from 1980. I think I was trying to emulate the behaviour of my eldest brother Anthony who had begun a similar endeavour a year or so earlier. I singularly failed to achieve that since my diary peters out into patchy snippets around mid-1983 whereas, I believe, Anthony is still going with his.

I thought it would be funny to dip into the life of the 13-16 year old me to see how the world really looked to me in those days.

Now, let's be clear, I was no precocious Anne Frank style diarist. Setting aside the bleak circumstances of her diary keeping, her daily writings were clearly the outpourings of a deep thinker, examining the myriad aspects of people and their interactions with one another. Mine seemed to focus, largely, on what I had for breakfast.

Here is a typical example from 18 February 1981: For breakfast we had cornflakes and toast.

I occasionally extend this to the evening meal. 21 February 1981: For dinner we had baked beans on toast.

And there was room for unconventionality. 24 February 1981: For breakfast we had fishfingers on toast.

Fishfingers? For breakfast? What was Mum thinking of?

I appear to have eaten a lot of toast in February 1981.

To give you the full flavour of this diary, here is a completely faithfully reproduced entry from January 13, 1981 in all its cryptic glory. It involves scenes of toast.

Oh bore of bores! That is my impression of school!

I was woken up at 7:10 by podge [unflattering term for my mother] and had a cup of tea which was pretty tasteless!

I went downstairs and read the paper.

For breakfast we had sausages on toast. The sausages were pretty neat.

I left for school at 8:20 and walked with Jonathan.

When I got to school I almost broke the stopper on Barry's locker door but Sue mended it!

First two lessons we had French in which we finished our plays and performed some of them. Afterwards we watched the film strip about the bloke who stole some petrol and then had a crash. I was asked a question but couldn't answer it as my biro had leaked (see front cover of Rough Book Mark II).

At break I revised Biology.

When we got to Biology we discovered that Nicola Phillips and co. had locked us out but Kevin Gedny let us in.

For the first 5 minutes of the lesson we revised and then we had a test. This was quite hard.

After the test we started a new topic, breathing. Mrs Murgatroyd brought in a sheep's heart, lung and food pipe system. This was very interesting.

In Music we started a topic on the organ. We watched a film strip. This was pretty boring but had some interesting parts.

In ICS [Individual and Community Studies] we continued the government and all the parts of it.

At lunchtime I ate my sandwiches and auditioned for the Kings Herald in the play All the King's Men.

In Games we did basketball and swimming. Jonathan and I forgot our plimsolls so our feet had to freeze on the cold sports hall floor!

In swimming I did 13 widths on my back and not a lot else.

In the evening Mum and Dad went to Anthony's open evening.

Max 1. Min -4. Time 22:00. Span 14hr 50mins
______

So there you have it. No idea what was going on with the time check there at the end.


1 comment:

  1. What are these "film strips" of which you speak? I'm only 6 years younger but we'd definitely progressed to "videos" by then.

    And have you noticed any parallels with your son's diary written whilst we whisked him around the world? "For breakfast I had weetbix. During the day we did some school work and went to the Parliament. In the evening we swam and had sausages on the barbecue" etc. etc. What is it with you Hart boys?!

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