I had a good laugh when I read Nathalie’s post a couple of days ago, but was surprised at her surprise in discovering the schlock that existed in her diaries. I’ve known for ages about mine, which is precisely why I have long since recycled all of it. I’ve never missed it either. Partly because the writing is hopelessly bad, and partly because personally I found being a child quite a bit harder than being an adult, and reading about what now appears to be non-events to my adult self seems to mock the real hardships of that earlier time.
So the crummy diaries are gone – not burned, but gone nonetheless. I can’t tell you what I wrote in them and all is well. I can tell you what I wish I had written though, and it might have been something like these excerpts from The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend. I read this book as a teenager, and was not too much of a child or an adult to appreciate it completely.
Monday January 12th
The dog is back. It keeps licking its stitches, so when I am eating I sit with my back to it. My mother got up this morning to make the dog a bed to sleep in until it’s better. It is made out of a cardboard box that used to contain packets of soap powder. My father said this would make the dog sneeze and burst its stitches, and the vet would charge even more to stitch it back up again. They had a row about the box, then my father went on about Mr Lucas. Though what Mr Lucas has to do with the dog’s bed is a mystery to me.
Tuesday January 13
My father has gone back to work. Thank God! I don’t know how my mother sticks him.
Mr Lucas came in this morning to see if my mother needed any help in the house. He is very kind. Mrs Lucas was next door cleaning the outside windows. The ladder didn’t look very safe. I have written to Malcolm Muggeridge, c/o the BBC, asking him what to do about being an intellectual. I hope he writes back soon because I’m getting fed up being one on my own. I have written a poem, and it only took me two minutes. Even the famous poets take longer than that. It is called “The Tap”, but it isn’t really about a tap, it’s very deep, and about life and stuff like that.
The Tap, by Adrian Mole
The tap drips and keeps me awake,
In the morning there will be a lake.
For the want of a washer the carpet will spoil,
Then for another my father will toil.
My father could snuff it while he is at work.
Dad, fit a washer don’t be a burk!
I showed it to my mother, but she laughed. She isn’t very bright. She still hasn’t washed my PE shorts, and it is school tomorrow. She is not like the mothers on television.