In 1959, at the age of 13, mum asked what I wanted for Christmas. I had ideas of being famous and so I wished for a five year diary. I wanted to preserve my life to be read in future times. I could see the historians studying my entries and completing the missing pages of life in the 20th centuary.
“I had a small book once, it was green: a five year diary. I remember it was somewhere on the bookshelves.”
Mr. Swiss looked a bit blank, he was reading and I was disurbing with my question. However, he is always ready to help.
“I remember something like it, but it was a bit shabby and old and probably disappeared.”
My gaze remained in the place where I last saw it and then alighted on the green thin back of a book. I pulled it out and saw the magic words, in gold, telling me it was my Five Year Diary. Mr. Swiss was surprised at my discovery. I just had not looked at it for the past 20-30 years and so it was still resting on the shelf waiting to be discovered.
On each page there is room for five different entries, each one to be marked with a year showing 19……, so you fill in the year number. I decided that this diary could no longer be used or revived as our years now begin with 20……. The date was in print at the top of the page. Of course I had made entnries in this diary fom 1st January 1959 until 12th September 1959, so I did persevere. Today we have 1st Janurary 2018 and I have still not achieved fame and success with my entries. Samuel Pepys had more success than I did and his diaries from 18th centuary London are still read today, at least they still exist.
And now it is time to discover my famous words again from my exciting life in 1959.
The first words on 1st Janury 1959 “Went to see if my records were in, but they wasn’t. Heard the next year in. The sweep came and swept the front room chimney. Went to bed.” Note the perfect use of english grammar. This was my first attempt at blogging.
As you can see life was full of excitement in January 1959. We had a chimney sweep? How Victorian can you get. I remember having chimneys but I though dad blocked them all up at some time as we were forced by the government clean air bill to switch to gas or electric fires. Mum was glad as making the fire every morning in Winter was an annoying job. First of all the remains of yesterday’s newspaper, then a layer of wood and on top coal. The coal was delivered into our bunker in the garden once a month by the coalmen. They would carry the heavy sacks on their backs and with a very clever movement the coal was tipped into the top of the bunker.
I am digressing, life in a house built in 1884 in Bethnal Green in 1959 was full of excitement. My next entry on 2nd January cleared the mystery of the record: “Record has been deleated so I bought a Lonnie Donnegan E.P. Had my hair washed but not ….. up (illegible handwriting). Went to bed.” I still do not remember which record had been deleted, but Lonnie Donnegan was always a good chice.
Yes again I disappeared to my bed in the evening. These were exciting days, never to be forgotten. And so the life of Angloswiss continues until the last entry. “Got up at twelve o’clock (midday), listened to Saturday Club on the wireless. Did piano practice. WTB.” By this time my writing skill was no longer competing with Samuel Pepys and “Went to Bed” had been abbreviated. There still remains 4 years and 3 months missing. perhaps I might continue, but today I have a computer, an iPad and iPhone so it has all become superfluous.