Daily Prompt: The Diary

Diary

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.

Daily Prompt: The Diary

19 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: The Diary

  1. Very much enjoyed this. 🙂 I find it interesting that I’ve kept a journal for the past several years – some with gaps of weeks or even months but still maintained over time – but the one diary I had as a young girl (long since gone) was apparently never much of a priority or held much interest for me at the time. I rarely wrote in it.

    Happy New Year Ms. Swiss!!

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    • It was just an idea I had once, thinking of the book with “5 year diary” written on the cover. I was surprised when I found it again today that I actually persevered for a few months, although I cannot guarantee that I really wrote in it every day. I did catchin up stuff in between. The computer blogging system seems to be developing into a sort of diary today.
      Happy New Year to you as well.

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  2. I had a diary as a teen that became lost during one or the other of our moves from state to state. I keep a journal now..which is really just a book of pages with no dates already printed. I suppose that my “journal” (which now consists of five books all complete and a brand new one this year) will eventually be fodder for my sons extreme enjoyment once I am gone.

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    • This was actually my one and only diary, otherwise I always had intentions, but never really did it. Now I leave behind my blog on the computer and various other online stuff. I have no idea what will happen to this stuff when I am gone. I also crosspost in FB and am often surprised to see who actually reads the stuff I write as I only notice it by various remaks that might be made.

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    • I was never really a diary person, it was the idea that attracted me. It seems I have been writing a diary for the past 10 years, but today is called “blog”. I just love doing stuff on the computer, but handwriting is no longer my thing.

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  3. I had a diary as a girl, too. I didn’t write in it. I was too paranoid my mom was just waiting to read it. (And I was right). When I was in my late 20s I started keeping a journal. That was an enormous mistake because now I have 20+ books of drivel that I can’t throw out and don’t want to read. There are some nice drawings in them, though, and some good photos. It was a place for me to think, and in 2008 I started a blog with that intention, too. It’s still in the “ether” — private — and I stopped writing it when I had dealt with the damage done me by the Evil X. Now, I don’t keep private thoughts anywhere. I think I still have them, in fact, I’m dealing with one now, the typical dilemma that made my journals so excruciating to look through last year when I cleaned out the garage. I think there are aspects of our personalities that never quite grow up…. 🙂

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    • I just like the idea of “diariy” but never really went into it in detail. I could have written everything, but mum would not have bothered to read it, because it was beyond her comprehension writing diaries. Dad was too busy working on shift work and the only reading he did was the newspaper in the evening to see the horse racing results, or the football. I did not really grow up in intellectual surroundings. I once said to mum that John Steinbeck had died and her answer was “Who’s he” which just about sums it up. Diary was a word to mum not more. My blog has become as sort of day to day record, but as I do nothing world moving, there is never anything to hide.

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  4. Ah, Lonnie Donegan – Skiffle. “The Rock Island Line is a mighty fine line.” I sang “My Old Man’s A Dustman” to my bewildered PA yesterday, and had a hard time explaining “cor blimey trousers” to him. Remember that? That was one of the swear words my father disliked; he said it stood in for God blind me. Who knew?

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    • My old man’s a dustman is basically in the cockney language which was the dialect I grew up with. I quite liked Lonnie, he was one of my favourites in my teenage years. It is the right interpretation of the cockney words “Cor Blimey”. Although swearing it was in common usage and never looked upon as a bad phrase to use.

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  5. I had one of those diaries too. I think it was equally deathless prose. No idea what happened to it. I doubt it ever left my home back in New York city. But i don’t think the world is worse off for my missing diaries.

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    • At the time I thought it a good idea, I was leading a dull life as i was repeating daily. Today. When I see the empty pages beginning with 19….., I realise how time has passed

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  6. I remember the coalmen, ours was delivered just the same way. My sister and I were told NEVER go in the coal shed. I remember mum lighting the fire like that too. Fortunately when we moved here and I had to deal with lighing a fire for the first time I remembered more or less how she did it although we don’t have coal or coke. Never quite sure what coke was a sort of low grade coal perhaps? Our fires are all wood although you can buy a pellet heater now . We switched to electric heating some years ago as David found it too difficult to bend to light the fire or add logs. I did all the wood carrying and fire lighting but as I was working I often got home to a cold house and a cold husband so I persuaded him we should buy a heat pump.

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    • There were different types of coal and anthracite was the most expensive and the best acording to mum, that was probably why we never bought it. Coke was very light in weight and was somehow processed. I think it was good for maintaining the heat. Coal was not always coal and some would spit out from the fire, that was poor quality and could get dangerous if you were in the firing line. I remember when the fire was burning in the evening. putting a piece of cheese on a fork (usually cheddar) and toasting it over the fire. It was delicious eating the melted cheese afterwards. Today it is a sort of luxury here if you have an open fire. Something to show off to the friends and neighbours. I think mostly pellets are now fed on the fires today.

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