This is how it starts: Prologue Another year, another diary. This time a very plush A5 Moleskine notebook, a soft-to the-touch green (used to think this was ‘Moleskin’ and something vaguely and horribly to do with actual moles). Present from Briony, directed in her choice no doubt by Maria who knows better than to buy me a ‘diary’. Love the freedom of writing as much or as little as I want for each entry. As if all days were the same, requiring the same amount of coverage. Some days are two-sentence days, others ten pages (though they are far from frequent these days). And some days might just as well have not existed as far as an entry goes.
Looked at my teenage diaries a few weeks ago and didn’t known whether to laugh or cry. Stress over my essay on Paradise Lost, despair over being ignored by Don, even after I’d allowed him far-reaching liberties in the alley way outside the tennis club after Sally Benson’s seventeenth birthday party. Disappointment about the Everly Brothers’ latest single and the way injudicious sunbathing in the back garden had turned my face lobster red. No mention of world events, UK events, even local events. Where is Yuri Gagarin? Cuba? JFK? The beginning of the Vietnam War? Nowhere. Only my own little world of A levels, difficult French translations, crushes, flare ups with parents, squabbles with friends, clothes and makeup, Six Five Special. Was I really so shallow? Am I still so shallow half a century or so on? I suppose what follows will answer that question.