Afew years ago now, I scanned and published some extracts from my very first “diary” – which was actually a school project, in which we were asked to write down all of our “news” from the week, diary-style.
As I mentioned in those older posts, those diary entries – which were handed in to the teacher at the end of each day – were a constant source of embarrassment to my poor parents, thanks to my habit of being brutally honest, and recording EVERY. LAST. DETAIL. of my life, no matter how insignificant, or toe-curlingly embarrassing.
Hey, what does THAT remind you of? Actually, on second thoughts, don’t answer that…
Anyway, last week Kathi asked if I had any more of these entries I could publish, and I thought, why yes! Yes, I do! I have the whole damn book, in fact! And, as I’ve actually intended for a while now to try to transcribe the “best” of my childhood diaries (Mostly so I can throw the really embarrassing bits away…), I figured I may as well make a start on that by showing you how it all started.
Then I got halfway through, and got sick of typing it all out, so, er, consider this Part 1, and I’ll upload the second part either soon, or never, depending on how I feel.
At school, we called these pink notebooks our “news books”. I, however, think of this one as The Diary of a Failed Jedi, because… well, you’ll see. Take it away, 6-year-old Amber!
Sumthing Very Exciting
Wednesday 10th November
At summertime I went on holiday and sumthing very exciting hapend because I went fishing with my mummy and daddy. My daddy did not cach eny fish but I cot a baby fish. I had to put it back in the water because it was to small to eat. The name of the plas I went to was cold [yes, it probably WAS cold, actually, but that wasn’t its name…] North Berwick. I played with the sand at the seaside. I cuverd my feet with sand. So I went into the sea to wash the sand of my feet I found some crabs they were ded what a shame.
[Either this entry pre-dates my crab phobia, or it’s complete schadenfraude, because AS IF I’d feel sorry for “ded” crabs, seriously…]
That Time Snoopy Dun the Toylet in the Cichon
Tuesday 16th November
I went to my granns on Sunday. My grann has got a dog cold Snoopy. He is funy he can oppen the living room door. [I have literally no memory of this: like, how would a cocker spaniel open a door, anyway?] When I was at my granns he was bad he dun the toylet in the cichon [kitchen]. I get my tea at my granns. I have sandwiches and biscuits and we play with Snoopy.
[We would also sometimes lie on our stomachs on the cichon floor, because why the hell not?]
[There then follows a really bad re-telling of Jack and the Beanstalk. I’m going to do you all a favour and just skip that one…]
Tuesday 23rd November
I went to Jennifers party last night she was six years old. We played pin the tale on the donkey. When it was my turn I put the tale on Fiona it was funy. The cake was shaped like a castle. I wonteed to eat all of the cake. We got bloons. [balloons] Vicky hade a bloon with a nose. We saw cartoons. I hade a crispy cake. We played ring a roses and we dun disco dancing. We all got a bit of cake and some oopel froots. [Opal Fruits] I gave Jennifer fusy felt baly [Fuzzy Felt Ballet] and she got starters. Starters are pipe cleener figars.
Daddy Went Away
My daddy went away to British Leyland he has to go to British Leyland becos it will help him with his job. He sed the food was nise. The cofy was nise too. My mummy bot me a comic when he was away. There was a swimming pool he went swimming in it. I was glad when he came home.
[Oh yeah, and he also walked on water, but whatevs, no biggie…]
[This is one of a couple of entries my parents felt strongly implied that my dad had, you know, left us. British Leyland was the company he worked for, though, and this really was a work trip – to Leyland, in England, where the company was based. He says he genuinely did enjoy the cofy, though…]
Monday 6th December
It is Christmas on the 25th of December. I am geting a baby doll and rooler boots [Roller boots]. I am getting a sooing masheen. I will so the hools in my daddys socks [This is another one my parents were mortified by when they read it…] I made some decorations for my Christmas tree. I made an angel and a picchoor of Santa and all of the presents. I have got three Christmas trees.
I fight my grandad
I went to my grans. When I go to my grans I fight my grandad [Well, THAT took a turn for the unexpected...] I have my tea at my grans [WE KNOW, AMBER, WE KNOW…] I have sawichees and bisguits my gran has a dog cold Snoopy he is a nise dog I like him.
[Actually, Snoopy was more like a small kangaroo, but none of us liked to mention it. Maybe that’s how he opened doors, though? In other, “things we didn’t mention,” news, it seems that while everyone else was fully clothed for these evenings at my gran’s, my dad apparently just used to rock up naked. Interesting.]
Thursday 6th January
At Christmas I went to see the moovy of E.T. It was sad but it had a happy ending [Well, that’s THAT ruined, Amber, thanks!] I like the moovy E.T. [Note: this is a total lie, I cried my face off...] he can make his neck go up he has got a hart light his spase ship left him on our planet the story is about how he gets home his best friend is Eliot.
[E.T is crying over the total lack of punctuation in this story about him. And also because someone dyed the Sorting Hat yellow…]
Monday 10th January
On Sunday I went to my grans she has a dog called Snoopy [SERIOUSLY, AMBER, OBSESSED MUCH?!] he is a nise dog [WHY, YOU’VE NEVER MENTIONED THAT BEFORE!] my other gran has a dog aswel he us called Rusty he is Snoopys brother.
[Rusty’s main claim to fame was the ability to dance on his hind legs. My main claim to fame was the fact that I had THREE legs, plus the ability to be totally and utterly obsessed with my gran’s nise dog Snoopy, who I just COULD NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT. On the plus side, at least I’d learned how to spell the word “called”, huh?]
Slow news day
Tuesday 25th January
I am an astronaut [Er…?] my name is Princess Lia [Ummm…] my job is to go round the universe with Luke Sky Walker first I have to poot my space suit on and then it it is time for blast off. When I landeed on the moon we met Choobaca at first I was fritende but I soon camd down. I turnd round to go back but there was a monster it was Darth Vadere so I got my laser beam sord and fought him. Then I ran back to Luke and Arto dto. We walked along for a while and soon we met anther roobot [This is described as “another” robot because for years, I thought Darth Vader was a robot, because of the helmet. It never failed to astonish me when he took it off and was revealed to be a man. It was honestly more shocking to me, than the “I am your father,” bit…] he said come in. We went into his funny house. There were spider webs and funny shaped chares. Then we went outside again it was a very funny planet the plants were all diforent colers we took pictures of the plants when we looked above the funny planet we could see erth, it was time to go home.
[So, yeah, this is just blatant lies now, isn’t it? Like, NONE of that actually happened to me, obviously. Still, at least it was a break from reading about that nise dog my grann had…]
Snow all the way up his trousers
Monday 31st January
I went sledging with Fiona it was good we went to the park we swopt sledgees Fiona has got a blue sledg it is plastik I have got a wooden sledg I can come down hill backwards and on my tumy my dad had a shot on my sledgge he got snow all the way up his trousers when we got home I made a small snow man I had a good time.
[What did punctuation every do to me, though, I wonder? Why did I hate it so?]
I am the star
Monday 7th February
I am having a play it is called Star Wars [ORIGINAL!] I am the star [OBVIOUSLY] I am princess Lia I do not know who is going to be Luke. Gordon is Hansooloo. The play is on the 11th of March Carol is in the play I am intarjoosing the play I like having a play.
[Is anyone reading my teacher’s “good story” at the bottom of this one in a “Cool story, bro?” kind of tone? Because I am. I was constantly deciding to put on plays and stuff, though – mostly because I would get tired of waiting for stardom to find me, and would decide to find IT, instead. I don’t think I ever actually staged any of these productions in the end, though, although that would mostly have been because I’d have been so intense about it that I’d have made all of my friends hate me. I mean, have you ever heard me mention Carol or Gordon in this blog? That’s because I pissed them off so much with my, “I AM THE STAR,” shennanigans that they don’t talk to me no more.]
Dad Comes Another Cropper
Tuesday 15th February
I went to a park on Sunday I saw an owl I saw it thro the day we thot that it was a bird and it flew towards my car and then went up I went for a walk with my dad my dad put his foot on some ice and he went right thro the ice we saw some wagon horses there was a fole it was nice [WAS IT AS NICE AS YOUR GRAN’S DOG SNOOPY, THOUGH? WAS IT? WAS IT?]
[It looks like my mum decided to just stay in the car for this walk, perhaps realising that my dad, having already gotten snow up his trousers earlier in the year, would go directly to the single patch of ice in a giant field and put his foot right in it…]
Monday 7th March
It is my birthday on Thursday. And I went to Edinburgh to get my present I got some Star Wars figers and a Barby doll we went back thro the park there were squirls there I had two peenuts so I fed the squirls. Three came right up to me the third one must have none I had another peenut and wated for it. When I gave it to him he bit me.
[Squirls, eh? It’s like, all you have to your name is three freaking peenuts, you give them all away, and all you get in return is a bite. Ungrateful little b******ds.]
Thursday 10th March
It is my birthday today I coud not sleep last night. In the morning I got up and sang happy birthday to my hamster becos it is his birthday aswell then I opend my presents. I got some star wars figers and a Barbie doll I put some plates [plaits] in Barbies hair I am not getting a party but I am getting a disco next year.
[Hate to break it to you, hun, but no, you’re not. Also, it wasn’t ACTUALLY the hamster’s birthday, either. Growing up is hard, huh?]
Rainbow Fairy Jumps Out of Own Skin
Tuesday 15th March 1983
I am a rainbow fairy in the galaday and I am getting the house decorated [Er, it was the custom to decorate the outside of houses of children who participated in the gala day in a certain theme: I didn’t mean I was getting the decorators in for it, or anything like that. Just realised that sentence makes me sound about 40 years old, like, “Ooh, Jenny, I must get the house decorated for the gala day!”] Mrs Forsithe came in to the classroom to pick two rainbow fairys the two rainbow fairys were Jennifer and I we both jumpt out of our scins. We are going on a float [A decorated lorry, with seats on it which we’d sit in dressed as fairies. It was less weird than it sounds…] and my gran is going to make paper flowers.
In which Snoopy is a bit of an asshole, really
Monday 11th April 1983
I went to North Berwick to roll my egg [For Easter] my gran and grandad were there and I met Pamela and her big cosins. We played hide and seek there were lots of places to hide when I rolled my egg Snoopy ate it.
Monday 18th April 1983
I am flitting [moving house]. I like the house we are flitting to it has got patio windows [FANCY!] and a spare room. Lots of my school friends live there and Carol lives just down the hill. My mum says that we can floor the loft and put lits [lights] in it to make a play room.
[Spoiler: this doesn’t happen either. Damn, my parents used to promise me ANYTHING just to shut me up, huh?]
The Infamous Blue Moovy
Monday, 9th May 1983
I have got a video and I have seen star wars four times and I have seen Bugsy Malone twelve and a half times Jennifer has taped Bugsy Malone as well. One night when my mum and dad were watching a film on the video when it was finished a blue moovy came on my mum and dad did not like it and my mum was frightened to get another tape in case there was another blue moovy on it.
[So, I wrote about this one in detail here, but suffice to say, my parents had a LOT of explaining to do at parents evening that year…]
Anti Fiona’s new baby
Monday 16th May 1983
My Anti Fiona is having another baby she has alredy got a little girl called Bonie [Bonnie] . she is having it at christmas time. I am hoping that it is a little boy. I would like my Anti Fiona to come to this contry becos I have not seen her for a while and she lives in Canada.
Monday 23rd May 1983
I went to my Granns on Sunday my Gran has got [No, don’t tell us, let us guess: a dog called Snoopy? A nice one? You like him, yes?] a new skirt [WHOA, that came right outta left field!] and some curtains for the kitchen they are nice curtains When we went to my grans my mum forgot the rols [Bread rolls, not, like, a Rolls Royce, unfortunately] and my dad had to go and get them whil my dad was away Snoopy eat my cracker [Not such a nise dog now, huh, Snoopy?]. then we went upstairs to see my grans new headboard and bed spread the bedspread had frils on it. [BUT WAS IT NISE, AMBER? WAS IT?] [Bit of a spendy week for my “Grann” apparently. Still, at least I didn’t mention getting my “tea” at my grans, so small mercies, I guess. Oh no, wait…]
Left foot on the break
Monday 20th June 1983
I went to my Grans yesterday I get my tea at my Grans [AAAARRGH, I CAN’T TAKE IT, MAKE IT STOP!]. We got a new car on Friday and dad let my Grandad have a shot of it my dad told him not to use his left fot but my Grandad put his left foot on the break and made the car go right across the rod. The new car has got a piicnic tray in the back seat and there is a button to open the petrol cap and the boot from inside the car.[Because, as soon as you read that bit about the new car, your first thought was, “That’s great Amber, but how did you open the petrol cap and the boot, though?” Admit it, you were wondering…]
* * *
So, I’m going to stop my younger self there, because honestly, there’s only so many times I can type the words, “I went to my Gran’s yesterday,” before my head explodes, but I hope you enjoyed this little insight into the mind of my 6 year-old self – and, if not, well, at least it’ll make my current ramblings on this blog seem just a little more interesting in comparison, no? And if, for some reason, you’d like to read more from my younger self, you’ll find The Secret Diary of a Failed Showjumper here…