Secret Diary | The Middle Pages
Saturday 11th June
Whew Saturday at last! I’ve finished the first book I was writing, ‘Jumping for Joy’ and have now started another one called Ponies Galore! This morning I got up early and wrote pages and pages of it. My hands aching now and I’m covered in ink as my fountain pens leaking. At about 1.00pm we went to the shops and I bought ‘Horse and Pony Magazine’. I read it while going round the shops and there’s a fabulous competition in it. The prize is, guess what…a pony! Yes actually a HORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it. The competition is in 3 parts, each part in one issue. The first part was in the magazine. You have to answer a quiz which has questions in it like ‘Is it dangerous to tie a pony up by its reins?’ That was the easiest question thoe. The rest were really difficult and I couldn’t answer them all. Apart from the 3 quizzes which appear in different issues of the mag you have to produce a letter from your parents saying that they will accept responsibility for the pony if you win and two photos. One of you riding on the flat and one of you jumping. People who get all the questions correct travel to a riding centre for a practical test and then the winner is decided. I haven’t told my mum and dad about the quiz yet. I don’t know if they would let me keep a pony. I’ll maybe ask tomorrow.
Wednesday 15th June
Terrific day! I will be running in the school relay team at the gala day and we had a practise today. Mrs M (gym teacher) said that I have a lovely style of running (!) She said that it was a joy to watch (!) and that I really look like a runner!!! I was amazed! [Because I had never been even remotely good at anything sporty in my life, and after the whole ‘swimming diagonally across the pool‘ episode, had basically concluded I was the most useless person alive. This small crumb of praise from Mrs M, however, was a much-needed ego boost, and I spent the next few years recounting it to anyone who would listen. I sometimes still tell people about it to this day, actually...] I can’t wait ’till the Gala day now! After school we had swimming practise. I bought a new pair of goggles (their really nice, dark tinted) and then Lisa and I went and got changed. Lisa had bought a new swimming cap which she put on. It is green and she looked funny. (After the lesson I bought a yellow one and I look terrible!) We went and started the practise. We done back stroke and relay races. It was brilliant fun, much better than I had expected. Afterwards we went home. It was my dads birthday today and we sung happy birthday to him and gave him his presents. I gave him a card and a (hurray! I’ve reached the middle pages!) box of quality street. After dinner mum and I went up to try on some of my summer clothes [Er, I’m assuming it was just me who was trying on my clothes: I mean, I don’t think my mum would’ve wanted to wear them?] to see if they fit me and thats where I am now. (Mums friend is on the phone.) I’m wearing this really glamorous dress. I look like a film star and it looks like this –>
Not too much to say about these entries: it seems that after all of the drama of the previous weeks, things had started to settle down, and the rest of this diary is mostly just yet MORE stuff about ponies and swimming practice. It’s funny to me to see how wildly I swung between feeling “awfull“because everyone hated me, and then being all, “Yeah, I totes look like a film star now – see ya!” If only Mrs M had clued me in about my mad running skillz just a few months earlier – just think how differently my life could’ve turned out!
Oh, and as for the “middle pages” – when I started any kind of diary or notebook I was always convinced I wouldn’t finish it (mostly because I was quietly convinced that I would probably die before the end), so I’d scatter little words of encouragement through it, just so I could be sure I’d get the appropriate amount of praise for a) my continued existence and b) having written so much nonsense about ponies that I’d now filled HALF A BOOK.
Speaking of books, I no longer have either ‘Jumping for Joy’ or ‘Ponies Galore’ – which I DID actually finish, filling an entire notebook with the adventures of Elaine Shaw, who decided to open her own riding stable one summer. Elaine was pretty rich, apparently – and HER parents DID let her keep her ponies. I was so pleased with this work that I gave it to my friend Luna, for her reading pleasure: Luna never did return it, sadly – I expect she’s probably waiting until I become a “famouse” runner/swimmer/showjumper, at which point she’ll make her fortune by publishing it, and Elaine Shaw will get to ride once more…
[P.S. I had a couple of questions about the names of the people in this diary – I’ve changed all of the names to protect the guilty/innocent: believe it or not, I DIDN’T go to school with people called ‘Luna’ and ‘Hermione’ ….]