Friday, 7 October 2016

ten years have got behind you

no one told you when to run . . . a great and poignant lyric from Time - Pink Floyd.
It's true, time does just melt away - hours, minutes, days, months and years. How to remember all the things that did happen, all the greats, goods and downright miserables - photographs, films, blogs, etc, and diaries.
I used to keep a little diary of the days back around the time of Dark Side of the Moon. I found one when clearing out some stuff the other day - tragically boring with mention of platform shoes, Mud and other groups, and occasionally, a reference to some mild groping that might have been going on in my fledgling love life. Then the habit stopped when I went off to art foundation and never really got taken up again until our son was born on a fouly (if that's a word) dank day in January 1998. Something so utterly monumental (and painful) had to be recorded, along with all the following baby's days, weeks and months of life. And so it continued; the diary habit stuck and a day doesn't pass when I don't dutifully fill in a page, pen sliding across paper sometimes as I head towards sleep.


The first journals were a mix of exercise books, funky handmade things and extra special tomes like the silk-covered one in the photo above, bought at my request when Ezra was born.

In the last few years I have discovered the page-a-week type diary, which although are uniformly dull in appearance, make sense when trying to store all these capturings of the past.
So, what are they like my diaries? Probably like most other people's diaries - a list of daily happenings with occasional excited scrawls at the top of the page: Ezra got a 19 in music, short story accepted for publication, finally understand how to make pastry, been bloody raining for four days non-stop, etc.
In fact the weather thing becomes an important element in later diaries (little sketch of sun/cloud/hail, whatever) along with information: when the first fire of the year was lit or when it was first possible to swim without a limb falling off; when pomegranates were ready for jam-making or when the broad beans were sowed.
However pedestrian the descriptions of each day the fascinating thing is I can open any page of any year and suddenly that day comes back to you, wholly or partially depending how mind-numbingly boring or incredibly exciting those hours had been.
I'm going upstairs now to unearth one from the attic . . . back in a mo.

Here we are: Saturday 24th March 2012: picture of the sun with estimated temperature of 12 in the morning to 25 in the afternoon. 'Ate on terrace, no fire and the start of the one euro train from Limoux to Carcassonne (an event worth noting!)
'Woke horribly early, went downstairs and tried to sleep with the dogs but Satie (runty dog) snored. Dozed till 6.30, tea, writing, exercises, brek. Loads of jobs, Mark to work, Kim and Chris (friends staying) up at 9.00. Lot of morning chatting which was nice. They left at 2.00ish, Mark and Ezra went to Carcassonne on new 1 euro train, I did writing, jobs, emptied water butts, weeded, cleaned back of house, phoned Mum. Boys back at 6.30. Writing, bath, Ezra bed, two episodes of Queer as Folk, USA version - brilliant, bed 11.00.'
So, not incredible, but I can remember that day quite clearly and doubt if I ever would have recalled our friends staying in March of that year if I hadn't written about it.
Of course our son will eventually have to decide what to do with all theses millions of badly written pages, but until then, I'll keep a diary, every day.

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