My brother came over for supper the other day. He said, ‘remember that time we were in Australia and this happened, and this and this?’ and I replied, ‘No… wait! I’ll have it in my diary.’
I wrote in my diary, or journal, or notebook, every day from the age of 12 - 19. I only stopped writing every day when I started to live with M and had more interesting pastimes to pursue when climbing into bed :)
Even though I’ve been with M since we were 17, I was surprised at quite how much he pops up in my old diaries. He’s saturated them. I can (almost) use my old diaries as a Time Hop. I can find the date, find the event and nearly always be able to grasp more information than I remember. It’s lovely looking back, but it makes me realise how distracted from anything else other than M I was back then.
If someone (and truly I worry that the only people interested might be my own future children, which is a sobering thought indeed) was ever possessed of the desire to read them, would see the shift from young love to true love, through to engagement, marriage and now house buying.
But really it’s more of a useful database. How was I feel then? Can you tell when the entries were written by the language I use? 14 year old me loved to say ‘Ace!’ a lot. Names thrown in without surnames or in code, leaving me years later work out who S.M was. WHO WAS S.M???
Does anyone else keep a journal still?
Just to finish off, I’ve always loved this quote from Oscar Wilde’s Importance of Being Ernest.
“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”
My grandmother used to read for the blind. She spent a few hours each month reading the newspapers out loud into a microphone so the blind could access the news.
I can honestly say that my one and only role model was my maternal grandmother. Graceful, eloquent, talented and funny, my grandmother was a light in my life until she and my grandfather died in 2002. I think about them everyday and try to be as much of her as I can.
Back to the reading. I met a mutual contact recently who has started working for the local branch of the RNIB and is looking for readers. Brilliant! As well as following my grandmother’s footsteps (ooh isn’t that a game?) I want to eventually do some paid voice-over work so I figure this is a good start.
Signed up and ready to go, I went along to my first session last week. Instead of newspapers, I was assigned to Cosmopolitan magazine, a hefty read at 8 hours! I read it over two days (about 4 hours each day) and although it was a bit tiring, I was getting the hang of my pace by the end of the first read. I am naturally a very fast speaker. Trying to bring my pace down was the biggest challenge, that and trying not to giggle at the articles. Some of them are hilarious! There was a thought about relevance that Rupert (the sound engineer) and I discussed briefly, through the headphones. For example, how relevant is it to have an entire article reviewing various make-up techniques and brands when, and I’m probably horribly assuming here, visually challenged people MAY not be as interested in make-up as other topics. Maybe.
I’m moving onto reading Marie Claire next month I believe. It’s a shorter publication so will only take an evening. It was only when visiting my parents-in-law’s house last weekend and they had friends round. Talking about me, one of them exclaimed, “Oh! She reads for the blind as well! She’s so GOOD.”
Do you know I never looked at it like that - I figured volunteering was something everyone got around to, you just had to find the right cause. Still,
'Be a good girl,' said Grandma.
Little bit of gardening on a sunny Sunday afternoon :)