Monday, 14 April 2008

Who are you?

I have kept a diary for over 30 years. However, I don’t examine my life (sorry, Socrates), I just record it. I don’t want to cringe when I read what I wrote later.

Which is what I have just done – read it, not cringed. Well, only a couple of years (1974-75), but several thousand words nevertheless.

Gwendolyn Fairfax was right*, but what bothers me is that there are several people mentioned in those pages that I have completely and utterly forgotten. I have no idea who they were. Only their first names are mentioned (at the time it was obvious to me who they were) and now I cannot conjure up the faces that go with those names. I seem to have been quite friendly with them, but now they are nothing but shadows

We meet many people in the course of our lives; we part with them and, in some cases, we don’t give them another thought, but when their existence has been recorded we should remember them.

Slapping myself for my bad memory.

* ‘I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.’ The Importance of Being Earnest

Addendum: of course, there are also those people who should be mentioned in my diary and who aren’t – for some reason. That’s even worse. Probably. Sigmund, where are you? (He’s never there when you need him.)


  1. I think it's just all part of the process of getting older. I'm in my mid-fifties and my memory is getting frighteningly less efficient - even to the extent of temporarily forgetting the names of people I know.
    Our memories - including yours of those people in your diary - are all in our vast personal computers somewhere.
    Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone invented a device or a method of extracting them.

  2. Hm, now that makes me thinking about starting a diary (too late, probably...)

  3. They have, lisah - hypnotism!

  4. So much, then, for the diary as an aide-mémoire!

  5. You're not kidding, S: I sometimes forget my own name.

    LJG, don't: my diary is a tyrant. And, it turns out, it's not even reliable.

    Yep, L!

    Indeed, B! What is the point? Someone should have told me about that, when I first started writing it. Such a waste of time!

    Wondering who is not going to 'make it' among the people who are currently mentioned in that little book. Hmmm...


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