If you’d like to quickly get up to speed with A Writer’s Diary – it’s very easy to do. Just read these three days:
Samstag 1 Januar
Entered the year in Leigh’s arms, as it should be. Mum, exhausted, had gone to bed around half past eight. Dad stayed up until midnight. Big Ben on the TV. Brother texted.
‘Who knows what this New Year will bring?’ Dad said, five minutes after the chimes – and then started sobbing. He was sitting on the blue sofa. ‘Happy things, perhaps,’ he added. We gave him another hug. He went to bed soon after. We didn’t stay up much longer.
Late up. Quiet day. Muggy warm. Went for a walk, or tried to. Mum turned back halfway to the War Memorial.
Sonntag 9 Januar
10:09. Leigh did a pregnancy test, which was positive! (She bought it at the Streatham chemist as soon as they opened.) Clearblue: a small cross in a clear plastic circle.
Neither of us quite able to believe it – although I had thought Leigh might soon be pregnant, again. Her period is days late. So, she was pregnant when we went for that sad walk in the park; also at New Year, at my parents’.
We have been a little subdued in our reaction. I feel very happy but also terrified. Leigh wanted to do another test immediately; I said the cross was very clear. More hugs. We’ve decided not to tell anyone for three months – assuming all goes well.
11:01. I am nervous every time Leigh goes out of the room; she, whenever she goes to the loo. She has immediately started taking aspirin, and will try to make an appointment at St Mary’s for Tuesday.
Samstag 15 Januar
How about a desk diary? What if I keep this really close? It’s going that way anyway. A diary of the desk. In this place, a coffee spill is a major event. If we moved house, I would take a photo – many photos – and put the objects back where they were, here, at a new location, in a different workroom. (That’s unlikely to happen for years; we can’t afford it.) Why a photo? It’s not like I don’t know where they go: the rhinoceros, the Mercedes; the pen pot (white ceramic F H FAULDING & CO LTD GOLDEN EYE OINTMENT), the pencil pot (shining stainless steel). Overall, the Anglepoise. Uncle Anglepoise, PAT IN UK AND ABROAD. Never thought of it as Uncle before. I will stop, because these things are of no interest to anyone but me.) (I will continue, because what is this diary for if not things of no interest to anyone but me?) I went through a period of acquiring metal objects – along with the lamp, the brushed metal filing cabinet over my right shoulder, the metal mug in which I have my coffee. My good-as-I-can-make-it coffee – which I sometimes spill. If my desk-objects weren’t metal, then they were black plastic. But it’s wooden things I want around me most of all. Woodface was probably the first. The Green Man – French. I was fourteen- or fifteen-years-old, and with my father in a Brocante in the Dordogne. I remember hundreds of chairs piled up to a ceiling as high as the rafters in a village church. Dad was doing a deal; the antiquer gave me the carved-leafy face for free. A gift – originally from a dresser or a seat-stall in a chapel. They have a name, ornaments that surmount pillars within antique furniture – my father would know it, unless he’s forgotten it. I could phone him to find out, but I don’t want to hear his voice as he speaks about Mum. Not right now. Of course, she might still answer – as she won’t in future. (I will phone when I’m finished.) The Green Man has been with me for over thirty years, and is important, colossal, always calling me back to him. He’s made of dense chocolatey wood. I would like a desk made of the same wood, not too heavy, but with lots of drawers.
And that’s it. You’re now completely ready to start reading the Diary from whichever day it’s reached.