I am beginning to regret not keeping a diary. It is true that I have a good long term memory, but suspect that there are moments that I could have kept and treasured. I think we remember the big moments in our lives, but the minutia of everyday life is forgotten. I remember that the milkman used to deliver the milk at 1pm and my young son used to call out “What time do you call this?” The poor man no doubt did not appreciate the joke.
These were the days when the milkman actually delivered in daylight hours, until at some point it was decided that delivering the milk in the early hours of the morning was the right thing to do. I gave up on my Dairy when it started insisting that I set up a direct debit for the privilege of lifting the glass bottles off the doorstep, three times a week. Daily deliveries had long gone by the board too by this time.
(Now we have long life milk delivered with the grocery order for a quarter of the price and have never run out of milk again.)A diary would have been a great way of recording these annoyances in real time, but better late than never. I remember the days before the sycamore hedge grew too high, that children used to throw eggs over the fence into the back garden at Halloween, leaving me to scrape them off the windows next day.
There were about a hundred children living in the flats adjacent to my house, so there was no chance of identifying the culprits. So far, I am rather short on moments to be treasured! I do remember that the front gardens of our houses in the close, were covered in yellow buttercups at the time of my birthday and I walked across the lawns, thinking that, as in the song, I walked on “fields of gold”.
I could have kept records of events that have happened in the neighbourhood throughout the years. There was the sad occasion when a neighbour’s cat gained entry unseen into another house and disposed of the gerbils, the occupants were looking after for their grandchildren.
There was no sign of the gerbils, but the cat’s owner maintained that was no proof of the crime! Apparently, the Queen writes up Her diary every night before bed and I take my proverbial hat off to her. Her Great Great Grandmother Queen Victoria kept a diary throughout her life, sure in the knowledge that her words would be treasured by history.
Samuel Pepys diary is a wonderful insight into life in seventeenth century London. Some politicians doubtless keep written records, if not actual diaries, to refer for when they come to write lucrative memoirs of their time in office. The diaries of “ordinary” people have greatly added to social history, when they come to light. Anyway, I intend to rectify this omission of non-diary keeping on my part, so do watch this space!