Thursday 26th March 1998

In the morning PSE Video, one about AIDS

RS another video. Geography industry

In the afternoon English papers, looking at the test mark

French written exam paper

After school bought a tape, looked at magazines

In the evening music lesson. It went really well too.

Watched TV and videos, recorded another side

I am looking forward to Easter

Morning 6, afternoon 6, evening 5

Summary not bad day I suppose. Total 6

I am 16 and this was my last year at high school (hence all the talk of exams and test marks). There is one week left until the Easter holidays and I have evidently discovered grammar.

Our high school had a two week timetable with week A and week B, so all the ‘minor’ subjects were only 45mins every two weeks. One of these was PSE, something I completely forgot about until writing this. I went online to try and jog my memory for what this was and according to the online dictionary, there are 141 things PSE could stand for. Some of them I can eliminate fairly quickly, we were obviously not taking classes in ‘Philippine Stock Exchange’, ‘Precision Shooting Equipment’ or ‘Parti Socialiste Européen’. Instead I have deduced this must have been ‘Personal and Social Education’ a subject that made so little impact on me, I can’t remember ever doing it. Anyway, it seems like it included a video about AIDS.

Videos must have been a big part of my life. They are mentioned three times in this one diary entry. During the mid-nineties there was a craze of digital watches that had a remote control function. Our classmates used to play havoc with the teachers (who could never work the video recorders) by pointing their watches at the receiver and fast forwarding or stopping the film. It was great fun until the teachers realised what was happening and deprived us of the ‘joy’ of watching a decades old educational video.

‘Bought a tape, looked at magazines’ was a typical way I spent my journey home. We had the oddest independent record shop on our local high street. Rather than everything being stocked in alphabetical order or by genre, the rather eccentric owner categorised everything by record company and then by the sub category of release date. So if you knew that it came out on Sony records in 1988, it was easy to find. If not, you had no choice other than to ask the owner who would then theatrically sigh and mutter before making a big performance about how obvious it was where to look. It is little wonder that shop shut down.

My music lesson referred to my brief phase of learning the clarinet. I was terrible and could do little more than produce high pitch squeaking noises. Much like learning languages, if I couldn’t do it straight away, I lost interest. My clarinet teacher was a super fan of Eastenders and I found that I could distract her so much with discussion of her beloved soap opera and so could waste the whole lesson and avoid playing a note. I gave up when I failed my grade 2 exam and gave my clarinet to charity without telling my parents. By the time they found out, it had been sold.

‘Morning 6, afternoon 6, evening 5. Summary not bad day I suppose. Total 6’ was fairly standard. 6/10 was a good day, 5/10 was a bad day. As far as I can see, there were only three days in the whole of 1998, I didn’t score as either a 5 or 6 (they were 7s). Nuance has never been a friend of mine.


One thought on “Thursday 26th March 1998

  1. Such a detailed summary of your day. I only recall one diary that I ever wrote in as a child. It was very small and it was filled with “good”, “bad” or left blank for each of the days. I always start out good intentions but they normally failure around the third week of the New Year.


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