This post is part of my Secret Diary project, in which I’m gradually publishing all of my old diaries, right from childhood to today: go here for more info on the project!
A portrait of the author as a young serial killer
5/10/87 – Monday
Got off to a bad start this morning with mum as I didn’t get up till 8:30am. [Honestly, this was pretty rich, coming from someone who didn’t get up until – gasp! – 11:30 the previous Sunday!] She says I’m going to bed at 8:30pm but I WON’T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [This is underlined multiple times AND I’ve outlined it in pink felt tip. I REALLY didn’t want to go to bed at 8:30…] Fell in with Regina at school and I am her best friend again but Tanya won’t be best friends. Played netball but I am only going to play under Mrs. M’s supervision in future. [I’ve no idea what this was about, but I’m going to take a wild guess that Regina and Tanya had something to do with it. Sports were never my strong point…] Went swimming. Swam a breadth with my head in the water at the crawl then played with Laurie afterwards. Done everything in my power too stay up till 9 tonight. Won. She says my light goes out at nine though. Will try to prevent it though. No more now, riding tomorrow. Can’t wait.
20/10/87 – Wednesday
Forgot to write again. Took my riding test 2. I was on Bandit. I passed with 66 out of 70. I’ve fallen out with Tanya and Regina again. Had a fight with Tanya. Hit her on the head with my lunch box.* I am going to Laurie’s later because mum, dad, Julie and David are going [out to dinner] to celebrate Julies birthday.
[*I mention this like it ain’t no thang, but it was, in fact, a huge big thang, because after months of bullying, I finally snapped when Tanya and Regina followed me out of school one day, taunting me about something I’ve long since forgotten, and accompanied by a group of fascinated onlookers. Before I even realised I was going to do it, I’d whirled round and slammed my plastic lunch box down on top of Tanya’s surprised head. I vividly remember the moment of stunned silence which followed, finally broken by one of the onlookers saying, in a suitably awed tone, “Amber, your spoon’s bent!” And sure enough, when the lunch box made contact with Tanya, it had sprung open, sending the contents – including the spoon I’d used to eat a yoghurt earlier in the day – flying. For some reason, I found this comment hilarious, and it broke the tension: I got into a huge amount of trouble when I got home that day, but it earned me a few days’ respect from my classmates – plus a few days’ peace from Tanya and Regina. So, totally worth it, basically. Always remember, kids: sticks and stones may break your bones, but plastic lunch boxes will really hurt you…]
30/11/87 – Monday
Guess What! I forgot to write once again so I’ll bring you up to date on whats happened. Nothing mutch has happened. Fell in with Regina and Tanya again but I’m not speaking to Lucy now because she called me a stuck up pig. We’ve started going to the baths [swimming pool] again with the school and I’m going tomorrow. I’m also going to riding and a toy sale at the school. Its December 1st also tomorrow and I can open my advent calender. Its got chocolates inside. I’m not looking forward to school tomorrow because Tanya and Regina won’t be best friends with me [I WONDER WHY?] although they are very friendly. I’ll write again tomorrow and I’ll have bags [bags?] to write about because of riding, toy sale and swimming.
Bye for now,
Amber Louise McNaught
[Really glad I signed off with my full name on that one: that would’ve been confusing otherwise, wouldn’t it? You’d be all, “Wait: who’s writing this again?”]
1/12/87 – Tuesday
Marvellous day today. [I was obviously reading a lot of Enid Blyton at this point, hence the 1930s language. This might explain why SOME people thought I was “a stuck up pig”…] Went to toy sale and bought 2 horse books, a lucky bag, a pencil, a rubber [eraser] and some Xmas wrapping paper that I’m going to use for mum and dads presents. Went swimming after lunch and practised for watermanship badge. It was fairly easy, had too treadwater, float on back, on face, glide through water (under water) and somersault under water. Went riding when I got back from school. It was great. I rode Rikki because he is a difficult jumper and Mrs C. says that if I get used to a difficult jumper, when it comes to test 3 (which she says I can now tackle) which has jumping in it I can ride a good jumper like Bandit and it will be a lot easier. I jumped about 2 foot and I was was really pleased because so far I’ve been too scared to do it.
Me on Symon. Check out those natty red boots!
2/12/87 – Wednesday
We practised dances for the Christmas party at school today. We done the Dashing White Sergant and it was really boring. Netball as well. I was centre because Susan was off. It was quite good. Nothing else exciting happened so I’ll go now go finish the book I’ve started writing. Its called ‘A Horse of My Own’ and I think I might possibly be able to to keep it up.
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WILL I continue ‘A Horse of My Own’? Or even GET a horse of my own – because I think we all know that’s what I was angling for, no? To find out, sign up for my Secret Diary mailing list by entering your email address in the box below…