I used to keep a diary.
Well, that's not strictly true – I used to keep a journal, because diaries are only kept by Victorian young ladies and Samuel Pepys.
Anyhows, I started writing one back in '82. I used to get a day-a-page book at work where I was supposed to mark in appointments and shit like that, which I never did and the book used to get burned to supplement our modest coal supply. In January '82 it snowed rather heavily and as usual the entire country ground to a standstill. I was stuck at home, bored out of my skull when I saw the empty book full of empty pages and started writing.
I kept it up to date for the best part of thirty years and then I stopped again.
The reason I stopped was that it became intensely boring, particularly in the latter years when I was working for myself.
"Got up. Made a mug of tea. Worked until 6. After dinner went down the pub. Bed at 1am."
Next day –
You can only write Ditto so many times before things get a little tedious.
Things were a tad more exciting back in the RTE days but not much.
"Up at 7. Got into work late. Boss is in a foul mood. Fixed the network in the Radio Centre. An hour and a half to get home through crap traffic. Knackered. Watched telly. Bed".
Again, the routine became a routine in itself and was only lightened a bit if I had a blazing row with the boss, or someone in the office got carted off to the Funny Farm. Sometimes someone would get electrocuted or stab themselves with a screwdriver, but the fun days were few and far between.
I can't even read the journals now they are so boring, but occasionally one comes in handy when I want to find out when I was last in court, or what year it was when I went to Dingle on my holidays, so I keep 'em. If nothing else they look quite impressive taking up an entire shelf of a bookcase.
My biggest regret is that I didn't keep journal during the Seventies.
Jayzus but they were great years! College days, escapades first on my motorbike and then the car, the drinking and the carousing, playing on stage at the Cambridge Folk Festival and the Kilkenny Beer Festival [anyone remember that?]. Music sessions in pubs that carried on into the small hours. There were whole weeks that disappeared in an alcohol induced haze which I could have read about after [except that my writing would have been illegible]. There was the craic we used to have in RTE in the Good Old Days before the organisation became overrun with bureaucrats and accountants. There were the parties where you would get a great high just by inhaling the blue haze in the room. I had better not mention the wimmin in case Herself reads this.
I started the decade in college without a clue where I was heading.
I ended it with a missus, a year old babby and only nineteen years to run on the mortgage.
Now that was a journey worth recording.
But I didn't.