Recently I found my grandad’s diary, written in 1944 when he was twenty.
Its pocket sized, with entries for 7 days on each page, so not much room to ruminate. My grandad used the diary to look back not forward, to record what he did, rather than record upcoming appointments. He never uses more than 20 words for each entry. For those days when nothing much happened, he used just one word: Dull !
The diary demonstrates how much you can learn about a person, the way they live and how they are, from the fewest of words. It reminds me of the power of brevity.
Sat 1 New Year’s Day
Homeguard last night
Rialto to see Eric Portman, Millions Like Us
Mam and George came to Hilda’s to pass time
Tony Ross beat McLuckie on points
Gob on with Hilda
Went to Pierhead with Hilda and lost 6d
Union with lads
First lot of snow
Hilda got a new beret
Hilda and I met three years ago today
L’pool v Chester 1-1
The day I was called up
1 o’clock Arthur got a son
Ruddy big row
Hilda and Mother came to see me. Oh what a God Send. I was happy as a bee.
The sad day they went back to home sweet home. I cried at the station.
Our wedding day