Authors: Jean Ure
Skinny Melon and me have decided: we are going to keep diaries.
Skinny is going to start hers on Saturday when she has bought a special book to do it in. She says it is no use doing it in an ordinary pocket diary with spaces for each day as there will be times when we feel like writing a great deal and other times when we may not want to write anything at all, except perhaps what we had to eat for dinner. I agree with her but feel inspired to start immediately and so cannot wait to buy a special book but am using an old writing block with wide lines (I can’t stand narrow ones).
I think when a person is writing a diary they ought to introduce themselves in case it is unearthed in a hundred years’ time and nobody would know who has written it, so I will say straight away that this is the diary of me, Cherry Louise Waterton, aged eleven years and two
months, and I am writing for posterity, in other words
To begin with I suppose I must put down some facts, such as, for instance, that I am medium tall and neither fat nor thin but somewhere in between, have short brown hair and a fringe, and a face which is chubbyish (I think I have to be honest) and also round.
I know that it is round because I saw these charts in a magazine at the dentist showing all different shapes of faces, including heart-shaped, egg-shaped, diamond-shaped, turnip-shaped, square-shaped and round.
Mine is definitely round. Unfortunately. Round-faced people tend to have blobby noses, which is what I have got.
The school I go to is Ruskin Manor. It is not the school I would have chosen if I had had any choice. If I had had any choice I would have chosen a boarding school because I think a boarding school would be fun and also it would take me away from Slimey. Anything that took me away from Slimey would have to be a good thing. I did ask Mum if I could go to one but she just
said, “Over my dead body”. She was really pleased when I got to Ruskin because it’s the one she wanted for me. She says all the others are rough.
Ruskin is OK, I suppose, though we have simply stacks of homework, which Mum needless to say approves of. On the other hand, I have only been there for three weeks so there is no telling how I might feel by the end of term. Anything could happen. Our class teacher, Mr Sherwood, who at the moment seems quite nice, could for instance suddenly grow fangs, or the Head Teacher turn out to be a werewolf.
I mean, you just never know. (The Head Teacher is called Mrs Hoad. What kind of name is Hoad? It sounds rather sinister to me.)
My best friend Melanie also goes to Ruskin. Her surname is Skinner and she is very tall and thin so I call her Skinny Melon, or Skinbag, or sometimes just Skin. John Lloyd, who is a boy in our class, said last week that we were the Long and the Short of it, but that is only because Skinny Melon is so tall, not because I am short.
Skin’s face shape wasn’t shown in the magazine. It’s long and thin, the same as the rest of her. Sausage-shaped, I suppose you would call it. Like a Frankfurter.
Me and Skin have been best friends since Year 5 and we are going to go on being best friends “through thick and thin and come what may”. We have made a pledge and signed it and buried it in a polythene food bag under an apple tree in my back garden. If ever we decide to stop being best friends we will have to dig up the pledge and solemnly burn it. This is what we have agreed on.
Where I live is 141 Arethusa Road, London W5. W5 is Ealing and it is right at the end of the red and green lines on the Underground.
Skin and I once decided to go and see what Epping was like as we had heard there was some forest there, but we got on the wrong train and went to a place called Fairlop instead.
Ealing doesn’t have any forests, just a bit of scrubby common which you can walk to from Arethusa Road. There is also a park where Skinny Melon and me take her dog Lulu to meet other dogs. I wish more than anything I could have a dog! Well almost more than anything.
What I would wish more than anything is alas impossible as it would mean turning the clock back, which is something you cannot do unless you happen to be living in a science fiction novel where people travel into the past and change things. I would like to travel into the past and change things. That is what I would like more than anything else. But after that the next thing that I would like is a dog.
Any sort of dog would do. Big dog, small dog, I wouldn’t mind.
Why I am suddenly starting to write this diary is that Mrs James, who is our English teacher, said that it would be a good thing to do. She said there are several reasons for keeping a diary. These are some that I can remember:
It is good practice for when it comes to writing essays etc. for school.
It is a record of one’s life and will be interesting to look back on when one is old.
It is a social document (for historical purposes, etc.).
It can help to clear out the cupboard.