Sunday, 29 April 2012


Do you ever reread old diaries? Not the writing notebooks - those are full of ideas (or snippets, or general passing thoughts-that-might-be-stories-one-day). But diaries, where you write about things you did that day, and maybe how you felt about them.

I keep a diary at home - and never read it. As I've no-one to turn to and say, 'you'll never guess what happened today,' my diary is where those thoughts and general daily rubbish get dumped. And no - I don't reread them; once they are on the page they are gone. My head can move on.

But the travel-diaries are different. I'm beginning to go through the diaries from Nepal - firstly, to think about whether they can be shaped into a short ebook, and if so, then how. But almost immediately I am caught up with something I'd forgotten - generally little things that feel unimportant in context of a wider story. Such as the man in leather jacket and trousers, at the domestic airport in Kathmandu, taking his baby daughter (about 4 months I think) to look at the planes. The boys playing football outside a temple in Tansen. The sign outside a health spa in Pokhara that offers a back, neck and ear massage (no, that's not a typo!).

These details feel as important as the big stories (like the tiger). They are what makes each day different, and special. I can't imagine how tedious my day-to-day diaries are at home - and nothing would induce me to go over those. But the travel diaries excite me every time I open them. They take me back to the people and the smells, the mayhem of the city streets and the glorious silence of the mountians (and yes, they scratch my itchy feet, just a little.)

And you - do you keep a diary? And do you ever reread it?


  1. I keep a diary, mainly so I don't forget when 'things' happened... I generally don't reread them unless hubby's filling out a form for instance and says 'When was it I had kidney stones?'. I suppose I keep it for its usefulness in recollection.
    I have sometimes got caught up rereading my teenage diaries, but only for as long as I can stand the cringing and angst!
    I do keep a written journal (and my blog) and they contain much more interesting reading, as it's in those that my thoughts and feelings are contained, along with those life affirming moments. And my daughter and I recently spent a whole Saturday morning reading hubby's journal for the year before he met me...checking out his ex-girlfriend and how he felt when he met me! Fascinating reading..though I have to add that not long after we were married his journal ends with the words...'For more future information please read Lisa's journal...' !

  2. I do keep a diary but don't often re-read it. Sometimes, when I do, I discover that I can't remember the people I wrote about in the days when I knew them quite well. Sobering!

  3. Thank you both - Jenny, isn't it interesting, the people who seem so important at the time and slip into oblivion as lives roll on.

    And Lisa - I don't think I could bear returning to the teenage angst. I wrote poems then - all, thankfully, lost long ago.