This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

The latest diaries I’ve read are the Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor. Although brilliant, they’re not strictly diaries, more daily reflections, as I’ve pointed out in my review:

Adam Kay was a Junior Doctor who spent 6½ years working in NHS hospitals in the UK, becoming a Senior Registrar, before quitting to become a television comedy writer and script-editor (Mrs Brown’s Boys, Grandma’s House, Mitchell and Webb…) His ‘Secret Diaries’ are the result of his reflective practice, where he would write down ‘anything remotely interesting that happened that day’. The best of these entries have been collected into this book.

Despite the book’s subtitle they don’t read so much as diaries, rather a collection of anecdotes. There are no mundane, everyday happenings and you don’t get to know much about Adam – other than when he looks back on each stage of his medical career by way of introducing the daily reflections from each position he held. However the stories he shares are laugh-out-loud funny and also deeply moving.

You won’t read Adam’s diary to get to know him, you’ll read it to understand more about what NHS hospitals are actually like, and the politics that surround them, more about the state of human nature and the ridiculousness of people. You’ll get an insight into a job that, unless you’ve actually done it, you could never understand; a job that is interesting enough to write about everyday and interesting enough for others to want to read about it. That’s what makes these diaries special, and the fact that Adam is a brilliantly funny writer, with a dry sense of humour, and a wonderful turn of phrase.

Diary of an 80s teenager part 1: meet our heroine

World Of Crap

Last week, I found this in a box at a car boot sale:

EPSON MFP image

It’s a 1981/82 diary, and it’s been filled in by a 14 year old girl from North Wales, who we’ll call ‘S’. I’ve decided to share this simple yet heartwarming tale of teenage life with you, if only for the fact that it proves someone, somewhere, once bought a record by Dollar.

A few notes before we begin: I have, to the best of my ability, removed S’s full name from the following pages. Notes by me are in italics. Also, I apologise in advance to any Welsh readers if I’ve spelled things wrong. But, you know, she had bloody terrible handwriting at times.

So join me, dear reader, as we follow S on her journey of buying miniature cans of coke, attempting to phone her crush, and watching Herbie Goes Bananas…

EPSON MFP image

View original post 565 more words

Tuesday 19th January 1988

GentlemenNow that I’ve published my diary from 1985 I’m turning my attention to 1986. This was the last full year in the eighties that I managed to keep a daily record of what was going on in my world. As I’ve searched through boxes of old stuff I’ve kept I’ve found all sorts; letters, bus passes and the odd isolated written account of specific events. One such event is what happened to me when I was 14, a couple of months before my 15th birthday.

I think I wrote it down as I felt pretty shocked by what had happened and also I thought, at some point, I might need to tell the police so I wanted to remember the details. Also I felt a sense of guilt I think, and wanted to remember I hadn’t done anything wrong.

I’ve ummed and ahhed about whether I should share this. And whether, if I did, I should edit any of the content. I wrote it relatively explicitly and in some detail and when I read it back almost 30 years later I felt quite shocked. In the stark way I wrote it there is no intended humour or lightheartedness – I don’t know whether there should be.

Then there’s been all this stuff about Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey recently, and I’m not saying that this is in anyway the same as that, but it made me think of what happened to me. And it doesn’t sit with any of the content of 1986 or the early part of 1987 so I wouldn’t include it in that. So, what the hell, here it is.

This is exactly what I wrote when I got home to the safety of my bedroom:

 

It happened to me once before a while back but not to this degree. Before I just got spied upon through the hole and I got out as quick as I could. But today was worse.

I had finished my art and so walked down from school. I needed the loo and so I went in to the King’s Hall toilets. One of the cubicles was taken, the other was free. I went into that one and took my trousers down and then sat down. I was aware that there was someone in the other cubicle and that they might have been looking at me through the hole. I leant forward and it appeared no one was looking at me. Then a finger came through the hole and I heard somebody whisper something. I wasn’t sure what he’d said. The finger came again and I pretended not to notice. The whispering grew louder. I was scared silly. I didn’t know what to do. I leant forward, “What?” I whispered. I glanced through the hole and I could see a man wanking himself off in there. “Put your thing through the hole and let me suck it off” he said. I felt sick. I didn’t know what to do. I just sat on the bog as if I was welded to it. Next thing I know his prick was through the hole. It was long and erect and it seemed to throb and expand. That was the final straw. I pulled my trousers up as quick as I could. As I did I heard the man pull up his trousers and his door opened with a slam. I felt even sicker now. He was outside waiting for me. Should I go out or should I stay in? I opened the door and there he was. Quite a tall man, about 6ft and of a heavy build. He had a ginger head of hair and a beard, cut into a crew cut. I was going to tell him not to hurt me but he spoke first, “Come on, just 5 minutes” he said.
“No”
“Come on just five minutes”
“I can’t I’ve got a bus to catch”
“Well tomorrow then” He spoke in a soft voice as if not to scare me. I was scared shitless already.
“I can’t”
Then he groped my genitals.
I felt sick. I just turned and ran up the stairs. I didn’t think he had followed me but he had. I walked as quickly as possible. He was still following me. I headed for the Gift Tree. He managed to catch up with me and was smoking a cigarette. Still talking softly he said to me, “Come on”
“I’m not gay you know”
“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it”
“No”
“You were tempted”
I was hell! I didn’t say anything. I just kept on walking. I went into the Gift Tree wishing he would go away and leave me. Then I saw Chaney in the bus queue. I went to talk to her (not about my ordeal). He was still there. I was shaking like mad. I turned to look his way. He gestured with his head for me to go over to him. I ignored him. Chaney went and Nikki came. I talked to her for a bit desperately wanting to tell her but not daring. He was still there. Again he gestured. The bus came. I got on and saw him walking away back to the toilets. Then I saw Cathy and Mel. I got off at the next stop as I desperately needed to talk to someone. I told Cathy and Mel and Angela.

 

I also told my dad. He rang a friend who was a policeman who told him they knew this sort of thing happened, that they couldn’t do anything about it and I should stay away. I was far too scared to go back. Nothing like this happened again, not to me anyway.

On the cubicle wall someone had written “what is rimming?” someone else had responded “licking toilet seats”…

 

Let’s party like it’s 1985!

Book 1985 (Actual)I thought about waiting for Black Friday but I can’t wait, I’m far too impatient, so the full version of my 1985 Diary is out now!!

It’s been independently published which means I can do just what I like with it and don’t have to edit it under someone else’s instruction. It’s been a labour of love and a “right laugh” adding in the illustrations and thinking how best to present it. I’ve even created my own author’s page on Amazon – which feels like one of the most bizarre things I could do – me? On Amazon? Seriously? Hilarious!

It’s all just for fun, I’m only doing this for the laughs and because I love it. I love it that I’ve turned my diaries into books that are now preserved; I love it that the diaries and the pre-teen-me make other people laugh; love it that it brings back happy memories for people and most of all I love it that others share their past and their diaries as well. It’s mega! So thank you to Paul, Sarah, Bronagh and Tess – love you guys!

Book 1984 (Actual)I’m on with 1986 now so that I can continue with the tweets and hopefully this time next year publish that too. I kept much more “memorabilia” from that year including my own x-rated hand-written version of “Forever”… All good things to those who wait!

I know some people like something that little bit special so if you’re in the UK you can order a dedicated and signed copy of 1985 via the link
PayPal.Me/JamieDays/8 and 1984 via PayPal.Me/JamieDays/7. If you’re not in the UK let me know and I’ll sort out what the delivery cost would be and send you a link.

In the mean time, here’s a photo…

IMG_20171003_0001
This is what a selfie looked like in 1984 when taken with a 110 camera.

 

Those Were The Jamie Days

My Eighties

My special guest on this week’s My 80s radio show, choosing his Favourite Five 80’s tracks is Jamie Days. As a young boy in the Eighties, Jamie started to keep a diary, and has already published his daily musings from 1984. He has contributed excerpts from his diaries to The 80s Annual, vol.II, due out this November. I asked Jamie a few questions about his diaries and growing up in my favourite decade. 1984 Summer

What made you start to keep a diary at the tender age of eleven?

My nana bought me a tiny Grange Hill diary for Christmas in 1983. I’d had a little Paddington one before, in 1982 or 1983 I think, but I never stuck to it. But something in 1984 made me keep going.

How many years did you write your diaries for and how difficult was it to keep them going for that long?

I kept…

View original post 1,315 more words