Tuesday 16 September 1986

…Wrote a book review this morning about The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole.
Me, Edward, Luke and James are doing a play in our next assembly.
It is a hilariously funny Sherlock Holmes mystery.
I am Watson!
I went to Casualty at Loughborough hospital this afternoon after school
to have a splinter removed from my fingernail.
It still hurts now…

This was the first time I’d been in hospital since, well, since I was born. And I hated it.

The doctor who saw me knew I was terrified. “It’s not like the TV series, you know,” he chided as he produced a giant pair of tweezers and dug deep into my flesh.

My mum was with me, naturally. I remember being as brave as I could possibly be and not letting myself cry. But it was agony. Oh, the pain. I couldn’t conceive of how it would ever stop.

I don’t remember how I got the splinter stuck, though it was probably to do with the very coarse, rotting desks we had at school. If I believed in retribution, I was certainly getting my fair share.

The book review, meanwhile, survives to this day. It boasts such original, cutting observations as “very, very funny”, “it is set in the format of a diary”, “Sue Townsend lives in Leicester” and “this book is not to be read by 0-9 year olds because it is very rude”. Even though I’d read it when I was nine. Hypocrite.

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