Wednesday 29 July 1987

…This morning I went out on my bike at 8.00am for a ride through the rain and
the huge puddles.
It’s the best time to go out because there’s absolutely no-one about.
Not even the cat from down the road.
People seem to be so lazy during the summer, waking up at 9am each morning
instead of 6.15am like me…

I seem to have fundamentally misunderstood the notion of a summer holiday – perhaps deliberately so. There’s an adolescent-hued streak of contrariness creeping in here, though whereas most would display this by staying in bed as long as possible, I did it by getting out of bed as early as possible.

But there was logic to this. There was television to watch, which I didn’t have time to do during term time. Plus there is (still) something appealing about riding a bike a) very early in the morning and b) in the rain. I did it just the other week, in fact, though only because I’d got up at 5.45am to see the Olympic torch relay and had some time to kill before going into work.

Yes, I know. And yes, I can hear you shaking your heads.

Monday 6 July 1987

…Watched The Week in the House of Lords on BBC2, which was quite good but it always
showed peers either asleep or not there at all.
Then I went up to the Post Office to open my first savings account.
I entered £20 in a plastic bag, which looked like a collection of milk bottle tops…

Yes, my summer holiday was off to a truly sizzling start.

Thursday 2 July 1987

…In the afternoon in the playground Adam threw a rounders bat at Luke
who responded by shouting: “Ow, you SOD!”
Everyone laughed, except the teachers…”

There wasn’t a huge amount of cussing at my primary school. A copy of How to be a Complete Bastard was tittered over in the playground. The word “dogshit” always drew a laugh. Someone sticking two fingers up, usually behind someone else’s back, was another dependable winner. But I’m pretty sure nobody dared essay a “fuck” on the premises. And I know for a fact I didn’t hear the word “cunt” uttered at school until autumn 1989.

Most people measure out their early formative years through exposure to relationships or alcohol. I settled for Bond films and swearwords.

Saturday 6 June 1987

…I’ve had my ear problem four months now and I am at the hospital next Friday.
Today’s polls showed the Tories at 43%, Labour at 35% and the Alliance were still at 21%.
I got rather bored today – I wandered around, getting in people’s way and generally doing what bored people do.
I ended up making a list of all the marginal seats in the 1983 General Election,
ready to see whether they change or stay the same on Thursday…

Any child psychologists looking in will be having a field day.

Friday 29 May 1987

…An Australian teacher was at school today.
He had come over to see how the best English schools operate.
If that was the case, why did he come to ours?
We had to write about what we thought of when we mentioned the word “Loughborough”.
This was easy: I live there.
I have started a map of all the parliamentary constituencies.
Of course it has already gone terribly wrong…

Give me the child until he is seven 11 and I will show you the man.