Saturday 31st July 1993

Today we did nothing much.  We played Battle Ships in the afternoon.  We called ours Space Ships.  Me and Adam won because Adam cheated twice and I cheated six times.  Me and Adam had ten strikes each.  I drew 15 planets Nina drew 9.

I’m sure my parents hoped that as the eldest I would set my siblings a good example in life.  Instead I taught them how to cheat and took advantage of the fact that Nina is four and half years younger than me and screwed her over!  I don’t remember making this game but I have always been a fan of board games and winding my sister up, although possibly not in that order.  Poor Nina has been very long-suffering and it’s a surprise she still talks to me.  

Mum used to help Nina when we played Scrabble so she stood a fighting chance but  Monopoly frequently ended in a paddy.  I used to hide money under the board or in my lap so Nina would think she was winning, or at least not losing, and then I’d suddenly produce hundreds of pounds and buy the properties she needed.   Then when she realised she’d just pack it all up mid-game and that was the end of that!

Another game that used to annoy her was Frustration which she pronounced Frusteration and the whole injustice of the game made her cry on occasion.  The whole principle of the game was that if you landed on another player’s piece you could make them return to the beginning.  I’m sure she thought I was just being unnecessarily mean!  I certainly didn’t look like the evil/demented child on the front of the box though!

frustration

Monday 26th July 1993

Today we went to Lydiard Park.  We had to go through the subway and it looks quite nice.  It’s not finished yet but most is done.  When we arrived we had a picnic under a tree. Then we played tennis.  We went in the park it was packed.  I didn’t play at first when we got to the Tarzan Trail I brightened up.  I can go over the monkey bars now.  There were some girls on the slide, who got right up my nose.  They kept putting sand on the slide.  We went in the shop and me and Adam brought an eyeball (an eyeball is chewing gum).  Nina brought a sweet necklace and broke it.  So she brought a packet of sweets.  Me and Adam got a green thing that tasted like fizzy lime.  My mum said ‘yuck’.  We started to walk home and I sketched a gate with trees around it.  Then I had a quick game of tennis with Adam.  We got home put the telly on and then my dad came home.

Another informative diary entry from ten-year-old me.  I was worried future generations would not understand some of my cultural references so explained that an eyeball was chewing gum lest anyone think that in the early 90s children had cannibalistic tendencies.  I had a peculiar turn of phrase for someone so young as ‘I brightened up’ and some girls ‘got right up my nose’.  I think I was born middle aged and in my pre-teens had more in common with pensioners than my peers.

I didn’t feel the need to explain the subway comment as I obviously thought it would speak for itself, turns out I was wrong.  My primary school, Salt Way (since closed) had an artist in residence for a term and her task was to work with the children to design and paint a mural for the underpass/subway.  My Mum remembered that the artist’s name was Marie Brett which I had forgotten although I can clearly picture her.  Unfortunately we can’t find any photos of the finished artwork and just over a year after it was completed it was vandalised and damaged before being removed and painted over in a lovely shade of battleship grey.  Now you’d never know there had been anything there.  The Tarzan Trail, an obstacle course of playground equipment, has also gone as the park was demolished and a new one built nearer to the visitors Centre.

Now I feel really old, that’s my school, my childhood artwork and my playground all disappeared in the past 19 years. 

I’m not a Madonna fan but I remember seeing the film ‘A League of Their Own’ and this was one of the songs on the soundtrack, it was released in 1992 but I think we saw it the following year, seems kind of apt!

Tuesday 20th July 1993

Today we walked to the Link Centre stopping off at the park.  We went ice skating.  Adam helped me at the beginning and in the end, I made it to the middle.  I meet a French girl on the ice.  There was 24 people on the ice.  We went to the library and then had dinner and went shopping.  When we came back we watched telly.

Firstly, I feel I should address the fact that I have drawn myself as a junior body builder with impressively broad shoulders and a tiny head.  I also appear to be dressed as a member of Dexys Midnight Runners.  Luckily photos survive which prove this image to be some early form of body dysmorphia, I was in fact a perfectly proportioned young girl.  Although I think the fashion sense might be an accurate portrayal.

My ice skating prowess was obviously something to behold.  I’m not sure how I made it to the middle when my brother helped me at the beginning and in the end.  My Mum seems to think he pushed/dragged me there, left me to wobble about and then retrieved me to deliver me back to unslippery ground.  I guess while I was standing unsteadily in the middle I had plenty of time to count the number of people on the rink as I was very precise.  I don’t remember meeting the French girl and can only assume that she spoke English.  The only experience of French I had at this point was from watching ‘Allo Allo’ so unless she said ‘good moaning, I was just pissing by the ice rink’ I don’t know how we communicated.  Maybe she was dressed in a stripy jumper with onions round her neck and I just assumed she was French? 

Also, when I say dinner I mean lunch, I called dinner tea.  Confused?  As a child there was breakfast, dinner, tea.  Now I skip breakfast in favour of ten more minutes in bed, have lunch at my desk and then microwave something entirely unappetising for tea at 7pm.

Unfortunately I didn’t note what I watched on telly, I think my bedtime in the holidays might have been 9pm.  I know I was watching EastEnders at this age but I’m not sure what else ‘adult’ telly I was allowed to see.  I have a vague recollection of watching Eldorado which started in July 1993.  It was rubbish.  I also remember watching Birds of a Feather, Lovejoy (my Mum used to ask for Lovejoy aka Ian McShane as a Christmas present), Beadle’s About, Keeping up Appearances, 2point4children, The Brittas Empire, Noel’s House Party and Going Live! which ended that year.  I was in love with Philip Schofield so was very upset.

Information

My name is Leah Bevan age 10.  My brother Adam age 8.  My sister Nina age 6.  I like reading and writing.  Adam likes swimming and ice skating.  Nina likes reading and playing dolls.  My mum is called Fran she writes for the Star and she’s very good.  She is 40 this year.  My dad is called Steve he works at Davis House and wants to be a probation offersir.  He is 36.  We have two cats.

My name is still Leah Bevan but now I am fast approaching 30.  My brother Adam is now 27 and lives with his girlfriend in Old Town.  My sister Nina is now 25 and lives with her partner in West Swindon.  I still like reading and writing.  Adam doesn’t really go swimming or ice skating any more but has developed a love of reading.  Nina still likes reading but has swapped playing with dolls for bringing up her 5 month old daughter Maysie.  My Mum is a freelance writer currently concentrating on blogging while she waits to be discovered, she’s still very good but would prefer not to think about the fact that she is 59.  My Dad never did become a probation officer but I’m not sure this was ever his ambition, he is now 55.  We have two cats.  But not the same two cats.

My summer holiday project in 1993 was to keep a diary for the six week break.  I don’t remember if there was a reward or prize but I faithfully stuck to recording every detail of life as a ten year-old. 

I’m no Samuel Pepys but it’s an interesting little time capsule of the summer of ’93!