Writing a Diary/Journal: 7.1-1972 onwards…DP


You do not need a degree in Creative Writing to become a writer. Now, don’t get me wrong: I have a B.A in English Literature, from Aberystwyth University – but my ability with words has come from two things: Being an avid reader since I was small – and writing, writing, writing, most days, every month, every year since I was thirteen.

I am a writer…because I write! It is not, for me, an academic exercise; it is passion and respiration mixed!

Little did I know, when I opened the small green exercise book, on January 7th 1972, and penned the first sentence, that this diary habit would last me for decades rather than days – and is, in fact, with me still!

I had written my first play when I was eleven, and many stories when aged eight, nine and ten – but personal writing was very different!

I had gone, with other members of my year group at school, on an activities fortnight to Glasbury in Wales – and we were all required to write a diary of our experiences while we were there.

The day we arrived was the antepenultimate one before my fourteenth birthday (which, for the first time ever, I spent away from home!) – and it felt very grown-up to be writing my thoughts in a real diary: Like Anne Frank, I can remember thinking, for she, too, had been thirteen when she started writing.

I took to this kind of writing immediately – and, in this, was unlike the vast majority of my friends and other members of the third year cohort. I can recall vividly writing someone else’s daily entry for her – and, while most girls struggled to fill half of one book, I ended up writing two!

As previously intimated in other posts, I now have well over a hundred volumes of the thing lurking in a chest and the top of my wardrobe – and the reason I am mentioning this today is two-fold: I have just finished one volume (which, amazingly, has lasted since April 12th of this year) and am starting a new one exactly one month before my birthday rolls round again!

The diary habit has seen me through adolescence, university, teaching days, loves and deaths, sex (why, my deflowering alone takes up twelve pages!), friends and enemies, holidays, illnesses, marriage, childbirth (yes, I wrote a page whilst in the early stages of labour – as you do!), divorce, moves, terrors and delights.

Now coming up to its forty-sixth year, this is a strong continuum in my life and will, I hope, last me until I shuffle off this mortal coil or lose my capacity for coherent thought (whichever happens first!).

It is akin to breathing for me: I could not do without it!

If you know me, the chances are that you are in at least one volume!

Little did I know, when I opened that first volume, that this writing habit would, in time, spawn Booby Fellatio and, eventually, the video (which can be seen on YouTube or via Facebook).

Love of Poetry: A Day in Autumn

I have always loved the written word, whether expressed as prose, poetry or more transactional writing. When I was in the fifth form at school (year eleven these days), I was introduced to the wonderful poetry of R.S Thomas – and, in fact, five years on, ended up living a few miles away from Eglwys Fach, where, I believe, he was once the vicar.

Today is the perfect autumnal morning, so I am going to share ‘A Day in Autumn,’ one of my all-time favourite poems by R.S.T.


It will not always be like this,
The air windless, a few last
Leaves adding their decoration
To the trees’ shoulders, braiding the cuffs
Of the boughs with gold; a bird preening

In the lawn’s mirror. Having looked up
From the day’s chores, pause a minute,
Let the mind take its photograph
Of the bright scene, something to wear
Against the heart in the long cold.


Cader Idris

Cwm Cau, Cader Idris, at sunriselg


This have I loved, and walked and dreamed and path worked. This, the lovely Cader Idris, mountain of the soul and balm to the spirit, caught in the wilds of Wales and a repository for the deep magic of landscape.

Cader Idris. Arthur’s Seat. A bridge connecting the younger with the older Alienora.

To this will I return. One day. And the wild within me will be both eased and energised.