The final page in the book I began on 9th October 2006 will soon be writ. It will be the ninth book that I’ve written.
I began writing in 1966. That was 45 years ago, so on average, I’ve managed to complete one book every five years. That’s an indication of my character; if nothing else, I’m a painstakingly methodical researcher and writer.
1966 was the year of my first marriage, to a childhood sweetheart whom I’d known since I was twelve years old. Gosh, that was a happy year. Both families were ecstatic that we’d decided to tie the knot. And there was a mood of joy and elation in the general population, although that might have been more to do with England winning the World Cup.
It was my marriage, that hugely important step forward in adult life, which prompted me to begin writing. I was acutely aware of my lack of worldly experience – I’d been in my first proper job for less than a year since leaving university - and I desperately wanted to prove myself.
Most young writers that I knew at the time (remember, this was the height of the Swinging Sixties) were writing about sex, feminism, the Vietnam War, or something called “New Wave” culture. I wanted to do something radically different. After careful thought, I decided to write a journal that reflected life as it really was for a young married couple.
So I began. And the book was a huge success, because it covered the realities, the detailed minutia of everyday life. And the book became truly great because it helped predict the future.
I’ve got a photograph of my current book, which you can see below.
Each entry in the book shows a date, a shop name or an item purchased, the cash paid, and a running balance of the cash I have in hand to last me for the rest of the month. You can see some recent entries below (a bit out of focus - sorry!).
And guess what? I've never gone into the red!
2 years ago