Perhaps it’s just me but one of the fundamental problems I have with living in London is that there are hundreds of fun activities to do all of the time. That is not a problem in itself. The problem is that each of these activities usually costs around the £25 marker.
So when an event comes up that is actually fun and cheap as chips, I get very excited.
I stumbled across ‘Dear Diary’ rather by accident as I was casually getting ready for a date I was heading out for in the next hour. ‘Casually getting ready’ here means ‘running around like a headless chicken, trying to find clean knickers with a towel turban on, swearing loudly whilst stubbing toe on kitchen counter’.
As I was in the midst of transforming myself from dirty laundry troll to presentable human being I got a text from my dear friend P.
‘Don’t know what you’re doing tonight but I shall be reading excerpts of my diary from when I was 14 in Shoreditch if you are interested’.
UM hell yes I am.
Childhood diaries are invariably hilarious and toe-curlingly shameful. Especially if you happen to be as embarrassing as P and I often are.
Having discovered my diary from when I was (I’m ashamed to say) as old as EIGHTEEN the other day, I was pretty mortified by the contents. And that wasn’t that long ago.
Some highlights included:
‘Had a great night tonight. Got soooooooo drunk. Stumbled home at two. Ate an old man’s pie. Went to bed’.
Hmm interesting on many levels. The part that really catches my eye is ‘ate an old man’s pie’. Did he give it willingly? Did he buy it for me? Is it merely a type of pie? Tis a mystery
Another choice excerpt
‘Went to the cinema today. Saw an ok film with Julia Roberts in it. The film was distinctly average but it was lovely to see Julia making a comeback as she’s not been in much of late.’
ITS LOVELY TO SEE JULIA MAKING A COMEBACK?!
Gosh thanks film critic…maybe you should send JULIA a note to let her know how pleased you are about her ‘comeback’. Poor old JULES.
Anyhow I decided to be spontaneous (flaky and annoying) and text my date to float the idea of this change of plans
Him: oh um, ok. Sure I mean that sounds like it could be fun
Me: We don’t have to if you don’t want to
Him: no I don’t mind at all. If you’re there I’m happy
Me: (instantly suspicious) why would I not be there? Would you rather go alone? if you don’t want to go just say
Him: I was trying to be nice don’t be weird
So with my date bullied aboard we headed off to the event.
Now this could have been disastrous for three reasons
- I had done a last minute location change meaning that I was hot, flustered and very on edge. Not really the ideal combo for second date larks
- My date had told me he was hungover but I had very much underestimated just how hungover the poor sod was. His hands were visibly shaking half from last night’s booze and half from the anticipation that he was about to enter the equivalent of chandler from friends getting stuck in that one-woman play.
- I decided to make a ‘funny’ joke about this which culminated in me shouting in what is already quite a foghorn of a voice ‘CHAPTER ONE…MY FIRST PERIOD’. It didn’t go down that well.
Guys I know…I’m very good at dating. You don’t need to tell me I am planning to run seminars on how to win hearts and ingratiate yourself with the opposite sex.
So we set off, my date trailing behind me as if he were being marched to his execution.
We arrived at the venue and made our way downstairs. We also bought two beers each. Sorry not sorry. We took our seats and waited for the performance to begin. I naturally filled this silence with some great and witty conversation.
We really needn’t have worried. This event is everything you want it to be with absolutely no Wank Factor at all. (the WF is something by which I accurately judge all events occurring in and around Shoreditch. Poetry slam – WF 10. Having some chips in a pub with a sticky floor WF – 0. Having some artisan truffle chips in a pub with a sticky floor whilst listening to a guy called Lionel playing the banjo – WF 100 BAJILLION)
What followed was four, extremely brave, women getting up to read some of their most embarrassing and innermost thoughts from their childhood diaries. Spoiler alert. It’s completely hilarious. Even the most hungover man in the world was laughing (thank GOD).
Highlights included parents that were most definitely trying to ruin everyone’s lives, unrequited love, musings on promiscuity (“I know just how Britney Spears feels. She probably didn’t mean to cheat on Justin, she just never had two massive rides trying to get with her in one night.”) and my personal favourite my dear friend P referring to another girl’s vagina as a ‘Fangita’
Along with making me laugh until I snorted (IrreSIStable) the reason I loved this so much was that it really took me back to the sad old days of being 14. Before iPhone’s and Instagram taught teenagers how to be cool and I was rocking hair mascara with a pair of bolts and the Nokia 3330 was the height of cool.
Back in the days where I thought I’d probably just DIE if I didn’t get tickets to see whatever spiky haired boyband was flavour of the week and my boyfriend had full train tracks and was the most adorable human on earth. He burned me The Killers first album ladies. And drew a heart on it. In sharpie. 100% non-sarcastic SWOON.
All of the readings brought this tragic but amazing time to life perfectly. No one pretended that they were cool aged 14. Instead we all sniggered and revelled in the unashamed, song lyric quoting, boy fancying, snogging with tongues embarrassment of it all. No one trotted out the standard ‘I was kind of into Nirvana at that age’/ ‘I never really cared what other people thought’/ ‘I snuck off to Glastonbury aged 5 and smoked weed with David Bowie’. LIES ALL LIES. You all know you had a Gareth Gates/Richie from five/Ben from A1 (still fancy him) poster that you kissed every night and don’t you bloody deny it.
These events occur on the regular so go! It’s only 5 measly pounds. You buy your tickets on the door and can find all the information here. I could not recommend it more. I’d ask my date to offer his opinion but for reasons not pertaining to the event he refuses to speak to me! HURRAH FOR LOVE.