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Falling in love

At the moment I don’t have a proper girlfriend, just a few girls I write to who are friends. I have built up such an attitude towards love in myself that I think unless I meet a girl who ‘meets’ me as such first I will never fall in love. I hope a girl would fall in love with me before I love her otherwise I find myself going crazy with emotions over someone who doesn’t like me. I think that is probably why I try to keep myself respected and manly and tidy so that I meet someone. I always find that a girl makes me try much harder in everything. I hope to meet a girl soon and then I will be able to show you, whoever you are, how I fell in love.

Age 13 year 7 months

I wrote this in my diary in March 1975. I wrote a diary for the best part of 14 years: up to the point when I sat with someone I’d not known that long and in the most convoluted of ways we become engaged.

The diary is a source of many things. It is surprising, in squeezed up micro-entries how much is revealed and what I can remember. My first diary was one of those ‘Five Year Diaries’ with a few lines per day to complete. I completed many years without missing a day.

My interest currently, as I step in the shoes of a teenager, is the mindset of someone age 13-16 on his ‘quest for love.’ What amazes me on reading this back, is how much I have wiped from my memory, that age 16 during frenetic weeks away from boarding school, between the two homes of divorced parents, my circle of female friends stretched from the Channel Islands (Summer Holiday Romance), to Scotland (contacts from a school trip made three years previously), to girls met through school (down the road in the girls school, in town at the girls school, at a national swimming gala) and of course at home through clubs, associations with male friends and the daughters of my mother’s friends.

For a period it was if all sixteen year olds had green skin: we could spot each other anywhere and immediately start a conversation. I met a girl on the Cross Channel Ferry,  at tennis and badminton, at rugby club discos, barn dances and drinks parties. I met a girl on the set of ‘King Arthur and the Spaceman.’ I met girls who came over to see what I was drawing.

My default position with all of them once we’d exchanged addresses was the handwritten letter. I could sit down each evening and write letters to eight different girls in an hour or so: that was my homework. I have a substantial collection of bundles of their responses ages 12 upwards. I read them now and wonder if I read them at all at the time: did I collect letters like badges? At boarding school it mattered to me to feel there was someone thinking about me beyond the walls and fells that contained us.

Kissing was practice, was scratching an itch, was fun like bouncing on a trampoline. We ‘did it’ with whomsoever would go along with it.

Hearts were broken one day and mended the following week. Parents could get in the way, or assist. Friends could be supportive, or an immediate challenge. An older brother could steal your latest girlfriend’s heart.

I’m a fool to think there is one story in all of this: there are dozens. Often the only story that can be told is how one person met and fell in love with another. The complexity of teen relationships are too muddled and fast moving to lend themselves to explanation.

On keeping a diary offline in a book and closed while keeping a blog online and open.

12th January 2012

Then you settle into married life and children and, as I now do, I celebrate my 18th Wedding anniversary, my younger sister’s 25th and the 50th anniversary of my in-laws.

I read about people who plan to digitise their life. The ephemera I have includes the diaries and a trunk of handwritten letters; rememeber them? And letters this boy sent to his Mum from about the age of 8.

Wherein lies the value of it? A useful habit, as it turns out, but do we expect our want a new generation to store every text, every message, every Facebook entry. Are these not stored whether they like it or not … and potentially shared. Whose business should it be, when and if to ‘disclose’ or ‘expose’ a life. It can be of value, but it can also be harmful.

On the reverse side of this card is a note to my fiance, written on the 17th February 1992. We’d been engaged for 8 months, were living apart and would be together that summer and remain together now.

The value of reflection here, is a reminder of these sentiments. The value of any record, any stirred memory, can be to reinforce it, to be cherished, forgotten or dealt with. But if you haven’t taken notes, you rely on the vagaries of your mind. So perhaps a massively scaled down version of digitising everything you do may have value, like a broach you press on occassion ‘for the record.

All of this STILL coming from a single Opinion piece in the New Scientist (23 December to 1 Jan) about someone digitising every moment of their existence.

From 11-01-2011

This is how the ‘professional’ student or corporate blog should look … not social networking, no flirting, no personal stuff, just the business – something to chew on.

Words, words, words; but not in that order!

‘To make a great film you need three things – the script, the script and the script.’ Said Alfred Hitchcock.

If I’ve written below about the demise of the written word, then I take it back.

OK, love letters have had their day. I don’t even suppose that boarding Prep School Boys are writing home religiously every Sunday either; though we did.

My mother’s collection of letters written by my brother and I from aqe eight years make quixotic reading.

Avatar started with a script.

The three CD edition is worth it for the documentary on the creation of the film. It started with an idea expressed as a ‘scriptment’ (sic) i.e. not even a script, but words on sheets of paper nonetheless.

A Learning Designer starts with a script, as does an Account Manager.

A client wants to see it in writing. You can edit words. You can share words. You can hold, copy and digest them in written form.

An idea (or problem), a brief, a synopsis and treatment … that leads to a script. And once this is nailed down the costly business of production begins. Why should e-learning be any different to the production of a mega million Hollywood movie, or the Christmas Pantomime in Ambridge Village Hall.

I get paid to write because I’m able to fill a blank space with bright ideas in a sequence that makes sense (linear) or does not (non-linear).

But ultimately says something.

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