New Diaries, New Year’s Resolutions and Thank-You Letters.

Happy New Year to all my readers and followers!

As Christmas Day becomes a memory and we start thinking about a new year, I have been remembering what this time of year felt like when I was a child. I usually got a new diary for Christmas. These were not for noting appointments and forthcoming events as my diaries are now but for recording my life day by day. My mum always encouraged us to keep diaries and she kept a daily journal for many, many years. Some years I kept it up for a couple of months, other years I carried on for a whole year. Surprisingly, I still have a few of my diaries. In the photo, from left to right are my diaries from 1959, 1963, 1964, 19l66 and 1967. I remember loving the diaries for all the snippets of information in them. The Enid Blyton one, for example, has 64 pages of general information before the diary pages even start! These include articles on pets, hobbies, party games, how to start a club, the story of the Union Jack, how to look after a bike, two pages on how to tie different knots and – this is hilarious – NINE pages on road-building, with diagrams and photographs. In addition to the first 64 pages there was a snippet of information at the bottom of each week’s page.

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In the front of each diary I have written a list of Christmas presents received from various family members which brings me to the next part of this post – the thank-you letters. There would always be one afternoon allocated for this just before we returned to school. I would be sitting with my brother and sister with writing paper and envelopes and my mum hovering nearby encouraging us while we tried to convey our thanks to aunts and uncles we rarely saw. It was hard work, particularly when we were really young, but I’m sure the relatives appreciated receiving them.


In the back of some of my diaries I have written a list of my New Year’s Resolutions. As with the diary keeping and the letter-writing, the one encouraging us to come up with a list of resolutions was always my mum. It was very important to her that we had started our diaries, written our thank-you letters and listed our resolutions before the new school term started. My 1966 resolutions included saving more of my pocket money, writing more frequently to my pen-friends, working hard for school exams and being kind and friendly in school and at home – exciting stuff! I think I probably wrote those knowing my mum would see them!


10 thoughts on “New Diaries, New Year’s Resolutions and Thank-You Letters.

  1. Road building! That’s downright inspirational. The ancient Romans would never have got anywhere without knowing how to build roads.
    Odd that you got quite so much information on it, but I vaguely remember reading something about how to build a road, even though I never had an EB diary.

    I wonder if this information was valued because earlier generations understood just how difficult and isolating it could be if you lived somewhere that didn’t have good roads?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, good point! Also, in the UK, we were seeing the first motorways being built. The photograph I have just added is from that same diary and includes a diagram of the construction of the M1, the first full length motorway built here. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello,
    I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, especially the post about magazines you read in the 1960s. I’m currently researching Honey magazine and would love to speak to readers from the period. If you’d be interesting in talking to me about Honey, please get in touch.
    kind regards

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Fan. Thanks for the lovely comments on my blog. I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I’d love to talk about Honey magazine although I’m not sure I’d be able to tell you anything which isn’t on the Internet. I’ll email you. Meryl


  3. Kudos to your mum who encouraged you and your siblings to keep a diary now I can enjoy your beautiful writing… I like the way you paint pictures of the old & the new on this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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