Tuesday, February 22, 2011


The blue book:

Gone now, the big blue book of my youth. A4 sized, as far as I can recall I managed to fill it halfway with teenaged keening about a girl I'd never speak to. Flame red hair and a scowl. She had half a book written about her, and all she had to do was stand, wait for a number 19 every morning and ignore me. Her aloofness was key.

I lost it at a house party in Cape Cod.

I'd gone away to Boston in the summer of 1997. A day or two before I was due to fly back to get my Leaving Cert results, the lads were invited up the coast. With no time to pack, I just grabbed my bag, left a few clothes behind me and headed out the door. At some point in the night the satchel walked out, along with my plane ticket, my passport, any clean socks and the blue book of Avril.

The red book:

Similar size, different colour, this one took me through the college years and lived down the back of my bed in the box room. It lived away from the lads and the gargle and the not having sex. It recorded everything unrequited about my college experience, as bad teenage poetry gave way to punitive free writing and drunken declarations of ardour.

Declarations that I'd show to people in the beerlight before pretending it never happened, for my own sanity. A spilled beer saw its riddance.

The red book (2):

The Obsessive's Handbook. I still have it. I dare not open it. 'She' is all over it, that lovely vague pronoun that masked a series of those who looked the other way while I was looking at them. It makes me uneasy, whole pages scratched out through murderous red biro.

The little black book:

This one was pocket sized and more of a journal. I'd date the top of every page and write inanely of things I wanted to do when I grew up, while I was growing up, interspersed with the odd invective about shorthand lectures and stroppy bouncers.

The new entry:

I bought one last week. My skittling brain keeps forgetting the small points, the fine details, the moments and the bits that I want to frame in some small way in ten words or less. With this in mind I took to Eason's, handing over ten quid so I could see myself in reverse.


shiny said...

'so I could see myself in reverse' - worth the tenner

Holemaster said...

And from the famous Annals of Radge, book three, written about 600 years ago in the early twenty first century, we can see that beer and women was just as important to the young male then as it is now. Radge is an interesting subject in that he was also writing in the form of a blog. This was an semi-anonymous computer based diary which made use of the emerging worldwide communications platform known as the Internet, similar in many ways to what we refer to today as 'The Mind'.

This Limbo said...

Love this one, Radge.

I found my childhood, teenage and college years journals on one of my last visits home.

Christ, I was some spa.

Fitzbollix said...

I'm coming for your book Radge.

Radge said...

Thanks Shiny. Actually, it was eleven euro something something, but 'tenner' had a better ring to it. And we both know it was moleskine envy that swung it.

Holemaster - You sounded like David Attenborough in my mind there. As I was writing it I thought to mention the blog, and how everything before 2008 was a mess of names that only I knew.

Miss Limbo - I'm still some spa!

Fitzbollix - A chilling vision of invasiveness to come.

Therese Cox said...

The love of Moleskines has driven me to part with many a tenner. But it's worth the pretty penny: The pages won't fall out, the paper is smooth, and they come in so many pretty colors. Best of all, you can hide away all the loose bits in the pocket.

Happy scribbling!

Moi said...

A diary... It's a start.

A book would be better though!

Holemaster said...

I have a moleskine. When I'm feeling flathúlach, I use it for the shopping list.

Radge said...

Therese - No pockets in this one, I'm not even sure it deserves Moleskine status. I'm such a novice.

Yourself - Yep.

Holemaster - The word flatúlach doesn't appear on this blog nearly enough. I'm wondering what's on the shopping list...

Kath Lockett said...

Yep, I've still got my journals too although it pains me to read through them and I'd die if they ever fell into the hands of enemies or anyone, really.

I didn't spend a tenner on a journal these days though - just heaps of scrap paper and receipts with pen scratchings on them; mostly indecipherable.