Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Scenes from a Diary


I came across my diary from July 1999, when I was expecting my first child. Never mind gestating a baby, I think I was a blogger waiting to be born:

“Waiting in the Tesco’s car park for Thomas to do the groceries. I went in with him, but after a couple of minutes of retching, gave up and on his suggestion came and sat outside. I am having much better days generally, but now and then am assailed by smells, combined with not having enough food in my stomach, and start to feel grim. The answer is constant eating (grazing).”

“Thomas must be buying the whole shop: he’s still in there! I wonder what he’s getting for supper. Food is a major focus at the moment: how does it look, how does it smell, do I feel like it, what do I feel like, I felt like that yesterday but don’t today. My main desire is for very bland nursery-style food, so things like mashed potatoes rank really high.”

“STILL no sign of Thomas. Could he be lost among the dairy products? He’s bought a lot of cheese lately, so maybe we’re getting some more. LONG PAUSE. There he is, looking dapper in his blue suit.”

“Right now, I’m making my second attempt to read Salman Rushdie’s “The Ground Beneath her Feet”, which I am finding intensely irritating. He is so intent on being clever. It is very tedious: laboured classical and literary references dropped in like bricks to spoil the narrative. I keep wanting to throw it across the room.”

“I have lost interest in work completely. While I am happy to earn money (furniture for the new home, minature Baby Gap items), I no longer find what I am doing particularly interesting or exciting. Baby Otter, you have taken over my life. I can’t wait to meet you, little darling. We are so excited that you have chosen to share our lives. Bless you, our little angel.”

Children, food, books. Not much has changed in ten years.


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

18 thoughts on “Scenes from a Diary

  1. How great that you were already blogging on paper!!
    My early years of babies are lost to posterity, as I haven’t kept a diary since that terribly boring 5 year diary with the little lock and key, that I had as a teenager. Seeing as my life was confined to boarding school and home in the English countryside it was mostly confined to dull details of a routine that repeated throughout the five years….

  2. 🙂 Priceless. And dapper is a word not used often enough.

  3. I realised I was pregnant when I started to retch infront of the Butchery department in our local Pick n’ Pay and ran to the nearest cereal aisle to try and compose myself! I recently came across one of my high school diaries and the cringe factor went off the radar!

  4. Isn’t that what life is all about?

  5. This is precious.

  6. Was laughing, and then nearly started crying!

  7. Oh I so related to your entries about food and early pregnancy! That brought it all back (unfortunate choice of words – sorry!). And yes, dear Charlotte, you were destined for blogging, it’s very clear!

  8. Children, food and books — three of the best things in the world. You have impeccable taste. 🙂

  9. Aw! Thank you for sharing those. And you were so right about the Rushdie.

  10. Loved this! Dapper suits, dairy products and a baby otter…

  11. Oh, I hope there is more where this came from. What fun! I’ve been meaning for a while to post on an old diary I recently came across, because it has decidedly squashed all my romantic beliefs that things were SO different when I was in my twenties.

  12. daper so describes your husband. Could you imagine then, that L. would be what you got and how lovely she would be.

  13. Dapper is the right word. I often think GTH could pair those sharp suits with black and white brogues and a pencil moustache and completely get away with it..

  14. Okay, stop holding out on us, Charlotte. It starts like this: ‘E is for…’

  15. I only have diaries from my teen years and, thankfully, much has changed since then. I did write up a birth story for each of my children in the weeks after they were born, in order to preserve the details, and I’m so glad I did.

    Children, food, and books, though – Yes!

  16. Priceless stuff – no doubt destined for a museum of your body of work one day 🙂 I have ALL my (yet unpacked) high school diaries in my house now – I fear there will be much maudlin warbling abotu boys, but also some laugh-out-loud, “how could I be such a mean cow? Fab me!” moments.

  17. Totally agree about the Rushdie. And no pressure re the alphabet diaries since those first few entries will be tough acts to follow. But I am itching to see what’s next. Loved the early (pre-blogging) blogging.

  18. And so, did you ever finish The Ground Beneath her Feet? My copy has been waiting (for three years) for the second attempt…
    The title of it is so miraculous, though!

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