THE DIARIES OF PAUL K LYONS - 1983
1983 was the year I began to grow up. It was also the first time I’d found myself able to ask this question: ‘Am I close to happiness?’ After the year was over, I judged that my life had become ‘duller and safer’.
I bought a house, thanks to a loan from my stepfather, Sasha. I took my relationship with Bel more seriously. And I became more involved in my paid work. The house, a two storey terraced property in Aldershot Road, Kilburn, comprised a large lounge, four bedrooms, and two kitchens, and had recently been refurbished with stripped pine doors and banisters. I soon found two lodgers - Andy and Ruth. Bel and I had a magical holiday in Ireland, and a less magical one in Antibes. I also went to Venice and Berlin that year, ostensibly for work. I continued to take a lot of photographs, go frequently to the theatre, and read a lot of different kinds of books. But, with much angst gone, I found myself less motivated to write.
I was, though, faithful to my diaries. The books I wrote in during this period have covers that are either black, red, or red and black. Inside, there’s occasional cartoons or pictures stuck down; and, in Diary 21, there’s a sequence of pages with shapes cut out. But there’s no longer any creative writing (poetry, or mini-stories), just a mish-mash of self-analysis and analysis of others, personal narratives and anecdotes, observations of the world around, surreal thoughts, commentaries, plus various other odds and ends. Many pages at the end of the books list the culture I’d imbibed - films, TV, books, dance, music, radio plays - occasionally with brief criticisms.