THE DIARIES OF PAUL K LYONS - 1989
The first half of 1989 continued much as 1988. In my working life, I travelled less, perhaps because of commitments to the MSc course (I finally decided on a thesis - to study the underlying reasons for paternal care in primates), although I still managed trips to Sweden, France and Belgium. Barbara, Adam and I continued to spend weekends and holidays at the cottage in Aldeburgh, though sometimes I went alone with Adam. In any case, I’d usually look after him for some part of each weekend, loving our time together. I write, for example, on his second birthday: ‘He is utterly adorable. Both affectionate and independent.’ Mid year, I went to the doctor, worried about a swelling in one testicle, and was admitted into hospital for a biopsy, which, fortunately, proved the swelling was benign.
In September, my brother, Julian, married Sarah, to much celebration in our family and Sarah’s. It was a rare moment of public exposure for Barbara, Adam and I, and our unconventional relationship - but we seemed as happy as any a married couple. Earlier in the year, I had learned of the death, by suicide, of my natural father, in the US. We had long been estranged, but his death allowed me to re-establish a dialogue with his widow, Gail.
That autumn, Barbara and Adam moved to live in Brighton. Barbara, who had never been to university, decided it was time to study for a degree - one that would allow her later to become a Chartered Librarian. She chose Brighton Polytechnic which, fortunately, had a most excellent, and subsidised, nursery. While we looked to sell the Aldeburgh house, to fund buying one in Brighton, she rented. For the next three years, we alternated time spent together, one weekend in Brighton, the other in London (or Aldeburgh, until it was sold). Although being apart from Adam through the working week was tough at first, I was convinced this was the best move for Barbara, and thus for Adam and I too.
That autumn, also, there was a seismic shift in my diary writing habit. Having completed 39 journal books, between 1973 and 1989, I gave up the practice of hand writing a diary. Instead, from September, I began to write my diary directly on a computer. Since then, the only hand-written diaries I’ve kept have been during significant holidays abroad (about 20 of them, between 1989 and 2015). In order to provide myself with a hard copy of the computer-written diaries, I have, over the years, produced and printed them in book form, each numbered sequentially to include, in chronological order, the holiday diaries. The first of these ‘artificially’ produced and numbered diaries starts in September - Diary 40. (To clarify, I had typed up, on the computer and over many years, all 39 hand-written diaries, thus allowing these edited versions to be net-published. However, to date, I have not typed up any - not one - of the ‘holiday’ diaries.)
Paul K Lyons (April 2015)