THE DIARIES OF PAUL K LYONS - 1983
1983 was the first year I felt close to adulthood. 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 finally managed to escape ‘European Chemical News’ and its editor by getting a job with McGraw-Hill. Not only did I have a nurturing boss and colleagues I liked, but I was now based in central London. I bought a house, thanks to a loan from my stepfather, Sasha: a two storey terraced property in Aldershot Road, Kilburn, which had recently been refurbished with a large lounge, four bedrooms, and two kitchens. I soon found two lodgers - Andy and Ruth - to help me pay the mortgage. I started to take my relationship with Bel more seriously, and we had a magical holiday in Ireland. I also went to Venice and Berlin that year, for work, but I took time to explore and take photographs too. I continued to go frequently to the theatre, and to read a lot of different kinds of books. But, with much angst gone, coincidentally or not, 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 backs of the books list the culture I’d imbibed - films, TV, books, dance, music, radio plays - occasionally with brief criticisms. (Diaries 21, 22, 23)
Paul K. Lyons (September 2007)