1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Are any of you contemplating writing your memoirs?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Wanda_the_Wonder, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. Wanda_the_Wonder

    Wanda_the_Wonder Occasional commenter

    This is a project that I guess is best left to those lazy, hazy days of retirement. If you do embark upon it this will require a lost of honesty.

    The novelist, essayist and polemicist, George Orwell has written “Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.”
    Kandahar and George_Randle like this.
  2. Wanda_the_Wonder

    Wanda_the_Wonder Occasional commenter

    Oh! and I should have mentioned that I most definitely will write my memoirs. I have made a vow to begin my autobiography on the very firs day of my retirement.

    I have narrowed things down to two possible titles:

    Time present and time past
    Are both perhaps present in time future

    However I'm worried that this T.S. Eliot quote might sound pretentious to some.


    It Says Here...

    And in line with George Orwell's admonition I will try and be scrupulously honest.
    Kandahar likes this.
  3. Mr_Ed

    Mr_Ed Established commenter

    "My memoirs? My memoirs!!!" (name the film).
    mothorchid likes this.
  4. WB

    WB Lead commenter

    No plans yet but I keep a diary and never travel without it. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.
    mothorchid likes this.
  5. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    I've kept a diary since I was 16. I recently shredded, burnt or deleted every one. What a loss to the world of insomnia treatments.
    littlejackhorner and coffeekid like this.
  6. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    If I wrote my memoirs the title would be 'Is That It?'

    Recording the family history has more appeal as a project.

    Each to their own, but I still can't believe you did that. When my Mum got rid of all the old family photo negatives and only kept the surviving prints I could have wept. I would give anything to find my great-great-grandfather's diaries. All I've got is one measly page.
    BigFrankEM likes this.
  7. Pageant

    Pageant Occasional commenter

    I did after I left my alienator husband. It's been read a few times by psychologists who have all confirmed that he was/is a very 'weirdly wired' man. It helped.
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    My boyfriend thinks I don't give him enough space and privacy.
    At least, that's what he wrote in his diary.
    Spiritwalkerness, WB and coffeekid like this.
  9. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    "lost of honesty (sic), yeah.
    harsh-but-fair and ilovesooty like this.
  10. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    Coffeekid, it was when, as an oldie, I thought my chances of surviving Covid-19 were slim. There was stuff in there I don't think my children, husband or brother would find edifying. Water under the bridge and all that.
    coffeekid likes this.
  11. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    It's the sort of thing I would do (if I kept a diary)
  12. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    Eliot's words in a later verse from the Four Quartets:
    Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
    BigFrankEM likes this.
  13. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    There are things I've told no-one but my diary. For very sensible reasons. My diary knows where the bodies are buried. So it had to die.
  14. Wanda_the_Wonder

    Wanda_the_Wonder Occasional commenter

    The best memoir I have ever read is undoubtedly Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee.
    George_Randle likes this.
  15. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    @Mr_Ed, I think it's "Kind Hearts and Coronets"
    @magic surf bus Bob Geldof used that title for his memoir, so I don't think it's available...
    And no, my memoirs would not be of interest to anyone. I would produce nothing sensational to read on the train.
    Mr_Ed likes this.
  16. annie2010

    annie2010 Occasional commenter

    Not really memoirs- don't think my life has been quite interesting enough for that!
    However, I enjoy writing and am considering keeping a diary/ observations book for my expected first grandchild- due early in 2021.
  17. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    Thankfully Kenneth Williams held on to his.
  18. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    I'm fairly confident Kenneth Williams' life was more interesting than mine.
  19. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    One of the sadder aspects of buying at auctions is finding old suitcases full of someone's forgotten memories, when all you wanted was the suitcase. Likewise old digital cameras with the memory cards still inside, often showing elderly people testing it on the Christmas tree, getting older, grandchildren, graduations, and then it stops. Nobody apparently thought to retrieve the card when the house was being cleared out - nobody wanted the memory card's memories. I have a beautiful 1860s era photo album with photos of Crimean War era people, with the family name inscribed in the cover, and nobody wanted it. I have the adult life history of a man who worked on early aircraft radar in WW2 then went on to a long career in electronics and aviation. Military records, CVs the lot, all disposed in a briefcase for a tenner, minus commission. In another box I have glass plate negatives of 1920s family beach trips, and film negatives of significant local events, probably taken by a press photographer. I live in hope that one day I will discover the equivalent of Vivian Maier's photo collection in some dusty old boxes, but what a huge shame that nobody recognised her talent when she was still alive. What a pity that all these things were chucked away as if no longer important.

    After we're gone, we only exist as memories, and (to quote Roy Batty) memories are like tears in rain.
    smoothnewt, cissy3, Brunel and 2 others like this.
  20. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Kenneth Williams' memoirs were very dull and made me very cross when I read them. His diary was sensational indeed.
    Joe Orton's, there's another diary worth reading.
    artboyusa likes this.

Share This Page