Book//mark – The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾, Sue Townsend, 1982

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾, Sue Townsend, 1982
 The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ cover Caroline Holden-Hotopf            Sue Townsend manuscript, 1982
”Thursday January 1st 1981
Bank Holiday in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales
These are my New Year’s resolutions:
1. I will help the blind across the road.
2. I will hang my trousers up.
3. I will put the sleeves back on my records.
4. I will not start smoking.
5. I will stop squeezing my spots.
6. I will be kind to the dog.
7. I will help the poor and ignorant.
After hearing the disgusting noises from downstairs
last night, I have also vowed never to drink alcohol.”


“There’s only one thing more boring than listening to other people’s dreams, and that’s listening to their problems.”

“I have a problem. I am an intellectual, but at the same time I am not very clever.”

“I used to be the sort of boy who had sand kicked in his face, now I’m the sort of boy who watches somebody else have it kicked in their face”

“My spots are so horrific that I can’t bear to write about them. I will be the laughingstock at school. I am reading ‘The Man in the Iron Mask.’ I know exactly how he feels.”

“Pandora smiled at me in school dinner today, but I was choking on a piece of gristle so I couldn’t smile back. Just my luck!”

“Mrs O’Leary said, ‘Tis the child I feel sorry for’, and all the people looked up and saw me, so I looked especially sad, I expect the experience will give me a trauma at some stage in the future. I’m all right at the moment, but you never know.”

“Barry Kent threw my snap-lock executive briefcase on to the rugby pitch. I have got to find two pounds quickly before he starts throwing me on to the rugby pitch.”

“8.45 a.m. My mother is in the hospital grounds smoking a cigarette. She is looking old and haggard. All the debauchery is catching up with her.”

”Midnight. Goodnight Pandora my treacle-haired love.

“I asked her about my Family Allowance today, she laughed and said she used it for buying gin and cigarettes.”

“Lucas spilt candle-wax over his new suede shoes. It was the only cheerful incident in a tragic day.

“Said he ‘would rather go without’.”

“Measured my ‘thing’. It was eleven centimetres.”

“I had my first wet dream!”

”My brain is hurting. I have just had two pages of Macbeth to translate into English.”

”It is nearly February and I have got nobody to send a Valentine’s Day card to.”

”My mother is looking for a job! Now I could end up a delinquent roaming the streets and all that. And what will I do during the holidays?”

“Pandora and I are in love! It is official! She told Claire Nelson, who told Nigel, who told me.”

”I told Nigel to tell Claire to tell Pandora that I return her love. I am over the moon with joy and rapture. I can overlook the fact that Pandora smokes five Benson and Hedges a day and has her own lighter. When you are in love such things cease to matter.”

“Had a note from Mr Cherry asking me when I can resume my paper round. I sent a note back to say that due to my mother’s desertion I am still in a mental state. This is true. I wore odd socks yesterday without knowing it. One was red and one was green. I must pull myself together. I could end up in a lunatic asylum.”

“I wish my mother would come home. I had forgotten how nice she is.”

”I have got tonsillitis. It is official. I am on antibiotics. Pandora sits by my bed reading aloud to me. I wish she wouldn’t, every word is like a rock dropping on my head.”

”Just measured my thing. It has grown one centimetre. I might be needing it soon.”

”Pandora has allowed me to touch her bust. I promised not to tell anyone, but there was nothing to tell really. I couldn’t tell where her bust began through all the layers of underclothes, dress, cardigan and anorak. I am reading Sex, The Facts, by Dr A.P.G. Haig.”

“I wouldn’t mind being a sponge-diver, but I don’t think there is much call for them in England.”

”Perhaps when I am famous and my diary is discovered, people will understand the torment of being a 13¾-year-old undiscovered intellectual.”


”Friday January 1st 1982
Bank Holiday in UK, Rep. of Ireland, USA and Canada
These are my New Year’s resolutions:
1. I will be true to Pandora.
2. I will bring my bike in at night.
3. I will not read unworthy books.
4. I will study hard for my O levels, and get Grade ‘A’s.
5. I will try to be more kind to the dog.
6. I will try to find it in my heart to forgive Barry Kent his
multiple sins.
7. I will clean the bath after use.
8. I will stop worrying about the size of my thing.
9. I will do my back-stretching exercises every
nightwithout fail.
10. I will learn a new word and use it every day.”
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾, Sue Townsend, 1982

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