Sunday, November 09, 2014


One of my most precious holiday acquisitions was a travel diary belonging to an Australian lady by the name of Ms V. Pascoe.


* The first page of her diary with what is very likely a photograph of herself

It was over 10 years ago when I stumbled across it in a bookshop in Hahndorf, the oldest surviving German village in Adelaide, Australia. I think Ms Pascoe died and the shop was selling off her possessions. I bought the diary because it looked old and interesting and when I flipped it open I saw that, serendipitously, she had written about her trip to Singapore in the 1970s.

The girls came across it recently, and I very carefully opened up the Ziploc bag I keep it in to show it to them (Day wasn’t interested).

It is really quite a marvelous record and the girls ooh-ed and ah-ed. Nobody keeps diaries like these today (or even then). It is chockful of loving detail of her trips to Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Canberra between 1977 and 1982. 

There is lots of flip-out action as she pastes tickets, brochures and maps which have meaning to her, into her diary. 


Here's a bit of wool which Ms Pascoe collected from the shorn sheep and pasted in her diary, and which remains pristinely soft 30 years on.


She itemizes everything she spends money on. She even carefully describes hotels rooms she stays in and in one entry drew the hotel wallpaper pattern in her diary. 

And like an eager student on an excursion, she also notes down everything which she learns, from the reason for geological formations to drawing native flora.


Inspired by Ms Pascoe, the girls have decided to write diaries. Not travel diaries – because we hardly travel – but just Life diaries.

(Day isn’t interested so I think journal-writing in this family is going to be a Girl thing)

They don’t write often. But just as and when they feel like it, maybe once every few weeks. Lulu is the more enthusiastic.

Here she is on a trip when I took her to the Changi Airport, and it was extra special to her because her Gor and Jae were absent. I took a lot of photos because she looks kind of studious and she wasn't moving.


Between Jo and Lu, Lu is also far more prolific because she doesn’t care too much if her lines are straight or if her grammar is correct. She just lets it all gush out. Sometimes I print out a black-and-white photo to liven up her entries.


I hope they will derive as much joy from writing and reading back their diaries entries, as I, and Ms Pascoe, did.


Anonymous said...

What a gem you bought ! ( that diary is a marvellous collection of someone's memories)

Anonymous said...

Delurking here to say that I'm so envious of your treasure! What did Ms Pascoe do in Singapore and what did she think of it? Post photos if you have time please?

~ Eva

Anonymous said...

Which class is Lu in? My boy is in Love.

Sher said...

lu is in unity!

ms pascoe: i'll write abt her singapore impressions, if i do another history series!

Dawn said...

yes, pls reveal more of ms Pascoe's nice!!