Contributions by other people

Richard House, USA

My uncle is tidying up the house that he shared with my grandmother. Nana died two years ago just before Christmas and Bryn is just now selling the house. I wanted something to remember her by and was offered her diaries. As soon as I said yes I realized how odd it was - that even though she is dead, the diaries are still private. I read them anyway, and was disappointed to find a very dull list, saying what time she got up, who she visited, where she shopped; nothing particularly personal. There are a number of references to the woman who permed her hair, but I couldn't find anything in them about me. I did find one of her hairs though. It sprang up from the pages as I was putting one of the diaries away. Her hair was always a little thin and very blue from the perm. I was quite shocked by this hair, which carried with it much more weight and memory than ten years of listing walks, trips to town, and hair appointments with her neighbor; and it occurred to me that I was taking the writing too literally. So I started looking at the diaries differently, looking for changes in handwriting, days also when she wouldn't write - the long spaces after grandad died - and found a different story there.