At 13 years old, Adrian Mole has more than his fair

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At 13 years old, Adrian Mole has more than his fair

share of problems—spots, il -health, parents threatening to

divorce, rejection of his poetry and much more—al

recorded in his diary.

Sue Townsend

Winter 1981

Spring 1981

Summer 1981

Fal 1981

Winter 1982

Sue Townsend



Winter 1981

Thursday January 1st

Bank Holiday in England, Ireland, Scotland and


These are my New Year’s resolutions:

1. I wil help the blind across the road.

2. I wil hang my trousers up.

3. I wil put the sleeves back on my records.

4. I wil not start smoking.

5. I wil stop squeezing my spots.

6. I wil be kind to the dog.

7. I wil help the poor and ignorant.

After hearing the disgusting noises from downstairs

last night, I have also vowed never to drink alcohol.

My father got the dog drunk on cherry brandy at the

party last night. If the RSPCA hear about it he could get

done. Eight days have gone by since Christmas Day but

my mother stil hasn’t worn the green lurex apron I bought

her for Christmas! She wil get bathcubes next year.

Just my luck, I’ve got a spot on my chin for the first day

of the New Year!

Friday January 2nd

Bank Holiday in Scotland. Full Moon

I felt rotten today. It’s my mother’s fault for singing ‘My

Way’ at two o’clock in the morning at the top of the stairs.

Just my luck to have a mother like her. There is a chance

my parents could be alcoholics. Next year I could be in a

children’s home.

The dog got its own back on my father. It jumped up

and knocked down his model ship, then ran into the garden

with the rigging tangled in its feet. My father kept saying,

‘Three months’ work down the drain’, over and over again.

The spot on my chin is getting bigger. It’s my mother’s

fault for not knowing about vitamins.

Saturday January 3rd

I shal go mad through lack of sleep! My father has

banned the dog from the house so it barked outside my

window al night. Just my luck! My father shouted a swear-

word at it. If he’s not careful he wil get done by the police

for obscene language.

I think the spot is a boil. Just my luck to have it where

everybody can see it. I pointed out to my mother that I

hadn’t had any vitamin C today. She said, ‘Go and buy an

orange, then’. This is typical.

She stil hasn’t worn the lurex apron.

I wil be glad to get back to school.

Sunday January 4th

Second after Christmas

My father has got the flu. I’m not surprised with the diet

we get. My mother went out in the rain to get him a vitamin

C drink, but as I told her, ‘It’s too late now’. It’s a miracle we

don’t get scurvy. My mother says she can’t see anything on

my chin, but this is guilt because of the diet.

The dog has run off because my mother didn’t close

the gate. I have broken the arm on the stereo. Nobody

knows yet, and with a bit of luck my father wil be il for a

long time. He is the only one who uses it apart from me. No

sign of the apron.

Monday January 5th

The dog hasn’t come back yet. It is peaceful without it.

My mother rang the police and gave a description of the

dog. She made it sound worse than it actual y is: straggly

hair over its eyes and al that. I real y think the police have

got better things to do than look for dogs, such as catching

murderers. I told my mother this but she stil rang them.

Serve her right if she was murdered because of the dog.

My father is stil lazing about in bed. He is supposed to

be il , but I noticed he is stil smoking!

Nigel came round today. He has got a tan from his

Christmas holiday. I think Nigel wil be il soon fromthe

shock of the cold in England. I think Nigel’s parents were

wrong to take him abroad. He hasn’t got a single spot yet.

Tuesday January 6th

Epiphany. New Moon

The dog is in trouble!

It knocked a meter-reader off his bike and messed al

the cards up. So now we wil al end up in court I expect. A

policeman said we must keep the dog under control and

asked how long it had been lame. My mother said it wasn’t

lame, and examined it. There was a tiny model pirate

trapped in its left front paw.

The dog was pleased when my mother took the pirate

out and it jumped up the policeman’s tunic with its muddy

paws. My mother fetched a cloth from the kitchen but it had

strawberry jam on it where I had wiped the knife, so the

tunic was worse than ever. The policeman went then. I’m

sure he swore. I could report him for that.

I wil look up ‘Epiphany’ in my new dictionary.

Wednesday January 7th

Nigel came round on his new bike this morning. It has

got a water bottle, a milometer, a speedometer, a yel ow

saddle, and very thin racing wheels. It’s wasted on Nigel.

He only goes to the shops and back on it. If I had it, I would

go al over the country and have an experience.

My spot or boil has reached its peak. Surely it can’t get

any bigger!

I found a word in my dictionary that describes my

father. It is malingerer. He is stil in bed guzzling vitamin C.

The dog is locked in the coal shed.

Epiphany is something to do with the three wise men.

Big deal!

Thursday January 8th

Now my mother has got the flu. This means that I have

to look after them both. Just my luck!

I have been up and down the stairs al day. I cooked a

big dinner for them tonight: two poached eggs with beans,

and tinned semolina pudding. (It’s a good job I wore the

green lurex apron because the poached eggs escaped out

of the pan and got al over me.) I nearly said something

when I saw they hadn’t eaten any of it. They can’t be that il .

I gave it to the dog in the coal shed. My grandmother is

coming tomorrow morning, so I had to clean the burnt

saucepans, then take the dog for a walk. It was half-past

eleven before I got to bed. No wonder I am short for my


I have decided against medicine for a career.

Friday January 9th

It was cough, cough, cough last night. If it wasn’t one it

was the other. You’d think they’d show some consideration

after the hard day I’d had.

My grandma came and was disgusted with the state of

the house. I showed her my room which is always neat and

tidy and she gave me fifty pence. I showed her al the empty

drink bottles in the dustbin and she was disgusted.

My grandma let the dog out of the coal shed. She said

my mother was cruel to lock it up. The dog was sick on the

kitchen floor. My grandma locked it up again.

She squeezed the spot on my chin. It has made it

worse. I told grandma about the green apron and grandma

said that she bought my mother a one hundred per cent

acrylic cardigan every Christmas and my mother had never

ever worn one of them!

Saturday January 10th

AM. Now the dog is il ! It keeps being sick so the vet

has got to come. My father told me not to tel the vet that the

dog had been locked in the coal shed for two days.

I have put a plaster over the spot to stop germs getting

in it from the dog.

The vet has taken the dog away. He says he thinksit

has got an obstruction and wil need an emergency


My grandma has had a row with my mother and gone

home. My grandma found the Christmas cardigans al cut

up in the duster bag. It is disgusting when people are


Mr Lucas from next door has been in to see my mother

and father who are stil in bed. He brought a ‘get wel ’ card

and some flowers for my mother. My mother sat up in bed

in a nightie that showed a lot of her chest. She talked to Mr

Lucas in a yukky voice. My father pretended to be asleep.

Nigel brought his records round. He is into punk, but I

don’t see the point if you can’t hear the words. Anyway I

think I’m turning into an intel ectual. It must be al the worry.

PM. I went to see how the dog is. It has had its

operation. The vet showed me a plastic bag with lots of

yukky things in it. There was a lump of coal, the fir tree from

the Christmas cake, and the model pirates from my father’s

ship. One of the pirates was waving a cutlass which must

have been very painful for the dog. The dog looks a lot

better. It can come home in two days, worse luck.

My father was having a row with my grandma on the

phone about the empty bottles in the dustbin when I got


Mr Lucas was upstairs talking to my mother. When Mr

Lucas went, my father went upstairs and had an argument

with my mother and made her cry. Myfather is in a bad

mood. This means he is feeling better. I made my mother a

cup of tea without her asking. This made her cry as wel .

You can’t please some people!

The spot is stil there.

Sunday January 11th

First after Epiphany

Now I know I am an intel ectual. I saw Malcolm

Muggeridge on the television last night, and I understood

nearly every word. It al adds up. A bad home, poor diet, not

liking punk. I think I wil join the library and see what


It is a pity there aren’t any more intel ectuals living

round here. Mr Lucas wears corduroy trousers, but he’s an

insurance man. Just my luck.

The first what after Epiphany?

Monday January 12th

The dog is back. It keeps licking its stitches, so when I

am eating I sit with my back to it.

My mother got up this morning to make the dog a bed

to sleep in until it’s better. It is made out of a cardboard box

that used to contain packets of soap powder. My father

said this would make the dog sneeze and burst its stitches,

and the vet would charge even more to stitch it back up

again. They had a row aboutthe box, then my father went on

about Mr Lucas. Though what Mr Lucas has to do with the

dog’s bed is a mystery to me.

Tuesday January 13th

My father has gone back to work. Thank God! I don’t

know how my mother sticks him.

Mr Lucas came in this morning to see if my mother

needed any help in the house. He is very kind. Mrs Lucas

was next door cleaning the outside windows. The ladder

didn’t look very safe. I have written to Malcolm Muggeridge,

c/o the BBC, asking him what to do about being an

intel ectual. I hope he writes back soon because I’m getting

fed up being one on my own. I have written a poem, and it

only took me two minutes. Even the famous poets take

longer than that. It is cal ed ‘The Tap’, but it isn’t real y about

a tap, it’s very deep, and about life and stuff like that.

The Tap, by Adrian Mole

The tap drips and keeps me awake,

In the morning there wil be a lake.

For the want of a washer the carpet wil spoil,

Then for another my father wil toil.

My father could snuff it while he is at work.

Dad, fit a washer don’t be a burk!

I showed it to my mother, but she laughed. She isn’t

very bright. She stil hasn’t washed my PE shorts, and it is

school tomorrow. She is not like the mothers on television.

Wednesday January 14th

Joined the library. Got Care of the Skin, Origin of

Species, and a book by a woman my mother is always

going on about. It is cal ed Pride and Prejudice, by a

woman cal ed Jane Austen. I could tel the librarian was

impressed.. Perhaps she is an intel ectual like me. She

didn’t look at my spot, so perhaps it is getting smal er.

About time!

Mr Lucas was in the kitchen drinking coffee with my

mother. The room was ful of smoke. They were laughing,

but when I went in, they stopped.

Mrs Lucas was next door cleaning the drains. She

looked as if she was in a bad mood. I think Mr and Mrs

Lucas have got an unhappy marriage. Poor Mr Lucas!

None of the teachers at school have noticed that I am

an intel ectual. They wil be sorry when I am famous. There

is a new girl in our class. She sits next to me in Geography.

She is al right. Her name is Pandora, but she likes being

cal ed ‘Box’. Don’t ask me why. I might fal in love with her.

It’s time I fel in love, after al I am 13¾ years old.

Thursday January 15th

Pandora has got hair the colour of treacle, and it’s long

like girls’ hair should be. She has quite a good figure. I saw

her playing netbal and her chest was wobbling. I felt a bit

funny. I think this is it!

The dog has had its stitches out. It bit the vet, but I

expect he’s used to it. (The vet I mean; I know the dog is.)

My father found out about the arm on the stereo. I told a

lie. I said the dog jumped up and broke it. My father said he

wil wait until the dog is completely cured of its operation

then kick it. I hope this is a joke.

Mr Lucas was in the kitchen again when I got home

from school. My mother is better now, so why he keeps

coming round is a mystery to me. Mrs Lucas was planting

trees in the dark. I read a bit of Pride and Prejudice, but it

was very old-fashioned. I think Jane Austen should write

something a bit more modern.

The dog has got the same colour eyes as Pandora. I

only noticed because my mother cut the dog’s hair. It looks

worse than ever. Mr Lucas and my mother were laughing at

the dog’s new haircut which is not very nice, because dogs

can’t answer back, just like the Royal Family.

I am going to bed early to think about Pandora and do

my back-stretching exercises. I haven’t grown for two

weeks. If this carries on I wil be a midget.

I wil go to the doctor’s on Saturday if the spot is stil

there. I can’t live like this with everybody staring.

Friday January 16th

Mr Lucas came round and offered to take my mother

shopping in the car. They dropped me off at school. I was

glad to get out of the car what with al the laughing and
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