Introducing Agnes.

I was a miserable thirteen-year-old. Is there any other kind? Thirteen is a bewildering age. Too old for minding, too young for freedom and all that news of impending womanhood is hardly a barrel of laughs.

To my rescue came an English teacher whose name, to my shame, has escaped me. She was still a trainee teacher. She had dark, wavy hair and wore clogs and fringed skirts. There were beads and feathers about her person. She was a bona fide hippie. Fabulous.

She scratched new words on the blackboard which we recited like magic spells: metaphor, alliteration and, oh, my absolute favourite, onomatopoeia. She had us write rhyming couplets in the style of Ezra Pound and praised our efforts regardless of their dedication to George Michael or Spandau Ballet.

She instructed us to keep a diary. Write what you feel, she said, and I did. I bought a blue, fake-leather-bound (I thought it was real leather) diary and I wrote. For a girl who spoke little, who found it near impossible to say what she felt, that writing was like putting a tap on my soul. All the angst, sadness, despair, and yes, God damn it, unrequited lust just poured out of me.notebook. diary. keeping a diary. Agnes.

I wrote for years and years and years, long past my teens. Then, I wrote long letters to friends and discovered the thrill of a response. Then, I wrote this blog. Without Miss Hippie-Clogs, I wouldn’t be here writing to you. I wouldn’t have known how to do this. In fact, I believe that without that outlet I wouldn’t be here, full stop. I would have drowned in that rising tide of feelings.

I was delighted, honoured in fact, when the magnificent Sam of Agnesforgirls encouraged me to pass Miss Hippie-Clogs’ message on to a new generation of girls. I expounded the benefits of keeping a diary HERE. I also contributed to THIS list of suggested reading for girls.

Agnesforgirls.com, just Agnes to her friends, is a brilliant new website, launching today, for girls aged from 11 to 18 (or thereabouts). Agnes aims to provide girls with all the information and encouragement they might need to become competent, brave and happy young women. I wish Agnes had been around in my day.

As a mother, I would put my trust in Agnes. I’ve read just about every page of the site and I am convinced that my teenage daughters are safe and well-cared for in Agnes’ hands.

I hope you will take a look at the site and spread the word to any parents or daughters who might appreciate it.

Agnes is on Facebook here and on Instagram here and, lest you have missed the links above, the website is here.

The future is a blank page, my friends.

notebook. diary. keeping a diary. Agnes.

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10 thoughts on “Introducing Agnes.

  1. Gosh, what a gorgeous post. My daughter completely went off English last year because of an uninspiring and frankly bad teacher. This year she is in love with it again, thanks to a new, young, inspired teacher. When I meet this teacher a parents eve I will probably hug her. I don’t think they realise the power they have. A heartfelt thank you, Lynda, for being here and for your support and encouragement. Xx

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  2. I love the first two lines of this post. Thank God for teachers, the good ones, anyway. They can alter our lives, in a positive way, forever. I have all sons, three who are young adults now, but I’ll check out Agnes regardless.

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  3. my daughter has journaled everyday of her life for years….I tried but I just can’t put it all out there…I started to blog for that very reason….just to put it out there, and what a wonderful surprise, there is a community of wonderful people here….I just went over and checked out Agnes, wish there was something around like that when I was a young girl….looks like a great website and Facebook page…it never ceases to surprise me when teachers move there students….they really can change ones life…xxxkat

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    1. I am so genuinely pleased we discovered each other! It’s kind of mind-boggling really, when you think about it! Teachers have huge power and responsibility. The good ones deserve beatification!

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  4. All praise Agnes … I still keep my fake leather bound diary even with the advent of the internet – jnever quite binned the idea that its for me, not others to read. And my girls – golly gosh a mighty I wish they had had Agnes (and I know they will too) … All praise Agnes – this is the most necessary of teenaged accoutrements – so necessary that I put it in the same box as Tampax. so there.

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  5. Thanks for the heads up. We know several young girls who may well be interested, and I’ll pass the details on to them. Also love your thoughts about the inspiration of good teachers, and the power of the written word, especially for those who may find the spoken word daunting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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