London Diary


About Jan Harsman's 'London Diary'

Between october 1, 1999 and january 1, 2000 a guy, apparently a Dutchman, going under the name of 'Jan Harsman', kept an on-line diary on the free diary hosting site Diaryland.com. He describes his somewhat 'down-and-out' stay in London. There's the musings, the looking for the odd job, the girlfriend or two, some pretty amusing ravings on mice, notes about painting, books... Then there's a burglary. And, at some point, he gets attacked by some weirdo, just outside of his flat. Jan's last entry is dated december 31, 1999. After this, there were two more on-line entries in Harsman's diary. They are identical, signed by 'Melissa' - probably the girlfriend of the same name that he often wrote about in his diary- asking for information on Jan's whereabouts.
"[I] would like to know if there is anyone that he has contacted after january 3rd [2000]," she writes. "He left our flat around noon that day [...] and we did not hear from Jan since." The diary was no longer updated after that. Melissa left a 'hotmail' address, which - when I used it - appeared to be no longer in use.

final entry

I stumbled upon Jan's diary in the fall of 2000, while surfin' along a Google-search for 'Harsman' (as you may know, I often use that name, and even the 'Jan (J.K.)', as a 'pen-name'). Of course I was intrigued. Is this a veritable mystery? Our just some hoax? If it ain't me, then who is - or was - this Jan Harsman?
I nosed around a bit here and there.
Early 2000 there was some discussion of 'the harsman case' on Diaryland related bulletin-boards. Most of the posters had their doubts, only some of them tended to taking it seriously, but none seemed to have any real clues.
"What if he met the girls of his dreams," one message read, "like Casablanca style and took off with her on that airplane. Well then it woulndt be Casablanca style, so what if its like Desperately seeking susan style. And hes Rosanna Arquette and he wants to be just like Madonnna so he follows her around. But not cuz hes a Queen, but more like cuz maybe he is in love with her. Which isnt like Desperately seeking susan. So what if his situation is more like he met a woman and she had a lot of money and she paid for him to be his house boy and he is living a happy sexy life and he hated his roomates anyway cuz maybe he owed them money and he really didnt want to tell him what he was up to.
man. God. lets hope so, huh?"

I downloaded the lot of Jan's diary. Text, images, all of it.

After Melissa's last entries, the diary stayed on-line at Diaryland for two more years, but was removed (by the webmaster, because of 'inactiviy'?), I guess as of this january 1st, 2002.

I decided to put it on again, right here.
For your reading pleasure ...
And maybe that some time we'll hear from Jan or Melissa.

Cause ours is such a small world, now, ain't it? ...

HS -- Paris, 02.2002


[ china | wet | crash | oil-on-canvas | like a tourist | enduring love | royal fail | london i | n-man | (land)lord | droppings | on catching mice .i. | on catching mice .ii. | on catching mice .iii. | invisible | richmond | gnikcuf | ... | stretching | joy division | chemically | e-mail | serious | bristol | paranoïd | goatee | robbed | don't touch | hd's gone | molested | bad detectives | 'file-and-forget' | brand new | obsession | context | guerre | vampirez ]



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