It’s a year since I installed the much-acclaimed journal app, Day One, and started my “Dear Diary” dialogue. I am proud to say that I haven’t missed a day and recording my invariably inconsequential doings has become an integral part of my daily routine. This is helped by the fact that Day One synchronises faultlessly over Macs, iPad and iPhone, so I can jot down a few words whenever I have a moment.
My diary would bore you to distraction. Even I find it boring. But as a record of what I did on a particular day it is supremely useful. In the last year I’ve progressed from a simple bland record of events and now try to write comments on life that should ensure interest in future years. I reviewed Day One in September 2011.
When talking about diaries, the august name of Samuel Pepys always springs to mind. At the end of May in 1669, 343 years ago, Sam wrote his last entry because of failing eyesight, but he did live a further 34 years:
And thus ends all that I doubt I shall ever be able to do with my own eyes in the keeping of my journal, I being not able to do it any longer, having done now so long as to undo my eyes almost every time that I take a pen in my hand; and, therefore, whatever comes of it, I must forbear: and, therefore, resolve, from this time forward, to have it kept by my people in long-hand, and must therefore be contented to set down no more than is fit for them and all the world to know…
This extract from Pepy’s last entry is reproduced from Phil Gyford’s monumental blog, The Diary of Samuel Pepys. Gyford has dutifully blogged daily entries in the diary from 2003 and ending on May 31 this year. Nine years of ceaseless endeavour.
We can all take heart from this, despite not moving in Pepy’s rarefied circles, nor having such a way with words. Yet Pepys, game to the last, despite the ocular challenge, was up to his old tricks, baising any convenient lass, on that last day:
Dined at home, and in the afternoon by water to White Hall, calling by the way at Michell’s, where I have not been many a day till just the other day, and now I met her mother there and knew her husband to be out of town. And here je did baiser elle, but had not opportunity para hazer some with her as I would have offered if je had had it.
Je sincerely wish mes ramblings were as exciting as this.