Sunday 1 January 2012

Dear Diary . . .

Every year since 2006 I have bought an RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Diary. I’m not a great diarist but I love the illustrations in the diaries – flower paintings of great delicacy. I also have an RHS Address book to replace the battered one I have had for many years.

Last year both Barry and I started writing daily journals. His is full of references to world affairs, causes of conflict, esoteric measurements and abstruse comments. Mine is far more mundane – the weather, family affairs, the animals, comments on books I’ve read and those I’m attempting to write, what I prepared for supper . . . on that latter point it’s rather worrying that, despite all the wonderful cookery books I have been given, my culinary ‘arts’ do not spread further than roast beef, spaghetti carbonara, curry, casserole and trout.

Bethan’s fiancé told me I was a good cook – I assured him that he’s simply been lucky thus far to have been offered edible fare. On that note, by the end of the year they will be married or so we are assured. No date yet – but I’m sure they’ll let us know in good time. (Thinks: how long does it take to lose four stone, acquire grace and elegance and develop witty repartee for clever discourse with wedding guests?)

Also last year I started another collection – or rather, Barry initiated one for me. Fountain pens! How many pens does one person need? That’s rather a different question to ‘How many pens does one person covet?’ I have some beautiful pens now and naturally Barry insisted that I have some suitable journals in which to record my deathless prose. We both started with Moleskine but the ink bled through so now we have Rhodia. Even a shopping list is a work of art on good paper, not that I would defile my journals with anything so mundane.

As with all things there is an interesting subculture concerning pens, nibs, inks, papers – some people devote their careers to determining the very best but it’s all subjective in the end.

My diary entry today will undoubtedly make reference to the walk I shall take with the dogs shortly. It is pouring with rain and already, at 2:00 pm, quite dark. Nonetheless, we shall enjoy our outing. Barry is in bed nursing a cold so will miss the pleasure of sloshing through puddles and skidding on mud. When we return I will endeavour to deter damp dogs from rushing up to share the warmth of our bed with him.  Maybe the sun will shine tomorrowJ


  1. I am not a great keeper of journals - I think I find it easier to make a record visually. That RHS diary does look gorgeous - I have a free diary courtesy of the cats' vets this year - I think that means we've spent a lot of money there! Have a wonderful 2012.

  2. I enjoyed this post. I have a collection of beautiful journals I never use. It is so much easier to write on computer. Sigh. But I admire you for keeping this up, and your subjects don't seem mundane at all to me. Smile. Hope you got that walk in!

  3. I have been given an RHS Diary. I, too, love the illustrations. It may even tempt me into keeping a diary - but I'm not holding my breath.

  4. Maybe the sun will shine tomorrow where you are, I am hoping for at least a moderate cloud cover to protect us from our present searing 40+C temps. How delightfully diverse the world is.

    Have a wonderful year inscribing your journals, just remember to live as well as write.

  5. @Barbara - laughing at that remark:-)
    @Mary - I did indeed!
    @Dave - reminds me of Tony Hancock and his attempts at keeping a diary;-)
    @Arija - 40+? - ye gods!

  6. I usually start off the year keeping a journal, but after a few days it ends up being more of a quarterly journal. Love the cover of yours.

  7. I love diaries. I kept one from when I was a small girl...all the way through college. I think of my blog more of a diary now a days and don't have the time to try to keep up both. Hope you have a happy New Year.

  8. @Roan - exactly my pattern :-)
    @V.Furnas - your diaries must be fascinating to read. Wish I'd kept mine up:-/

  9. Happy New Year, Janice.Hope the sun decided to get up at your end of the world!Ours did not wake up at all today and the first day of the year too. Strangely, all the fog had disappeared by midnight and it is quite warm now. Cloudy skies but no sign of rain.
    Speaking of fountain pens, i am quite a huge fan!Gives me an idea for a post!
    I used to write diaries but not anymore.I love to collect the nicely bound ones though.
    Hope you had a very enjoyable walk with the dogs and the lil pup :)

  10. It's sunny here today, Janice, but very very very cold. So we get to have it both ways. LOL
    I love the idea of a journal but I'm a very undisciplined person, so I'd need someone standing over me with a stick, which I'd find less than inspiring. Also, the connection used to be between my brain and my right hand, but now it's between my brain and all my fingers.
    I also love the idea of your pen collection. Pens are small(ish) so it isn't like collecting pot-bellied stoves (as my mother did) and, although they're bigger than stamps, you're likely to have fewer of them.
    Thinking of you as we go into the new year with only one (count it, one) trip upcoming.
    I hope Barry is well soon, and you and the dogs don't catch cold on your wet walk (an old wives' tale to which I still cling).

  11. I love stationery and have a great collection of fountain pens, pens, pencils, colouring pencils, different types of paper, notebooks, etc. I used to keep a daily journal for about a dozen years. However, that was replaced by a visual diary about 10 years ago and then daily blogging took the place of that as life and work became increasingly busier.

    I look forward to retirement when I can take up many of my "neglected" activities, e.g. calligraphy, drawing, painting and journal writing (on paper with a good pen!).

    I hope that 2012 is a wonderful year for you full of health and happiness!

  12. I think it is wonderful both you and your husband are keeping diaries. Collecting pens seems like a nice idea. I have two flowered ones that are favorites. I hope you have lovely things to write about all year long.

  13. I am also tired of all this rain. We need some snow! I hope your dogs get some exercise :)

  14. The most interesting journals are those of everyday life. Continue on with yours. Happy New Year and happy journal writing.

  15. A happy New Year to all of you and may your pen(s) and fingers have lots of fun stories to share with your diary and with us ;-)

  16. Thank you all:-)
    The sun shone today but the heavens opened just as we finished our walk.

  17. I wrote a diary from my 13th birthday until 17. I still have it and it helped me when I had to deal with my son in puberty, lol ! It's so funny to read today. Now my writing skills I put into my blogs, but before beginning blogging and I had learned how to use a computer I started again a diary, but only for 2 years. Then I had no time anymore. My collection you know ... cats !

  18. Ingrid, I'd love to read your diaries;-)


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