Jamie always started a new diary at the beginning of the year. ‘Well, how will my children and grand-children know what we did if I don’t keep a record?’ was his excuse.
It was January 2nd and he sat, looking at a blank page. The New Year’s Eve’ celebrations, including some rather good wine, had meant that the first day of the New Year had drifted through as a bit of a blur. Now it was the time for the New Year’s diary records to begin. What should he write? What could he write about for the benefits of posterity?
As he sat there and thought, Susie – the wife – came through the lounge where he was pondering. ‘Stop chewing that pencil’ was all she said as she headed to the kitchen.
‘I wonder if Mrs Pepys was as rude and bossy to her husband Samuel when he started writing his diary,’ Jamie mused.
Samuel Pepys had started his diary on 1st January 1660 and kept it in great detail for nearly 10 years. Jamie had been starting his diary at the beginning of each year for the last 6 so ‘I should be able to match and beat him don’t you think?’ he murmured to himself. Jamie sat back in his chair and began thinking about the similarities and differences between himself and Mr Pepys:-
Pepys had kept his diary all year, every year. Me? Well I can be quite busy you know. Other demands get in the way. Take last year for instance:-
It started off well and was writing something nearly every day – then Susie decided she wanted one of the bedrooms painted. That was in early February. By the time I had finished that it was time to start cutting the lawn and doing things with the flower beds.
I did write some bits in early April – well it was quite wet outside – but then Janice, our eldest, moved in with her boyfriend on the other side of the country so I had to take all her things across – darn near 200 miles each was that was. That took me well over a week to move and by the time I had finished the grass needed cutting again.
I’ve just had a look at last year’s diary and I see that in early June I wrote three whole pages. There would have been more but Susie liked so much what I had done in the bedroom that I was ‘requested’ – that means ‘instructed’ – to do the same with Janice’s room now that she had left home.
I finished that just in time for Susie and me to go on holiday for a couple of weeks. That would be a great time for me to catch up on the diary notes I had missed I thought. When we got to the hotel I discovered that I’d left my diary book at home! I must admit, though, that a thought had gone through my mind that perhaps a ‘certain lady whose name begins with S’ had sabotaged its’ trip! That wasn’t too bad, though, because I could use the hotel notepaper that was in the room.
We had a great time there and were quite sad when it was time to go home. The journey home was a bit slow due to traffic and roadworks but we made it and flopped into bed – happy to be home. Unpacking could wait until the morning.
First thing next morning we emptied the cases and the washing machine was soon going full tilt. Stuff that didn’t need washing was stashed away in its own place. There was just one thing missing – my make-shift holiday diary!
We searched the cases, the clothes and the car – twice. It was nowhere to be found. We – no, me according to Susie – must have left it in the hotel. I ‘phoned them and they said they would check and call me back. They called the next morning. There was no luck – they said that they had checked ‘our’ room and all other possible places but nothing had been found. They suggested that it had probably been put into the tidy bin in the room and then into the main rubbish bin. They had sort of told me it was my own fault because all room rubbish – they had called it ‘leavings’ – was put into the main waste bins within two hours of resident’s departure and that sort of rubbish was collected first thing each morning – earlier than I had called them.
I decided to sit and write up as much as I could of the things I remembered.
I had been at it about half an hour when the ‘phone rang. It was Janice. She and her bloke had been doing nothing but argue since the moment she had got there. He was not like she thought he would be. Would I please come and collect her – NOW!
I did – and she came home with the same things she – I – had taken over there not that many weeks previously.
My diary re-construction for the year was put to one side – and was never completed. Why’s that you may ask.
Well – Janice’s things needed sorting; the grass needed cutting and flowers needed beheading because of our two weeks away.
Also Susie wanted the remaining bedroom to be decorated as nicely as I had done the other two!
I bet Samuel Pepys never had this trouble as he wrote his diaries.
Me? Well you’ve just read the first piece for my diary for 2016. Wish me luck with the rest of the year. I’ll keep you posted from time to time.