Thursday, August 17, 2006


Phew. Got that difficult first post out of the way. Aren't they always the worst?

It was just like when I was a lad, starting a new diary. Every year or two, someone would buy me a diary for Christmas. The first entry, on January 1st, was always magnificent. For one thing, I'd had a week to think about what I was going to put in it. And this was to be the first entry of a glorious chronicle, the story of my life from this day forward.

By the second week of January, the Christmas tree and decorations had been taken down, the diary's newness was getting a bit old, and the entries were petering out.

The problem was that diaries of that time just weren't designed for my sporadic diaristic style. Had a vendor of the time invented one, and had gotten it into the hands of my gift-giving relatives, it would have had page headings something like this:
  • Friday, 1st January, 1982
  • Saturday, 2nd January, 1982
  • Sunday, 3rd January, 1982
  • Saturday, 1st January, 1983
  • Sunday, 2nd January, 1983
  • Sunday, 1st January, 1984
As it happens, I do remember what I was doing on 1st January 1984, without the aid of a browning, mostly empty diary. I was frantically trying to read the book by George Orwell, before the titular year started in earnest, just in case it turned out to be true.

I remember it was a good read. Scary, suspenseful, preposterously and utterly unlike anything that was going on in the real 1984, but Orwell had a canny grasp of the laws of political physics. Since I still remember it, it just goes to show: if you're doing something worthwhile, you don't need to put it into your diary. You'll remember it.

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