Dear diary - here we go again

by Scribble Monboddo

For the first blog entry of the new year, it's going to be pretty hard to resist the temptation to talk about resolutions, so we won't. Let us resolve not against temptation. 

But if you must make a resolution, writing a diary is one of the best, and a new date at the top of the page is as good a justification for starting as any. It might even help with other, weightier resolutions, actually.

Better still, resolving to start a diary is a rock-solid excuse for spending your pocket money on some posh stationery. Be fair now; Queen Victoria didn't write her journal on a crumby school A4 refill, and neither should you. What you do choose to write on is of course up to you, but as a rough rule of thumb A5 works for most of us (big enough for a busy day on page, small enough to use on a train or plane), and unless your life is glacially calm at all times a hardback notebook is almost certainly the most practical choice. Naturally, Nero sells those, and options which come recommended from your loyal correspondent include a quirky British choice from Atoms to Astronauts, a technically polished German one from Lamy and a nonchalant pair of French flanneurs from Clairefontaine (who also own Rhodia). It's pretty much impossible to go wrong with one of those, unless you make up a fictional diary of a figure from history and try to sell it to a gullible newspaper magnate, but we're definitely not advocating that.

So what should one do with that spanking new notebook every day? Well, maybe let's ease off on all that shoulding; this isn't homework. But if you start with an A5 page a day, with a nice fountain pen, and try not to imagine the results ever being read by anyone else at all, you won't go far wrong - and you'll be ready to record all the remarkable things to be thankful for in the year ahead.