(I love that picture so much)
I think everyone wishes they had time to write a proper diary, to be able to flick though the pages of a book from years ago and recall all the events that are contained within. Reminders of things I’d never remember otherwise.
I do something a little different. You see, even thought I’m a pretty frugal person, it’s quite difficult for me to leave the house without money somehow leaving my pocket. Even when I go to a nice free event (a comedy evening in a bar, a museum, a wander around the British Library – the simple pleasures of life) I can barely avoid having pieces of paper thrust in my hands.
So, every year since about 2005, I’ve bought a day-to-a-page yearly diary, of the type you can see above. Roughly once a week, or couple of weeks I sit in front of the TV with a stapler and attach the receipts, ticket stubs, and train tickets that I’ve accumulated into the diary on the right date.
Bang! Instant memories.
So to take a page at random, let’s look at this:
Two things that I did on this day, that I’d forgotten about entirely until I opened the book, were that I had an engraved adapter made for some friends, and that I’d got to see my first live cricket match with some other friends (a genuinely interesting experience, but not one I’m overly keen to repeat). The fact I’d also done some dry cleaning is mildly irrelevant – but it’s astonishing how much memory is triggered by little scraps of paper.
Indeed – It’s astonishing how much you get from a simple receipt – from the date, the name of a restaurant and knowing where in the world the place is – it’s a very short step to remember that was the time when your friend told you he or she was getting married, had cancer, or had been mugged. Maybe it doesn’t have the introspection of a full diary, but I like to think it’s close enough.
Plus when I occasionally have to return items I know *exactly* where the receipt is.