Dear diary, it’s been a while



Dear diary, it’s been a while

Writing down your secrets comes with its trials and tribulations, but it’s worth remembering its priceless joys

Sunday Times Book Editor

I started writing in a diary when I was about eight years old. My sister and I both got those cheesy ones with pastel flowers on the cover with a cutesy lock as a gift from my parents. I immediately set to writing all my secret thoughts in it. I still have it somewhere, stuffed into my old brown school case. (That suitcase was the bane of my schooling existence for many years — it was one of those awful huge things with dividers that looked like I was carrying a large accordion on my back. And it was indestructible. I tried.)

But I had a feeling that what I was writing in my diary was being read despite the lock (which was laughable as one could open it with just a twist of a nail file). So I graduated to writing my diary on the home computer, hoping no one would read my “typing notes”, which I called the folder, thinking I was oh so clever. But lo and behold, my ruse didn’t work and my sister and her friend read them. I was hacked years before we knew such a thing called the internet would even exist.

My disillusionment with writing my secret thoughts set in. I couldn’t have a diary like Adrian Mole. However, I still have a mild obsession with diaries and notebooks. I have plenty of them to jot random things in. Not feelings but appointments, to-do lists, questions for authors, thoughts on books, meeting notes, and doodles, lots of doodles. Gman is firmly set in his digital ways, just like a millennial. He takes notes on his phone. He has a long list of stuff to do like chop wood, buy batteries, get a Y13 key. He sends me shopping lists via WhatsApp. He never writes down anything, and luckily I get all the notebooks that are given to him as swag. ..

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