Diaries, Doctors and Dinner

I’ve been thinking about diaries today.

If I kept a proper diary I’d be able to argue my case with the doctor more convincingly. I’m able to put most of the story together, but it lacks a little precision. With a diary I could supply more precise details and make a stronger case.

As it is, I’m left with a nagging fear that it really is me who has forgotten something important.

We used to have a local criminal in this area known as the Flat Cap Robber. As the report says, he was so ordinary they ended up investigating 1,600 suspects reported by the public. One of the people who was named as a suspect was a local market trader.

He wasn’t the most popular man on the market, and the general opinion was that someone had reported him to get their own back for a bad deal.

He was able to prove his innocence by reference to his diary, which was news to everyone as we didn’t know he could write, much less that he had an inner life of any sort.

This gave me two lessons – one that people, no matter how they appear, are more than just the surface that they show. The other is that there are benefits to keeping a diary. Despite that I still haven’t started one. Diaries may be good, but procrastination is easier. And, as we have seen over the years, I am a world class procrastinator but only a moderate diarist.

I just looked up diaries, out of interest. I’m surprised there aren’t more from earlier times, as it’s the sort of thing you’s expect Greeks and Romans and Egyptians to get involved with. The first known work which looks like a diary is by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius who wrote in the late 2nd Century AD. There’s a gap from there until the 9th or 10th centuries when the Japanese and some Arabic writers wrote diary-like books.

Eventually, of course, we come to Samuel Pepys, the king of the diarists. Despite his fame I don’t know much about him apart from him being something to do with the Navy, being inappropriate with his servants and burying his Parmesan to save it from the Great Fire of London. This strikes me as an excellent idea for Parmesan though I’m not actually sure that burning would harm Parmesan. It’s dreadful stuff and it can’t just be me who thinks it smells of vomit.

This is all I’ve written today as Julia made me move books this morning, then I shopped as she did laundry. After this we had a late lunch of crumpets, watched Murder She Wrote and ate tea as we watched Strictly Come Dancing, His Dark Materials and, as I write, The War of the Worlds.

Tea was potato wedges with garlic seasoning, roasted carrots with cumin, broccoli and pies from the freezer section – mushroom and Camembert. It’s fish pie tomorrow, because I didn’t feel like standing in a freezing kitchen making a fish pie today.

The pies were quite tasty, though the filling was ungenerous and they both stuck in the foil trays, which didn’t help with presentation. The garlic seasoning worked well, the carrots were good but the broccoli charred a bit. I really should have put it in later than I did, but that would have meant missing the dance-off.

Today, December 1st, is the first day of meteorological winter. One down, ninety to go. Number Two Son says it’s snowing where he is. As he’s in Toronto I’m not surprised. I just hope he has a good coat and waterproof boots.


Cannon for a Human Cannon Ball

The pictures show an interesting building in Lincolnshire last week and a cannon for a Human Cannon Ball. We stopped for a photo but I didn’t enquire about the cannon because we have nowhere to park it.

14 thoughts on “Diaries, Doctors and Dinner

  1. Clare Pooley

    I have been keeping a diary since 2005. I don’t write much each day but what I do write has been of use on countless occasions.
    I am intrigued by the cannon. What a pity you have nowhere to keep it! πŸ˜€

  2. Laurie Graves

    Good luck! Those roasted veggies sound delicious. I’ve read Claire Tomalin’s biography of Jane Austen, and it was terrific. Bet her biography of Pepys is, too.

  3. arlingwoman

    Goodness. Here they force refills on you automatically, which is maddening if you’re taking a half dose. I haven’t kept a diary in a while, but am thinking of trying again. We’ll see. Good luck with the mess; I have a feeling it might be a while before it’s cleared up.

  4. tootlepedal

    I can recommend reading Pepys diaries or Claire Tomalin’s life of Pepys. They might inspire you to keep your own. Mind you, your blog looks quite like a diary to me. I sometimes have to check my own to see what I have done.

  5. Lavinia Ross

    Good record keeping is a good preventative for many ills. It can be hard to keep up with, but worth it. Good luck on figuring out the mystery, Quercus. I still don’t understand why they just don’t give you a replacement for the “lost” prescription. This kind of thing must happen frequently with other patients.


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