I start my 50th diary

After several failed attempts, I managed to start keeping a diary when I was 12 and my first entry was on Sunday 31 December 1961. Since then, I’ve never missed a single day which means that I’ve written around 18,000 entries and that in the New Year I’ll start my 50th diary. Why do I do it? I’ve tried to explain that here.

To my surprise, a journalist – Steven Bowron of the “Sunday Post” newspaper in Scotland – picked up on my diary-writing marathon from my web site and plans to write a feature on it at the turn of the year when people sometimes think of starting a diary. This morning, we had a friendly half-hour conversation about how and why I write my diary and the sort of material that it covers. I will now send him some selected entries.

Roger and his 50 diaries

Now, what happened today?


  • Dana Huff

    It is a rare accomplishment. I am not surprised at all that a journalist would want to write a feature about it.

  • guusje

    I remember a similar story in a Dutch newspaper some years ago. This woman was photographed with all her diaries aroud her.
    Has anyone read your diaries yet? Better keep them in a safe (place). Maybe there comes a time that your grandchild will say: hey interesting. that is how granddad lived a century ago.
    By the way, at the moment we are reading letters my (British) parents-in-law wrote to each other in the 2nd world war. We never knew those letters existed.

  • Dana Huff

    You know, that’s a good point, Roger. I have a copy of my great-great grandmother’s diary from late 1893 to 1894, the year she married my great-great grandfather. It ends a month after her wedding, and she complains of feeling sick and doesn’t know why. Given my great-grandfather was born in March, I figured it out. 😉 It’s a valuable window into her life and life at the time.

  • Roger Darlington

    My diaries are written for me, so nobody has read them. But – who knows? One day my son or his child may want to look at them …

  • Ashok Pradhan

    Dear Roger:
    Congratulations.It is amazing to note that you started writing Diary at the age of 12.I learn a lot visiting your site.
    Wish you a happy new Year,2011.

  • Roger Darlington

    Thank you, Ashok.

    I hope that you will keep visiting.

  • hazel ripley

    Hello Roger, I am quite fascinated to have read about you as I have done exactly the same as you. My first diary was 1961 (Jan 1st) and I also have never missed a single day!!! To date, that means I (we) are on our 55th diary.

    Kind regards
    Hazel (aged 68 next week)

  • Roger Darlington

    It’s good to know that I’m not alone, Hazel, but I think diary keeping is on the decline as people use social media – which i use too – to chart their life (but, of course, there are things you tell your diary that you would not tell even most of your family and friends).


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