It’s that time of the year again, when I turn the page in my academic week-to-a-spread diary and realise I’m out of time. No more days, no more weeks, no clue what I’m doing this week or where. So off to the city centre to find a replacement. Not as easy as you might think – the last diary I bought was found in a perfect French papeterie with dozens of different designs and colours. Apart from food and extra-marital affairs, if there is one thing that the French are culturally in tune with, it’s good stationery and good diaries.
In the absence of any decent stationers here in Glasgow, and a deathly depressing range of brightly coloured teenage-targeted Paperchase products in Borders – Scotland’s biggest and most anaemic bookshop, it was back to the old stand by of middle class Britain, John Lewis.
The diary I found is clear and practical, although it was of course no pleasure to open it up to this forthcoming week and be reminded of a minor fault with Scotland’s calendar.
That would be one advantage of a French diary – every public holiday comes as a surprise and every absence of a public holiday goes unnoticed.