Drumroll please…

Thanks so much everyone for sharing your favourite things this month! I loved all your suggestions, and particularly the fact that so many of your favourite things centred around simple pleasures…family, friends, and just hanging out with those you love in places you enjoy.

I’m pleased to announce, that Shauna M is the winner of That Book You Like’s June give-away.  Shauna, a lovely kikki.K 365 Diary will be finding its way to you!  Thanks to all for joining in and stay tuned for more little prizes throughout the year.

If you’d like to hear more about why the 365 Diary is one of my favourite things, you can read about it here…

Also, don’t forget to follow my blog around on Facebook  and  Twitter.

June give-away: What do you love?

As you might have gathered by now, I’m quite keen on sharing the things I love. For me, there’s nothing quite like having a bit of a chatter about a book I love, an artist I’m into, or a play I’ve really enjoyed – hence my funny, mixed-up little blog.

But now it’s your turn! I would very much like to hear about your favourite things, and I’ll make it worth your while.

To go into the running to win this month’s give-away, all you have to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this post, or

2. Visit That Book You Like‘s Facebook page

…and tell us about one of your favourite things! Pics and links are great too, and I’d love you to tell us why it’s such a fav.

The winner of this month’s competition (selected at random) will receive one of my most recent favourite things…a 365 Diary, from Kikki K. You can find out why I love these diaries so much here, but the bestest reason of all is that they can be started at any time of any year – you’ve gotta love it!

Looking forward to seeing what you’re all loving at the moment! Entries close Thursday, 16 June 2011.

Join us:   Facebook  and  Twitter

365 days, isn’t that like a whole year?

Last Sunday, I bought myself a 365 notebook from Kikki K, and to my surprise I’ve managed to write in it every day so far.  Admittedly, it’s only been a week, but for me that’s pretty impressive – I’d usually have gotten distracted by now.

The notebook is basically a journal, but a little less structured than your traditional diary.  As such, it gives you the room to record through words, pictures, photos or ‘items of note’ like ticket stubs, programs, that type of thing.

It caught my eye last year, but I’ve been talking myself out of it, as I was pretty sure it’d become another one of those things that I never get time to do. But on Mother’s Day I was feeling generous and hopeful, and thought I’d give it a try.  I really love having an excuse to write by hand, and there really is nothing like making a quick note about something new or fabulous that has happened throughout the day.

So far, I’ve included photos of me and the boys, a recipe for a new soup I tried my own way, and a program from a show.

I’m not sure if going shopping on Mother’s Day is such a great idea, as the temptation to spoil myself and buy half the shop was almost overwhelming. But, I was quite restrained and only treated myself to a couple of things. As well as the journal, I also picked up one other small thing…a lovely ball of twine! My boys thought I was quite mad, especially for how excited I got about this little ball of red and white string.  I can’t explain it really, but simple, pretty things like this make me quite happy. It’s lovely quality too, and I’m sure I’ll find many nice things to do with it.

As I said, the boys thought me a little crazy until they saw this…

I think they kind of got the idea a bit better after I’d shown them how good it could look.

I really hope that all you Mums out there were able to spoil yourself a little on your special weekend, and that that feeling hasn’t worn off yet.  I hope we can all keep trying hard to make a little time to sit and reflect each day, to write or read or fiddle with photos. As for myself, I’m going keep enjoying little things like handwriting, ticket stubs and twine.

Join us:   Facebook  and  Twitter

Finally sharpened

Much to Evan’s dismay, I was sorting through stationary yesterday, getting things ready for him to start another year at school.  While I was scratching around in the desk draw, I came across my Penguin pencils, a gift from my sister Karen. Bizarrely, I’d not sharpened any of them – they just looked so nice in their orange and beige packet. I couldn’t bring myself to damage them, I suppose it’s the same logic that has people deciding to leave the plastic on ‘the good couch’ so that it doesn’t loose it’s newness.  Uncomfortable, by forever young.

But, a bit like a story, a pencil is hardly a pencil if it doesn’t have a point – so I bit the bullet and started off Great Expectations

They fitted so nicely with my gorgeous 2011 diary, a gift from my friend Tatiana.  Given my ramblings yesterday, I though I might just share…

The diary is by O-Check and it’s wonderful.  It’s lovely to use, earthy to touch and easy to use with it’s spiral binding.

It’s a funny thing too, the front cover is perplexing…making the diary much more interesting than it being just a series of appointments and to-do-lists.

Another Day - Cloudy Memory; at this moment am I drawing to remember or to erase

I’ve done the Kikki.K diary for the past few years, but I’ve got to say I’m very much enjoying a change of scenery.  Just lovely…

Just one more reason

Not that I needed another reason for wanting to be in New York City, but here’s one anyway.

I recently noticed an article about an exhibition currently on at The Morgan Library and Museum,  and it caught my eye as a most fascinating collection of insights.  On now, “The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives” is a showing of the private diaries of an amazing range of people, John Steinbeck, Bob Dylan, and Queen Victoria to name but a few.  There is even the diary of a true-life pirate; I don’t know why, but I’d love to get my hands on that one.

The thing that really got me thinking was the question of the degree to which these journals were written for general consumption.  I’m not a big fan of the autobiography, so it would be the secrets, the private, the unscripted revelations of these books of all shapes and sizes that would appeal to me.  Do you think anyone really writes a diary thinking that it will never be discovered, never read by anyone?  Beyond secret encryptions and codes (which some of the diary writers in the exhibition did in fact use), surely a diary-keeper must assume that even the most private of diaries might one day be read, especially if written by someone of public interest.  How does this influence what they include and how engineered the entries are?

It’s been many years since I’ve kept a diary, and I’ve lost count of the number of notebooks entitled ‘My Journal’ that have the first couple of  pages completed, have then been put on a shelf or in a cupboard only to be later discovered and greeted with a rye little giggle at myself for trying yet again to document my day-to-days.

But, alas, of late my days have indeed been documented.  Although it lacks the secrecy and the careful consideration that sometimes comes with diary-keeping, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have quite nicely recorded (and reported) the dot-points of my days over the last couple of years.  Although I have to say that it lacks the intimacy of a lock-and-key journal, and the therapeutic value of hand-writing thoughts on hard, white paper under hand, it has nonetheless been of great value to myself and to those interested in my comings and goings.  And as with flipping back through the pages of a paper diary, it is extremely interesting to press the ‘Older Post’ button at the bottom of the page, and go back through the days, months and years to track your own path.

I guess at the end of the day, whether it be for our own sake, or for the interest of others, self-documentation must hold a great appeal.  Although the vehicle seems to have changed somewhat, the compulsion remains the same…

Do you keep a diary?  Do you think Facebook, Twitter etc., are the same as diary-keeping?

Who’s diary would you most like to read?