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We want your diary entry for tomorrow.

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Eddie Mair | 09:24 UK time, Friday, 8 August 2008

orwell.jpg We'll tell you how to do it on PM tonight, and there's more on iPM tomorrow. The inspiration? They're putting George Orwell's diary online from tomorrow.

Allan Massie writes about it in today's Daily Telegraph - he says George Orwell would have blogged. There's more from Radio 4's Today here.


  • 1. At 10:07am on 08 Aug 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Is it really a good idea to start publishing Eric's diary with his first entry?

    "August 9th. Got up, went shopping. Bought a diary. V. cheap, shame there's less than 5 months left in it. Thinks... do I sign this diary Eric or George? Must buy a loaf tomorrow. Should probably have bought a biggerdiarythere'snotenoug"

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  • 2. At 10:45am on 08 Aug 2008, U10783173 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 3. At 11:42am on 08 Aug 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    Nice joke......... can you see the tumble weed blowing across the screen?

    Anyway what kind of horse goes to a dairy? must be some sick French thing

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  • 4. At 11:44am on 08 Aug 2008, U10783173 wrote:

    Tbird (3) - DO keep up! I'm only a horse intermittently.

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  • 5. At 11:53am on 08 Aug 2008, mygloriousleader wrote:

    Went forward in time machine and brought this back;
    Diary from A Wreck;
    Woke up with a tap on the door, funny place to put a tap, must talk to the plumber. Looked to the side of me and wondered who that was sleeping there. Rubbed eyes. Saw it was the dog. Funny that because I don't have a dog. Went downstairs. There's a bit of a smell of curry. Realised that going downstairs was a mistake. I live in a bungalow. Funny smell in the cellar. Went up into kitchen. Put on kettle. Took it off again because it clashed with my pyjamas. Went use cupboard. Why I use a board to keep my cups on I'll never know. Looked around for something to drink. Couldn't see because I didn't have my glasses on. Balanced two tumblers on my head but still could not see anything. Decided to go back to bed and wait for a change of Government.

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  • 6. At 11:58am on 08 Aug 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 7. At 12:00pm on 08 Aug 2008, Joe_Palooka wrote:

    A shy young maid has took a room down at the Village Inn.
    Her bedside light is oh so bright and the curtains oh so thin.
    At nine o'clock, she enters her room, at half past nine, she sleeps.
    Lord Clarendon walks quickly on. but naughty Samuel Pepys.

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  • 8. At 12:03pm on 08 Aug 2008, mygloriousleader wrote:

    If Samuel Peeps,
    What does Eric do?

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  • 9. At 12:16pm on 08 Aug 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    "Today saw the most vicious and unnecessary act of wanton destruction ever perpetrated upon an innocent civilian population. In the interest of gathering more data and to test an alternative trigger mechanism, our great nation destroyed the Japanese city of Nagasaki, including the largest population of Christians in Japan....If we had given them more time to consider Hiroshima, they might have surrendered before we got to try out the alternative methods..."


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  • 10. At 12:36pm on 08 Aug 2008, barriesingleton wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 11. At 12:52pm on 08 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    EI 9, "might have" being the operative words. They might have developed one themselves and used it. How soon we forget Pearl Harbor.

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  • 12. At 12:54pm on 08 Aug 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    I reckon it would have taken them a wee bit more than three days to develop one.


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  • 13. At 12:55pm on 08 Aug 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    How soon we forget how to spell it...

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  • 14. At 12:56pm on 08 Aug 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    LOL (literally!)

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  • 15. At 12:58pm on 08 Aug 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    I know, I know, walk of shame

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  • 16. At 1:01pm on 08 Aug 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    In my defence, I am English.....

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  • 17. At 1:09pm on 08 Aug 2008, Fifi wrote:

    Goodness me, the mods are on top form today! What on earth is going on?

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  • 18. At 1:17pm on 08 Aug 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I wonder if I can get a Scots spelling dictionary?

    "Ha! whare ye gaun' ye crowlin ferlie?
    Your impudence protects you sairly;
    I canna say but ye strunt rarely
    Owre gauze and lace,
    Tho faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
    On sic a place.

    O wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!
    It wad frae monie a blunder free us
    An foolish notion:
    What airs in dress an gait wad lea'es us,
    An ev'n devotion!"

    from the Burns Unit


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  • 19. At 5:03pm on 08 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    EI 12, They should have started before deciding to bomb Pearl Harbor.

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  • 20. At 5:04pm on 08 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Tbird 13, That is how we (Murcans) spell it.

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  • 21. At 5:18pm on 08 Aug 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Ed (18), what a lousy idea.

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  • 22. At 8:17pm on 08 Aug 2008, annasee wrote:

    I loved Eddie's final advice about this item "But don't do it today, because it isn't tomorrow yet". Wise words indeed, and deeply profound. I think. Or maybe it was just for the terminally confused among us (like me).

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  • 23. At 8:26pm on 08 Aug 2008, Fifi wrote:

    Deeply profound, eh Annasee? (22)

    I once had a boss who was flattered when I described him as having 'hidden shallows'.


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  • 24. At 10:15am on 09 Aug 2008, annasee wrote:

    Is it tomorrow yet? Can I write my diary entry? What do you mean it's today now?

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  • 25. At 10:34am on 09 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Annasee: I've already written mine, so I've a lot to live up to today ;o)

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  • 26. At 10:37am on 09 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    I've just had a thought: As I took my Blog pseudonym from Orwell's Big Brother (an ironic twist on the concept - female, friendly, not menacing, etc.) I suppose today's a special day for me. How can I celebrate?

    Oh, I know, I'll just go and do a bit more diy, that'll be different - not!

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  • 27. At 3:08pm on 09 Aug 2008, Aperitif wrote:

    Happiness is keeping away from very cheap alcoholic beverages.

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  • 28. At 5:27pm on 11 Aug 2008, richardfriday wrote:

    09 August 2008

    Christopher-Biggins-on-a-bike, what a hangover. It all came about, as last night was Jasper’s birthday - a big O, apparently, though certainly not 20. The night started with tequilas and moved onto homemade vodka jellies, which proved fuel enough to solve the oil crisis. I seem to recall we ended up at some rather bizarre funfair, where we kept winning goldfish in small poly bags. On the tube into town, Jasper and Parminder thought it would be a jolly to free these poor fish from captivity in to the gutter between the train tracks. Aaron and myself weren’t so keen as we thought they’d be electrocuted, but Jasper countered we had no aesthetic taste and that the Underground could do with a water feature or two.

    Later, Jasper dragged us back up town to meet his latest beau, a rather anonymous-looking man called Nigel, in an expensive pin-stripped suit, who kept saying ‘thank you’ when people accidentally spilt their drinks on it. I seem to recall I asked him about his relationship with J, and he responded, ‘It’s the fisting I like best,’ which was a bit of an icebreaker. Nigel, who’s a middle-aged junior clerk in accounts, with some mouthful of names in the City, said he thanks his childhood obsession with Sooty for his desire for such fulsome intimate pleasure. He also claimed he had a large selection of glove puppets (including a very rare Dr Who), and I was more than welcome to come have a fitting, sometime. At least, I think he said ‘fitting’.

    That’s the thing about Jasper and his friends, you never know if they’re being serious or not.

    Anyway, that was this morning until about 4am, when we ended up at a dimly-lit ‘smoke easy’, where the clientele enjoyed a few illicit cigarettes with their medicinal nightcap. It gave the wee small hours a terrifically vicarious thrill, as Parminder and I imagined we were living through 1920s Prohibition.

    But this morning, this morning, I am dead. I feel dead. But the pain in my head convinces me otherwise. This and the knowledge that I have to vacate my lovely abode in Hoxton for less salubrious digs in Camden have forced me out of my pit.

    Jasper arrived at ten to help move the last of the boxes. He was unbelievably fresh and grinning from ear to ear. Turned out he was still drunk. Thankfully he’d brought another friend to drive the van from Hoxton to Camden.

    It took a couple of hours for the move, after which, Jasper said he was going back to Old Compton Street to continue the birthday celebrations. I envied his stamina.

    Just after he left, my new landlord, Angus McQuail paid a visit. My new flat is on the second floor of a large converted house, Mr Nobody, so-called as no-one knows or has seen him, is the alleged tenant who inhabits the ground floor. A man named Algernon Monastre, who appeared at the same time as Mr McQuail, and followed us up the front stairs, dwells on the first.

    ‘Well, hello Richard,’ said McQuail, ‘Ye’ll have had yer key?’
    ‘Yes, thanks, Mr McQuail.’
    ‘I was just passing, so I thought I’d pay ye a wee visit. Ye dinny mind, do ye?’
    ‘Of course not.’ Though in truth I was rather wishing I had gone for that hair of the dog with J.
    ‘And de ye know yer new nee’bour, Mr Monastre?’
    I didn’t, and shook hands with this tall, longhaired, Edwardian looking man. That is Long Shanks, not Woodward. Mr Monastre, was carrying a selection of books, one of which was Richard Dawkins ‘The God Delusion’, which Mr McQuail quickly latched onto.
    ‘Mr Monastre, I didny ken ye were a Darwinist?’
    ‘I am open minded about such things, Angus.’
    ‘Oh, are ye?’
    ‘Wheel, ye see, I dinny believe in sich, for if it were true, then yon evolution would have brought about an improvement in yon intellect, wouldn’t it hay?’
    Neither Mr Monastre nor myself were following Mr McQuail’s argument as we walked slowly up the stairs to the first floor.
    ‘Ye see, if that were so, then the folks o’ mah homeland wouldny vote Labour come every election, would they? I think that puts yon Dawkins in a cocked hat, no?’
    Mr Monastre, just smiled and nodded as he quickly disappeared into his flat. It wasn’t until much later I remembered that the SNP had just won an election up there.

    Once he was gone, Mr McQuail leant close to me and said, ‘Watch that yin, laddie, he’s a practitioner of yon black arts.’ Then gave my ribs a rather sharp nudge.
    ‘Ken, whit am sayin’?’
    Frankly, I hadn’t a clue what he was on about, but the poor man wouldn’t desist.
    ‘Yer no a virgin, a ye?’
    ‘O, that’s fine and dandy then. Ye’ll no be mysteriously disappearin’ like yon last tenant.’

    Inside the flat, Mr McQuail, gave my goods and chattels a fair bit of rummaging, with little gasps of ‘Would ye credit that?’ I began to fear he wasn’t going to leave, when eventually I managed to (thankfully) manoeuvre him towards the door. Just as I had him over the threshold, he made a Columbo-like reappearance.

    ‘Chist one mair thing, Mr Friday. No that I’m a believer in such things, but a few o’ mah tenants have claimed yon flat yer in is haunted. But I ken with a young man, sich as yersel’, it winny be spooks that make ye go bump in the night, eh?’ And with another sharp dig in my ribs, he was gone.

    In my current hungover state, one more spirit didn’t seem such a bad thing.

    In the afternoon I worked on a pitch for a new format series called ‘Is There A Doctor in the House?’, which we hope to pitch to the Corporation. It’s a bit like those recent LE shows that searched for the best Maria or Nancy, though this time our bright young check-out girls will be aiming to cut the grade as NHS surgeons. Still not sure if this is the right thing for Norton, perhaps Dr Hill would be better, as at least he’s qualified.

    At six, I’d given up and watched the rather disturbing news from Georgia. After which I fell into a coma, and had a terrible dream about some poor commuter asphyxiating on a hundred goldfish that blissfully swam between the underground tracks of the Angel and Islington station. Oh dear God, I will never drink again, I thought as my moby woke me, to hear Parminder in a very noisy bar, ‘Are you coming out? Jasper is so drunk!’

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  • 29. At 10:32pm on 11 Aug 2008, GayAbandon wrote:

    Saturday 9th August
    Thank goodness for hot water and baths.
    This is the only way to start the days at the Edinburgh Festival Craft and Design Fair. Outside, in little wooden stalls for 21 days. Come rain or shine. And we have had so much rain since Wednesday. I wake up slowly in the bath and try to gauge what the day’s weather will be before dressing – always a difficult one.
    Pack the day’s float, layers of clothing, brolly, plastic bags, thermos flask, orders I worked on last night, something for lunch, or whatever it is I eat when I have the chance, grab the £1.10p for the bus and am out of my temporary accommodation at just after 8am.
    Buses aren’t as frequent on Saturdays and I hop on the first that will take me to Princes Street, and hoof the length of it at full tilt. Signs of the night’s revelry still apparent and the beggars perched on cardboard, and the Big Issue sellers add to the full city flavour.
    The Book Festival hasn’t kicked in yet , and the weather has been so miserable that visitors to any outdoor venue are very thin on the ground and morale within the fair is wobbly. It has been running for 25 years, this is the first really wet week we can remember for a long time.
    I set up my stand, make a cup of good strong coffee with my little filter and have something to eat, and over the course of the next few hours the fair comes to life as everyone concentrates on the job of being ready for what we hope is a busy Saturday. Over 100 makers, artists and designers commit to this event. It is good fun but very hard work. Open at 11am and all set, but the day turns out to be disappointing for me, hard work and very few sales. Heavy showers mean the puddle behind my stand appears again and I straddle it carefully; it’s amazing how often I drop something when the puddle is there. Lots of really interesting and interested folk come by though. Someone said I was a feature of the Fair! I remain cheerful and optimistic – you gotta be in this game, and the heavens open just before we pack up which makes it all a bit tricky. It takes longer than usual and I don’t get away till 7pm. I overtake dawdling visitors along Princes Street to try and catch the few early evening bus options, weaving in and out, saying ‘excuse me’ in the few languages I know, dodging umbrellas and large visitors in huge plastic rain capes printed with the Saltire or sponsoring bank logos. They look ridiculous. But dry.
    I hate umbrellas. Correction, I hate umbrella users. They seem to be unaware of their spacial impact on other people, especially those of us who are tall. I weave through them with hands held like blinkers, for they verily poke the eyes of us at this height. And don’t get me started on people who use golfing umbrellas in crowded city spaces……
    I run (uphill) for a bus that does not go as far as my destination but decide to take it anyway as l’ll get as wet waiting for another bus as walking the extra mile and the exercise is good for standing-all-day legs. Actually the walking bit is wetter by far.
    As I walk I muse on how I am beginning to get back into the city again, in spite of the rain. What’s really bugging me is Tracey Emin demanded the removal of the display cabinet which featured my work at the Gallery of Modern Art Shop. Actually it was in the corridor outside the shop. It is a great boost to have our National Gallery support Scottish makers and , OK , visitors would have seen my work before hers, but hey, she has all the rooms in the gallery and it was a really big deal for me. My work is now in the shop in a small cabinet and may be moved across to the Dean Building. The cabinet has been destroyed. I feel everything from rage to wanting to laugh at the absurdity of ego and art. Hers? Or mine? Where’s the sisterhood now?
    There is a comraderie between those of us who work during the Festival as we can talk about the visitors and our experiences with them. Taxi drivers are, of course, the best craic on this subject and I wonder when I’ll get a chance to slip in an ‘ I had that Tracey Emin demand my work was moved’ the next time I give in to exhaustion and get a taxi.
    There’s meal on offer when I eventually get back – hurrah - and a bottle of wine has been opened. I peel off the wet clothes, try and hang them about to dry before tomorrow’s jollity, and end the day in a hot bath, again. Thank goodness for hot water. Very tired trying to write this in bed. Sleep well Tracey.

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