The Writers' Group to which I belong set this title as our exercise for the November meeting. It has not been as easy one to do. But I have done it and set it out below for you to read.
November 23rd 1831. "This has been a very important day in the annals of the Beagle; at one o'clock she was loosed from her mooring and sailed about a mile to Barnet pool." So wrote Charles Darwin at the start of his momentous journey which was to shake Victorian society to its core.
20th August 1933. Robert Byron who wrote"The Road to Oxiana" started his diary of the journey through the Middle East with the words, "Venice - went to the Lido this morning." Not an inspiring entry but it did get better as he trecked through Iran and Syria.
George Orwell most probably began his diary on Wednesday 30th July 1938 - although many of his early entries are very pedestrian (cool and misty day here).
February 7th 1796 "Today has John and I bin wed this 3 yere." This first entry in "Diary of a Farmer's Wife 1796 - 7".
Of course some famous diaries did begin on January 1st. Samuel Pepys began his on a cheerful note "Blessed be God at the end of last year, I was in very good health."
I can quite see why Edith Holden began her Edwardian Diary in January - she was a superb sketcher and how exciting to start with bare branches, ploughed fields, fallen leaves.
For most of us New Year's Day suggests a new beginning. We can clear our minds, clear the decks, make a new start. Most of us have had diaries in our Christmas stockings so why not start to catalogue our daily doings - we usually stop before February.
Luckily the people I have mentioned wrote diaries which have stayed the course and made fascinating reading down the years. I think it is as well that our stocking diaries rarely get past the end of the month. For a diary needs to be started on the day when the writer has something to say.