September always feels much more like the New Year for me than January which is odd as it is a while since I went to school. I still get excited though at the idea of the 'brown arms with grey cashmere jumper' phase although given the weather in London recently frankly it is a hop, skip and a jump straight into black opaque tights. I kid you not.
The new satchel feeling though has caused me to think a lot about diaries over the summer months. I have been a Blackberry all the way kind of girl ever since I left my beautiful hand tooled diary in Edinburgh airport in 1996. I had made it, it was black military boot calf, hand tooled to look like a little book and it was my Bible of sorts. I spent most of New Year's day every year with a bottle of Ginger Wine lovingly transferring all of my God children's birthday dates (often incorrect if surname was late in the alphabet and later in the Bottle..) and the year planner section was coloured in to give me that wonderful quick overview of the year that blackberries can't do. It also had my vital (at the time) To Do list at the front on top of the blotting paper end papers. I was scarred by the loss. However, how can you argue with the efficiency of an electronic diary? It is backed up. Your PA can manage it. Your kids can access it. You can add huge note sections to each appointment. It's always with you. It's tidy. And to be fair, it has worked for years. Every January, I print off the entire previous year and the plan was to get it bound to keep as a record of my life. However, the tidiness is its problem. A handwritten diary has all the little notes, scribbles, crossed out numbers, cancelled appointments and doodles that speak volumes about a particular moment in your life. It is the very lack of tidiness, the Starbucks spill, the torn corners that make it something than is much more than the sum of its parts. It becomes part of you. Your story becomes the pages and every part of every page has been thumbed by you
So I have decided to go back to a paper diary. I think in fact it is the absolute sign of luxury to not only have a beautiful one, but to be able to manage your life with one. I have put a lot of thought into the size, the layout and the font. I have poured over religious holidays, festivals, dates, bank holidays and have made it a rather personal journey with 'My London' secret address book and I have littered it with the quotes that inspire me and St Christopher's to keep me safe. It is a 'two way' diary so that it is a combined notebook and diary and is held together with a rotating pencil so that you can collect little scraps of paper and photos that make it so exciting to look at later and they won't fall out. And because I think that your diary is the one and only really personal record of who you met, where you went, what you saw and therefore a very valuable piece of personal history, I have also designed a limited 'First Edition Diary' of 10 diaries that I have worked on with a bookbinder to make it a collector's item. I am going to do this each year and will take something that inspires me and make it into the diary. It is a vanity project I admit it..a reason to spend days with bookbinders (the most talented sort of artist) and hours discussing paper and hand torn and dyed edges... but like a good photograph album, if 'this is your life' then I want it to be something that I am proud of. Something that when I am dead and gone, that will be worth keeping. And anyway...are we really any more efficient, relaxed or successful with all this technology in our lives? I'm giving paper another go
Anya Hindmarch launches her first Diary collection on September 9th 2011.