This picture shows:
- the spiral-bound notebook I used as a journal when I went Interrailing
- the engagement journey into which I stuck small ephemera and recorded brief highlights of each day
- the photograph album into which I stuck photographs and larger ephemera several months after I returned
- one of the many exercise books in which I’ve been writing, among other things, an account of my travels (it will appear on this blog at some point)
Which is a lot of remembering for three weeks, but I have almost certainly forgotten several interesting and diverting details.
A phrase that’s been floating around my head this year is the documented life. I’m not sure where it came from, or why it feels so important. It’s connected to the idea of legacy, and it seems to be partly for me and partly for other people. Like legacy, it’s haunted by the sense that perhaps it’s all a bit pointless, perhaps no one’s going to care. It is not as if I am going to end up with something like A Time of Gifts, however many exercise books I take over it.
But still, it’s fun. I stick things into albums in order to stop them hanging around the house, and I like looking back through the albums, and it’s sometimes useful to look back through my diaries. I write down as much as I can remember in order to make a note of the lessons I’ve learned for next time, and then, because it’s just annoying otherwise, to fill in the gaps in between them.