Pepys

February 22nd 2022

Today I learnt about the diarist Samuel Pepys. He’s (apparently) famous for having a diary in which he wrote every day for nine years. It’s (allegedly) of historic importance as it documents what life was like in the 1600s. He writes about many things of note, such as the Plague, the Great Fire, and what we watched at the theatre that night.

I mention this because I am unimpressed. Nine years? And that makes him a famous diarist? I’ve been writing this diary every day for over 7 years and I’m in my twenties. He stopped his daily writings because he got too old to see the page he was writing on in dim light, but I’m writing this on my iPhone so I don’t see that being a problem for me any time soon.

I am two years away from beating the record for consecutive days diarised, I guess. Also I’ve literally also been writing about living through a plague for the last two years. It’s not my fault there haven’t been any big fires lately.

There’s a Twitter account which each day tweets the contents of Samuel Pepys’ diary entry from the relevant date in the 1600s. It has seventy thousand followers. In the world of “people who write a diary every day”, this dude is Bono. And I’ve read some of his entries. They’re often like a paragraph long. Fucking amateur.

I joke that mostly I just write about what I had for dinner or what I watched on Netflix, but so did this dude. Except instead of Netflix it was what he watched at the Globe Theatre and the dinners he had were often with the literal King of England.

I learnt about Samuel Pepys through this BBC news article which interviews a bloke who has taken a photo at 12:34 every day for the last 10 years: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-london-60471272

Except in the video he literally admits that sometimes he forgets and just claims any photo he took that day as his “daily photo”.

Like don’t get me wrong I can obviously relate to the desire to document every day of your life (I literally do it myself), but is that really all you have to do to get a BBC news article written about you? If so, where’s my BBC news article??

I am not saying that the content of these daily blogs is of historical significance, but I’m not sure Pepys’ should be either. The dude admitted that he kissed the corpse of Henry V’s dead wife because it was his birthday. Bloke was clearly a wrongun.

Also, not once in the 9 years of writing a daily diary did he ever once mention that it was his wife’s birthday, but he did frequently describe evenings he spent with his various mistresses. At least I have the grace to hide the shady parts of my life from this relatively public forum.

So I guess what I’m saying is… hello. Hello to the historian who is reading this diary entry in the year 2300. And hello to the people reading the tweet from the Twitter account which posts each of my entries like they do now for Pepys. (Twitter definitely won’t exist in 400 years will it)

This is daily diary entry number 2609. If I live another 50 years I’ll break 20,000 by the time I die.

Until tomorrow, I’m coming for your Pepys.

Jacn

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