The perfect diary

Your lunches are worthy of leather. Your breakfast meeting is worthy of gilt. Your hair appointments are worthy of featherweight pale blue paper, satin ribbons and copious space for Notes. Turn off your Blackberry, fold your pocket square into an Astaire and go and buy yourself a proper diary, my son. Your life is a masterwork of mundanity, and it deserves to be embellished and bound like the quotidian gospel it is.

In our era of Outlook autonomy and mobile synchronicity, the old-fashioned daybook has been exempted from the sordid business of actually remembering to do things (we’re talking diary as in appointment book here, not diary as in receptacle for your esoteric emotional angst – I’m assuming that, as a true Finch’s man, the day that Nanny mocked your grief over the untimely death of Woof-Woof McRuffington you vowed never to publicise such weakness again). The pen and paper diary has become superfluous to our plugged-in needs, useless in any real practical way: in short, it has reached the moment at which an objet de mode really comes into its own.

The purpose of perfect post-digital diary is, in fact, to act as a highly artful artefact: to record the carefully selective narrative of your life as you wish it were. So: your visit to Camille O’Sullivan’s The Dark Angel at the Roundhouse on January 14th? Ink it in with a flourish. Your visit to see Twilight in Milton Keynes on January 15th? No. This is your chance to log a better self in 2009, to create a chronicle of cultural curiosity and social scintillation, with all the whoring, boring and embarrassing bits concealed behind a password on your PDA. Of course, this mustn’t look forced. Learn to pepper your pocketbook with the occasional spontaneously-looking crossing-through (you were too busy to attend Basel. Admittedly, busy watching Britney, but that’s not the point.) And dust liberally with mystery. Regular midnight bedroom assignations with a certain ‘D.S.’ should do the trick. No-one need know it was Ms Nintendo.

Aesthetics should follow suit. The modern diary is a dandy and a spiv. Shamelessly self-satisfied and apocryphal, it should embrace anything that smacks of aspiring gentilesse. Essentially Malvolian – cross-gartered, pompous, with ideas above its station – it should be clothed in skins once worn by crocodiles, in colours reminiscent of public school ties: almost lovely, but trying too hard. Smythson is the temple of the diarising man; their butter soft books are so perfectly tasteful they’re tasteless, managing to emanate the ultimate nouveau riche aura by being both ubiquitous and bespoke. When your derrings-do are documented in a £295 teal and green Jonathan Saunders Soho embossed with your name – you’re the hero of this fairy tale, after all – you can’t help but record a year in the life of someone uncharacteristically piquant, glossy and rich.

Go forth and bullshit, my boy.