Friday, February 9, 2018

From my Diary

My Penzu diary, which I've been keeping since June 24th 2015, is over nine hundred thousand words long now. I frequently browse it. I haven't missed a single day.

Whenever I mention it, people ask me if I'm worried about it being hacked. Not really. Who would be interested? Besides, it's so bloody long at this stage, who'd read through it? As for the danger of losing access to it, Penzu allows you to "export" the whole thing to yourself as a PDF, so I've developed a habit of doing that on the twenty-second of each month, and I keep them in different places.

The diary is addressed to myself, though I like the thought of somebody else reading it some day, when I am old or dead. So there aren't very many passages suitable for reproducing here.

However, when I came across this entry for the twenty-fifth of January, 2016:

The first Mass of the new term will be celebrated in a few minutes, as I sit here on the level two desk writing my Penzu diary. Nevertheless, I'm remarkably content at this moment. Now and again, I take a pleasure in the most banal, ordinary things. This isn't exactly the kind of blazing ontological wonder that we feel when we look at the stars or ask the question, "Why is there something rather than nothing?". It's more an intense pleasure in the sight of someone holding a cup of coffee, or using a computer catalogue. You think: "There's this, at least. They are holding a cup of coffee instead of being tortured or fleeing a warzone or something." But even that sounds too humanitarian and I don't mean it in a humanitarian way, particularly. It's not a lofty feeling at all. It's almost anti-lofty. It's a sheer joy that there is room in life for things like doughnuts and tweets and jokes. I feel this especially when I look at Robert Picardo's tweets (which I used to) and when I see the posters in the Costa coffee shop underneath the library, or the posters in the bookshop. (In fact, the 'Penzu podcast' in the corner of the screen, which has nothing to do with diary-keeping, is an example.)

(Robert Picardo is an actor from Star Trek Voyager. I followed his Twitter feed before I was even on Twitter. It's hard to explain why I did, and what exactly I got out of it. Eventually I stopped following him completely, when Trump came along and he joined in the badmouthing.)


  1. Would it be possible to for you to post your article on CS Lewis, as I am not from Ireland, I cannot read it.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Field Marshall Sir John Lasquith-Horedon

    1. Dear Field Marshall

      Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to comment!

      I will put this article up as soon as the current copy of Ireland's Own is no longer on sale. I intend to send more articles to them and I don't want to irritate them by posting them free here while the issues could still be bought. I'm sure I'm being far too cautious, but there you go.

      In all honesty, I don't think there's much in it that anyone who regularly reads this blog wouldn't know.