Jane Winkworth

Diary, Diary - Wherefore Art Thou ? ........ November 23rd 2012

I am such a technophobe that to put all my appointments, special dates, birthday reminders, business meetings etc. onto my computer would be a complete and total impossibility.
My wonderful PA Angelise keeps trying to encourage me with helpful on-line spread sheets and Diary page software which rings and bleeps whenever something important crops up. She goes to her efficient page as soon as she comes in and sees all her tasks and duties neatly printed out before her - all with various symbols and time counters!!! I am impressed and I also realise that her way is the most efficient by far - but somehow I just love my battered old Filofax with three years at a flick of a page. I like to keep last year in the front with the current year in the middle and next year at the back.

That way, at a glance, wherever I am, I see what I will be doing next year and what I did last year - I like to see my handwriting, I like to see the stained pages where my cup of tea has spilled and I especially like the added interest where my beloved and treasured granddaughter has inserted some messages of her own….” Get me a Mermaid’s Tail Grannie”....or “Am I your favourite still?” .............. Needless to say the page that contains the magic date of November 18th (her birthday) is very heavily coloured with illustrations of party paraphernalia and the message in multi coloured felt tip pen says ” My Birthday is Very Important Don’t Forget I want a Mermaid’s Tail ” ....... this again from Bee, the treasured one !

So imagine my horror and despair a couple of weeks ago when this massively important book of dates and messages went missing. Gone, vanished, and disappeared from the face of the earth. I searched everywhere - my offices in Brook Street were turned upside down, all my London stores were searched - my London flat was turned upside down and my poor house in the country is still recovering from the shock of an army of staff, housekeepers, gardener, my chauffeur and several friends plus my PA - all betting each other they would find it in the most unlikely of places as my immaculate linen cupboard was almost destroyed!!

I missed a dentist’s appointment, a hair appointment, I had to call my manicurist twice to check on her days, I failed to arrive on time for a business appointment to discuss a hugely lucrative franchise deal, I missed tea at Claridges with my oldest friend, I missed two very important family Birthday’s and was late with my American daughter in law’s birthday gift - not a good idea as I pride myself on being the perfect mother-in-law!!

I missed being able to look back at last year to see what I was doing and worse, all my travel dates had to be re-checked. Ballet dates, which mean the world to me, had to be confirmed with the ballet as I am always a guest and so never have a ticket, suppers in London after work all had to be re-booked and my dentist has charged me a fortune for a missed appointment!

Finally, in despair I decided to buy a new organiser and to ease the pain I thought I would switch from my trusty Filofax - which I have used with various different covers since Filofax first burst onto the “must have it” Yuppie Scene back in the early nineties, I bought one of the first ones ever to be produced from Harrod’s - I adored it!
Nowadays, Filofax covers are not very interesting and the colours are rather boring, so I decided to go to Smythsons and upgrade from my everyday old Filofax to a sumptuous crocodile organiser at a vast price. I could not decide, so I decided to wait until I got back home and go on-line and make the final choice.

I settled down one evening, a tray of tea beside me, and my little dog asleep by my side and logged in to my Smithson’s account. They have a new website now which is quick and smart and I very soon found my “dream” crocodile personal organiser. A deep midnight purple/ blue onto which I would have my initials embossed in gold on the bottom right hand side at an extra ghastly cost! Whilst I was musing over the massive difference in price between this and my standard maroon Filofax, a strange thing happened - I sipped my tea, and I am ashamed to say I dipped a McVities Rich Tea biscuit into it and as I was about to put the lovely soggy gorgeous biscuit into my mouth - half of it dropped off (too much dipping into the tea) and fell onto the floor. My little dog pricked up her ears and saw a chance to grab the biscuit from the floor and as I bent down to retrieve it - what did I spy under my desk? Yes - my lovely old Filofax!!!
So who said biscuits were bad for you? My McVities Rich Tea fetish saved me about £500 and discovered the long lost Filofax!!

Categories: My Week

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Charities Jane supports:

The Royal ballet school English National Ballet Starlight ACCA The Royal Marsden Havens Hospice