Before we carry on with Strawberry Hill, I wanted to give The Great Diary Project a quick mention. This noble cause has just been set up by my old chum, the splendid Dr Irving Finkel, archaeologist, crytopgrapher, ancient board game expert, assistant keeper at the Department of the Middle East at the British Museum and All Round Good Egg. The Great Diary Project has been set up to provide a permanent home for unwanted diaries of any date or kind. If you're concerned about Great Aunt Dot's secrets becoming public knowledge, you can hand over diaries with a proviso that any information in them won't become public knowledge for however long you want.
Irving's been into old diaries for years, rescuing them when he sees them languishing on some stall somewhere, forlorn. As he so rightly says, diaries are a wonderfully rich historical source for furture generations, telling us so much about ordinary people's lives. Often poignant and moving, personal diaries are a different thing from the published diaries of say, well-known politicians or theatre directors. They tell the truth.
And now, with the sinister Kindle and all its Works amongst us, the battle to preserve everyday diaries as historical documents has become even more important than ever.
If you've got time, please do listen to this touching radio documentary. Marvellous stuff.