Back in June 2019, they announced that they were going to move the date of the 2020 May Day Bank Holiday. Under the usual rules, it would have fallen on Star Wars Day, Monday May 4th. But for 2020 it's being moved to Friday May 8th, to fall in line with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
A change like that is always going to annoy some people, but it was surprising where the main objection to it came from: diary and calendar manufacturers. Because by the time the announcement of the date change was made, many of them had already completed their print run. Some of them had to expensively pulp all their stock and reprint: others have had to go for the messy option of an apologetic sticker on the cover with a correction: a few are just ignoring the situation and hoping not too many people lose their jobs from not going in to work on May 4th.
In those circumstances, a diary that's traditionally put together in a kick bollocks scramble towards the end of December doesn't seem like a silly idea any more, does it?
It's that time of year again - the ninth year since its debut in 2012, no less - when fans of dead tree media can place their orders for the Living For The Weekend 2020 diary, created and designed by The Belated Birthday Girl. You should be familiar with the story by now: she was annoyed at how most pocket diaries maximise the amount of space allocated to weekdays while squashing weekends into a tiny slot at the bottom of a page. What are you supposed to do if most of the events you want to write in your diary happen at the weekend? So she came up with a revolutionary design, where each week is covered by a two-page spread: weekdays on one, weekends on the other. And with the aid of the good people at lulu.com, she could get it printed for next to no money, and even offer it up for sale to anyone else who liked the idea.
As usual, you get plenty of features for your £3.99 (plus VAT and shipping). A pretty full colour cover, shot by The BBG herself! Calendars for 2019, 2020 and 2021! Start dates for the six major Japanese sumo tournaments! An unexpected anniversary or two! Some space for notes! Still no travel maps (but you do get a blank page at the back to glue in the one of your choice)!
There's also a two-page spread with a project for you to complete during the year. For 2020, the project is Undiscovered Gigs. Live music has played a part in previous projects, as you may remember: 2018 was about just getting out to see more live music, while 2015 was focussed on visiting small venues. But in both cases, we were largely going to see artists we were already familiar with. We're both big fans of the thrill of discovering someone new in a support slot: could we recreate that thrill by deliberately seeking out shows - music or comedy - by people we'd never heard of before, going purely off a verbal description in listings? It could be great or it could be terrible, but frankly we're prepared to run with those odds. We'll report back as we go.
All this and it's got the May Day Bank Holiday in the right place, unlike the Letts diary I paid seven quid for. Admittedly, if you're reading this on the day of posting, it's probably just too late to promise we can get you a copy of Living For The Weekend: 2020 Diary before Christmas Day: but we could probably manage it in time for January 1st 2020, and that's a definite improvement on previous years. So what are you waiting for? (The traditional answer of 'an e-book edition' will not be accepted this year, sorry.) Click on the image below.