By now, you've probably picked up a new diary or calendar for next year. Do me a favour, will you? Have a look at it now and see if that May 8th Bank Holiday is listed or not. It almost certainly isn't.
Once again, it would appear that publishing a diary just days before the end of the previous calendar year has its advantages.
Regular readers will be familiar with what's happening, but I've got a page to fill so here it is again. Since 2012, The Belated Birthday Girl (in association with my publishers at lulu.com) has annually produced a paperback diary for the year. It's called Living For The Weekend because of its design: each week on a two-page spread, with Monday to Friday on one page and Saturday and Sunday on the other, leaving you more space to document the fun things you have planned for the weekend (where most other diaries give you less space). Living For The Weekend: 2023 Diary, like the eleven volumes that came before it, also gives you a few unexpected dates, calendars for 2022-2024, space for notes, a blank page to glue in the transport map of your choice, and the space for documenting your progress on this year's project.
There's always a project (at least, since 2013), generally involving twelve things that need to be achieved during the year in question. The first one was to visit all 12 BrewDog bars that existed at the time (it had gone up to 13 by the time the year ended). Coincidentally, the project in the 2022 diary was also beer related: it was to visit 12 brewery tap bars that we'd never been to before. In the end, we didn't so much visit 12 bars as visit 25 of them. For the record, they were Pressure Drop, Signature Brew, Gipsy Hill, Two Tribes, Villages, Moor, Five Points, Brothers Brewery, RVK Brewing, Battersea Brewery, Mondo Brewing, Exale, Beerblefish, Wild Card, Hackney Brewery, Mash Paddle Brewery, Small Beer, BrewDog DogTap 2.0, Moonwake Beer Co., Wolfpack, Better World, Orbit Beers, Bullfinch Brewery, Canopy (sadly, closing down at the end of 2022) and Track Brewing. I guess that counts as a success.
To be fair, not all of the diary projects have been quite so successful. The project for 2020 came off worst: our plan to attend twelve concerts by people we'd never heard of before was doomed from the moment that all of the music venues in the country were closed down for the rest of the year. So for 2023, the Undiscovered Gigs project is making a comeback. We're already scouring tiny venues looking for musicians who sound interesting, and planning to book for their shows without hearing a single note of their music beforehand. Come back in 12 months and we'll tell you how that went.
Meanwhile, Living For The Weekend: 2023 Diary is available from lulu.com for the same bargain price as the 2012 edition - just £3.99 plus postage and packing. You're not going to get it in time for January 1st, but it should be with you in ten days or so if you order it now. And as a bonus, the other diaries for 2012-2022 can still be purchased if you're feeling nostalgic - why not buy them as a set? (Well, it's always worth asking.)