The Diary of a Nobody

"Why should I not publish my diary? I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see — because I do not happen to be a 'Somebody' — why my diary should not be interesting. My only regret is that I did not commence it when I was a youth."

This is a daily weblog version of The Diary of a Nobody, written by George Grossmith and originally serialised in Punch magazine in 1888 and 1889. Bringing Charles Pooter into the 21st century, his diary is now available as a selection of weblog-style RSS feeds which you can subscribe to, via a feed aggregator, or through certain browsers.

You can either:-

  • Subscribe to the 2014-as-1888 feed, which is running in real-time, delivering an entry on whichever days Pooter has written one, as if 2014 were 1888.
  • Subscribe to the daily feed, starting today. This will give you one entry per day, starting from the beginning, and irrespective of the gaps where Pooter is busy or has had his diary damaged. If you want to start at a different point, or join someone else who's reading it, just change the date in the URL.
Recommended reading: Diary of a Nobody retold for the 21st century.
Charles Pooter

July 31.—Carrie was very pleased with the bangle, which I left with an affectionate note on her dressing-table last night before going to bed.  I told Carrie we should have to start for our holiday next Saturday.  She replied quite happily that she did not mind, except that the weather was so bad, and she feared that Miss Jibbons would not be able to get her a seaside dress in time.  I told Carrie that I thought the drab one with pink bows looked quite good enough; and Carrie said she should not think of wearing it.  I was about to discuss the matter, when, remembering the argument yesterday, resolved to hold my tongue.

I said to Carrie: “I don’t think we can do better than ‘Good old Broadstairs.’”  Carrie not only, to my astonishment, raised an objection to Broadstairs, for the first time; but begged me not to use the expression, “Good old,” but to leave it to Mr. Stillbrook and other gentlemen of his type.  Hearing my ’bus pass the window, I was obliged to rush out of the house without kissing Carrie as usual; and I shouted to her: “I leave it to you to decide.”  On returning in the evening, Carrie said she thought as the time was so short she had decided on Broadstairs, and had written to Mrs. Beck, Harbour View Terrace, for apartments.

Charles Pooter

July 30.—The miserable cold weather is either upsetting me or Carrie, or both.  We seem to break out into an argument about absolutely nothing, and this unpleasant state of things usually occurs at meal-times.

This morning, for some unaccountable reason, we were talking about balloons, and we were as merry as possible; but the conversation drifted into family matters, during which Carrie, without the slightest reason, referred in the most uncomplimentary manner to my poor father’s pecuniary trouble.  I retorted by saying that “Pa, at all events, was a gentleman,” whereupon Carrie burst out crying.  I positively could not eat any breakfast.

At the office I was sent for by Mr. Perkupp, who said he was very sorry, but I should have to take my annual holidays from next Saturday.  Franching called at office and asked me to dine at his club, “The Constitutional.”  Fearing disagreeables at home after the “tiff” this morning, I sent a telegram to Carrie, telling her I was going out to dine and she was not to sit up.  Bought a little silver bangle for Carrie.

Charles Pooter

June 7.—A dreadful annoyance.  Met Mr. Franching, who lives at Peckham, and who is a great swell in his way.  I ventured to ask him to come home to meat-tea, and take pot-luck.  I did not think he would accept such a humble invitation; but he did, saying, in a most friendly way, he would rather “peck” with us than by himself.  I said: “We had better get into this blue ’bus.”  He replied: “No blue-bussing for me.  I have had enough of the blues lately.  I lost a cool ‘thou’ over the Copper Scare.  Step in here.”

We drove up home in style, in a hansom-cab, and I knocked three times at the front door without getting an answer.  I saw Carrie, through the panels of ground-glass (with stars), rushing upstairs.  I told Mr. Franching to wait at the door while I went round to the side.  There I saw the grocer’s boy actually picking off the paint on the door, which had formed into blisters.  No time to reprove him; so went round and effected an entrance through the kitchen window.  I let in Mr. Franching, and showed him into the drawing-room.  I went upstairs to Carrie, who was changing her dress, and told her I had persuaded Mr. Franching to come home.  She replied: “How can you do such a thing?  You know it’s Sarah’s holiday, and there’s not a thing in the house, the cold mutton having turned with the hot weather.”

Eventually Carrie, like a good creature as she is, slipped down, washed up the teacups, and laid the cloth, and I gave Franching our views of Japan to look at while I ran round to the butcher’s to get three chops.

Charles Pooter

June 6.—Trillip brought round the shirts and, to my disgust, his charge for repairing was more than I gave for them when new.  I told him so, and he impertinently replied: “Well, they are better now than when they were new.”  I paid him, and said it was a robbery.  He said: “If you wanted your shirt-fronts made out of pauper-linen, such as is used for packing and bookbinding, why didn’t you say so?”

Charles Pooter

June 4.—In the evening Carrie and I went round to Mr. and Mrs. Cummings’ to spend a quiet evening with them.  Gowing was there, also Mr. Stillbrook.  It was quiet but pleasant.  Mrs. Cummings sang five or six songs, “No, Sir,” and “The Garden of Sleep,” being best in my humble judgment; but what pleased me most was the duet she sang with Carrie—classical duet, too.  I think it is called, “I would that my love!”  It was beautiful.  If Carrie had been in better voice, I don’t think professionals could have sung it better.  After supper we made them sing it again.  I never liked Mr. Stillbrook since the walk that Sunday to the “Cow and Hedge,” but I must say he sings comic-songs well.  His song: “We don’t Want the old men now,” made us shriek with laughter, especially the verse referring to Mr. Gladstone; but there was one verse I think he might have omitted, and I said so, but Gowing thought it was the best of the lot.

Charles Pooter

June 2.—“Consequences” again this evening.  Not quite so successful as last night; Gowing having several times overstepped the limits of good taste.

Charles Pooter

June 1.—The last week has been like old times, Carrie being back, and Gowing and Cummings calling every evening nearly.  Twice we sat out in the garden quite late.  This evening we were like a pack of children, and played “consequences.”  It is a good game.

Charles Pooter

May 26.—Left the shirts to be repaired at Trillip’s.  I said to him: “I’m ’fraid they are frayed.”  He said, without a smile: “They’re bound to do that, sir.”  Some people seem to be quite destitute of a sense of humour.

Charles Pooter

May 25.—Carrie brought down some of my shirts and advised me to take them to Trillip’s round the corner.  She said: “The fronts and cuffs are much frayed.”  I said without a moment’s hesitation: “I’m ’frayed they are.”  Lor! how we roared.  I thought we should never stop laughing.  As I happened to be sitting next the driver going to town on the ’bus, I told him my joke about the “frayed” shirts.  I thought he would have rolled off his seat.  They laughed at the office a good bit too over it.

Charles Pooter

May 24.—Carrie back.  Hoorah!  She looks wonderfully well, except that the sun has caught her nose.

The Diary of a Nobody is the fictitious diary of Charles Pooter, written by George Grossmith and originally serialised in Punch magazine in 1888 and 1889.
The text of this version is taken from the Gutenberg etext, and the weblog format was engineered by Kevan Davis (initially a straight weblog in 2004, then rewritten as an auto RSS generator in April 2007).