Catching up on Radio 3’s Front Row earlier today (whilst twittering about a weak spot for religious imagery), I found this simple but valuable observation on the diary form that reminded of the way I felt in the first week of signing up for twitter 4 years ago. It also goes some way to explain the attraction of services like Twournal.

There weren’t many diaries, only at odd moments in my life did I try to keep a diary … the ones I kept as a teenager tend to be completely ridiculous, my opinons are so self-important and ill informed. What I should have done is simply wrote down: ‘Got up at half past seven, had my breakfast, was at school by such and such a time…’, and that would have been really quite interesting.

Actually, as the diaries got on as I got older the length of the diary entries shrink and they turn into something more like engagement diaries, and some of those entries that simply say ’10 o’clock: coffee with so and so, 3 o’clock tutorial…’, turn out to be much more evocative than the long essays. I see those things and whole days come back into my head.

Playwright and novelist Michael Frayn talks to Mark Lawson about his childhood and career, in the light of a newly-published memoir about his father.