Monday 15 October 2012

Calendars and Diaries (but mainly diaries!!)

Apologies for the way this entry may look.  Unfortunately my little notebook had an accident so I have had to complete this entry using my ipad.  It's like trying to herd cats and probably the most frustrating thing I have ever done.  Hopefully I will finish this entry without hurling my ipad through a window!!!!!

This section departs from Clarecraft stuff.   I decided to cover something a bit different.  This section deals with the various diaries and calendars that have been produced over the years.  I have included pictures of the diaries.  The calendars are always easily available online so I haven't photographed those.

​Diaries have been produced sporadically.  Calendars are produced each year.  Desk block calendars were produced in 1998, 1999 and 2000.  I really like the little block calendars.  Even the boxes are nicely illustrated. 

The large calendars have artwork inspired by the books from a variety of different artists with different styles.  I tended to buy 2 calendars each year (apart from one memorable year when I ended up with about 6 thanks to the generosity of friends and family).  I always intended to keep one calendar in the cellophane wrapping and use one.  I never used them despite my best intentions so I have a large number of unwrapped calendars.  They take up a fair bit of space now!  These can usually be got from ebay very easily and cheaply.  Usually around or below retail price.  The desk calendars are a bit harder to find as they come up less often but still tend to remain affordable when they do appear.  The large calendars are beautifully illustrated and a lot of people remove pictures they particularly like and frame them.  The quality of the calendars themselves lends the pictures to this.  If i had any wall space whatsoever I may have considered it myself!!

The diaries are a lot easier to store but can be more expensive depending which ones you want!

​I first became aware of the diaries in 1999 when I came across one in Smiths by chance.  It was the City Watch one and the City Watch have always been close to my heart.  I was not in the grip of collecting at that point and a friend got me the diary for Christmas.  I actually filled it in!!!  A few years later I managed to get hold of a pristine one off ebay to rectify my mistake!.  I then got one each year as they were published.  I saw that the very first diary, the UU one was very sought after and often reached high prices on ebay.  I finally managed to get a pristine one quite cheaply to complete the set.  The diaries proper stopped in 2003 before being resurrected briefly in 2007 after the popularity of Going Postal.  We then had one more and an Almanac before they stopped again.  There has not been another one recently.  

The very first ones can fetch prices of up to £70 on ebay but more usually achieve £30-£40.  The later ones can be bought practically at retail price. As with anything discish the first ones are more sought after as some people came to them late.  The prices slide down accordingly.  

All of the diaries proper ( I do not include the Almanac ) were put together by Terry and Stephen Briggs and illustrated by Paul Kidby.  They have day planners and then some fun related stuff before a proper diary section for the year. A week to 2 pages (Octeday is included).  Every couple of pages there are little comedy nuggets and the diaries are well worth reading in their own right.  Not only do they have lovely detailed covers, they also have little illustrations on the back cover. They are beautifully illustrated and are lovely items.  

It started in 1998 with the Unseen University Diary. The cover features Death in a UU scarf with a tankard of beer.  It has places to go, things to do and places to eat.  It features adverts from local businesses.  It also has an address from the Archancellor.  There are quotes from various books throughout the diary part.  This diary retailed at £9.99 and has reached in excess of £70 although if you keep your eyes open can be acquired for around £20-£30.

1999 was the City Watch Diary (my personal favourite).  I love the way the cover is printed to look like leather, complete with tiny stitches round the edge.  This one covers information for new recruits.  The diary pages have information on known 'faces' and various offences that can be committed.  This one also has lots of little allusions to Nobbys habit of repeatedly having to attend his grandmothers funeral. This retailed at £9.99 and can reach prices in excess of £50 although again, can often be acquired more cheaply.

2000 was the year of the Assassins. It features Mr Downey on the front and is very glossy compared to the previous ones.  It offers advice to students. The diary features members of the faculty, methods of dispatch and school rules.  This retailed for £9.99.

2001 features the Fools, complete with a quite intimidating picture of Dr Whiteface on the front.  It guides you round the Guild.  The diary features rules, exam questions and 'great moments'.  This year saw a price rise and it retailed for £10.99.

2002 was the turn of the Thieves and features a stripey cover with a photofit style picture of Mr Boggis.  It covers different professions within the Guild and slang used by Thieves.  The diary features famous Thieves and different techniques employed by them.  This one retailed for £10.99.

2003 is based on the (Reformed) Vampyres and features the President, John Not-a-Vampire-at-All Smith holding a cup of tea. This diary guides you through the tricky waters of reforming.  It suggests suitable employment opportunities and offers support to those giving up the 'b-vord'.  The diary features infamous vampires and inspiring 'thoughts for the week'!  This retailed for £10.99.

The diaries then stopped!!!

In 2007 the diaries were brought back.  Partly because they were missed but it was not long after Going Postal came out.  GP seemed to reinvigorate the disc and gave rise to the now legendary Discworld stamps.  I believe the popularity of GP helped turn the decision to produce another diary.

The 2007 diary featured the Post Office and was a handbook rather than a yearbook. It followed the same pattern as the previous diaries and contains lot of information about the history of the Post Office.  This year saw another price hike and the retail price went up to £12.99.

This was followed in 2008 by the Lu-Tze Yearbook of Enlightenment.  The diary features wisdom from the Way of Mrs Cosmopilite.  This one also retailed for £12.99.

The Disworld Almanac for the Year of the Prawn followed.  

This was a collaboration between Terry and Bernard Pearson. It was produced once and since then there have been no further diaries.  The emphasis is off the diary theme for this one.  It does have the months in but it is greatly reduced with a month to 2 pages.  It provides lots of helpful information to help rurally minded folk through the It also contains predictions, (possibly recycled).  It also has nice thick pages!!  This year saw price cut, Woohoo!!.  It retailed for £9.99.  It is slightly smaller than the diaries proper so ruins the line somewhat when they are together on a shelf!!!!

Thursday 4 October 2012

New start

Right.  It's been a hellish year. I did pass the promotion exam that I took in February, thank goodness! However, shortly after that my back problems began flaring up again and since then I've either been in too much pain or I've been unable to move to dig out the information and pieces I need.  I have now had spinal surgery and am slowly recovering.  Unfortunately it means I will be off work for another extended period to enable me to get some sort of fitness back.  I'm going to get my pieces photographed in the next week and start again in earnest.

I have been very pleased that I have had some feedback indicating that this blog has served the purpose I originally intended.  It has given new collectors information on pieces they have picked up.  I can't say how glad I am about that.  I will  be starting  again in the next week and think I might cover a couple of random discish items as well as Clarecraft stuff.  As ever if you have any questions feel free to contact me. I will also be updating parts of the blog with little snippets of information I have received from other collectors.