Patricia and Dorothy kept a single annual diary jointly. Each would make an entry as they wished, often describing feelings they did not want to openly talk about. Significantly, they used it to avoid face-to-face quarrels or confrontations. The aggrieved partner would enter their complaint, and the other would reply in writing, either justifying their actions or apologizing.

Patricia intended the 1934 Boots diary she gave Stanley to serve the same function. He dutifully played his part at first, while she evidently replied to his comments verbally. But as the months passed and his gallstone pain became more intense, he seems to have lost interest in the game and given up.