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My Diary For 2023

Every year I write a blog post about which diary system or set up I am going to use for the following twelve months. In recent years, I have moved away from a Filofax (I trialled something earlier this year - more of that in a minute) and fallen in love with the Hobonichi printed diaries. For the last two years I have used a Hobonichi Weeks as my personal planner and I won't be deviating from that this year. I have tried a Hobonichi Techo A6 a couple of times but have never managed to feel comfortable with it size-wise.  I have always lusted after the Hobonichi Cousin A5 as a main work planner so, this year, I have bitten the bullet at launch time and invested in my very first one. Hobonichi Weeks The Hobonichi Weeks is a slim diary with a yearly, monthly and weekly layout. The main section is a "week to view with notes" and there are an additional 70 note pages at the back. This year (2022) I used the "Mega" version which comes with almost three times as m

A Christmas Secret

I found this picture a few weeks ago.  Scrawled across the back of it is 'Christmas 1981' so I was nine years old and my sister was six.  As soon as I spotted the bike in the picture a memory came flooding back.


A couple of weeks before Christmas, Mum sent me down to the garage at the bottom of the garden to call Dad in for tea.  I can remember opening the latch on the door and startling him.  He attempted to hide what he was doing but it was too late.

He was respraying an old bike of mine - one that I had outgrown the year before. He knew he couldn't hide it and just said, "Don't tell your sister.  She'll think it's a new one."

It was a shock.  Up until that point in my life I still held some belief in the fact that Father Christmas had a workshop full of happy little elves, all creating the toys for all the children on the 'Nice' list that year.  But I also now felt grown-up and it was a huge deal to be a secret-keeper.

On Christmas Day we came downstairs to see if "He" had been and I the first thing I saw was my old bike, spruced up and covered in tinsel.  My dad and I exchanged knowing glances and we got on with unwrapping our presents but the grin on my sister's face made up for it.  And, to this day, I still don't think she knows what I know.