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For Christmas 2016 I was given a Dutch 5 year diary, but rather than just having the spaces to write in it had a question for every day. The idea being that every day of the year you answered that question, and then at the end of five years you can see how much you’ve changed and what has stayed the same.

It has a variety of questions, some related to the date they’re on, and others randomly spread throughout the year. Some of the questions are a bit predictable, but others are more intriguing. Some are simple to answer, while others require alot more thought. Both to work out what my answer is, and then how to say that in Dutch. It is also a good practice for me to keep writing in Dutch, as otherwise I don’t do very much. And looking back I can now spot mistakes in some of my entries, so I hope that shows that I’m keeping on improving!

The most unexpected question was “What is your favourite mash?” The Dutch being a nation which love their mashed potato-based dishes. At the beginning of the year there are questions about what do you plan to do this year, and at the end of the year are ones looking back on what you’ve done. There is a variety of open-ended questions, yes/no questions, questions which give two choices, and ones that only require a few words.

I’ve been filling it in for over a year and a half now and I find it is a nice way to force some reflection at the end of my day. As well as seeing what things have changes. Though some days I find myself purposefully trying to find a different answer to my previous one, which maybe isn’t the point of it.

I’ve always liked the idea of keeping a diary, and I have at different times of my life, but never for extended periods. As I always forgot a few days and then life carried on without me doing it. So I like this as it’s simple and I don’t have to write loads if I don’t want to. Not that there’s much space to write lots anyway. They do come in different versions – I have the standard one, but there’s one for mums, lovers (with space for both of you to answer), and kids too. (I was sure there were different options as well, but I can’t seem to find them so maybe they’re not available anymore.) I’m already planning which one to get next, but still three and a half years to go on this one yet!

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