Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Moving Home

Looking for a new home is fraught with complications. You start out with a good solid list of all the features you want in your new abode, and then you launch yourself at the market to seek your dream. And gradually it gets chipped away and chipped away until you feel you've done pretty well if you get two "essentials" out of ten. Like, say, a roof.

Not that I'm moving house. It's much more traumatic than that; I'm going to have to move notebooks. The current incumbent is nearly finished:

Earlier this year someone described this blog to me as a peek into "Alf-world". Ah, no. This blog is a greatly restricted peek through the smallest possible keyhole into the heavily edited Alf-world Lite. This book is much closer to the chaotic mish-mash that is truly Alf-world. Possibly you imagine the closely written pages of a proper journal? Well, yes, there are some of those.

But not many. Mainly there's... stuff. All sorts of stuff. Stuff stuck in, stuff drawn (badly), reminders, quotes, ideas, and absolutely no rules about which way up the book has to be when I write in it. There's a rather good Italian term for something of the sort beginning with Z, but I can never remember what it is and besides I don't think I can aspire to snazzy Italian terms any more than I think it warrants being called a journal. So as the English explanation used the term "hodge-podge", I seized upon that instead.

As it's Christmas and a time for ghost stories and other scary things, have a heavily edited glimpse into the dark underbelly through the medium of the smallest possible keyhole:

Okay, you can open your eyes again now.

All of which makes finding a new home a little tricky, because it's part written, part scrapbook, part sketch book. Throw in the requirement for it to be fountain pen friendly that I now have, and you're immediately crossing off many, many options. And who wants to glue bits and bobs to decent (and therefore often expensive) FP friendly paper anyway? Then there's the hand-falling-off-the-bottom-of-the-page problem you get with these thicker notebooks which drives me nuts, but would a thinner exercise book type stand up to my scrapbook tendencies? Ruled paper is totally out, owing to the lapses into writing at right angles, but square grids can be over-bearing. The fashionable dot grids are a possibility, but that's a whole new world of limited options. Throw in the truly eye-watering price tags some of these notebooks command, and you end up going in a lot of circles trying to make a decision.

Or at least I do. But then I've never been terribly good at making decisions. You may have noticed.

But still, (almost) finished notebook - that's essentially going to be a completed project, isn't it? Okay, so its joinery is rudimentary (packing tape may have been called in to hold it together at this stage in its life), and the finish is decidedly patchy, but it represents some hours of creative endeavour. It's a project. Yup.

Yes, it is. Look, you can tell it is because now I'm dithering over starting another one. If that's not a classic symptom of Alf Has Finished A Project I don't know what is.

At least, as far as I can remember...


  1. Have you decided on a color for the cover? I am assuming you did because you didn't mention it.

    1. I also didn't mention the binding type, and don't think I haven't dithered over that too... ;)

  2. Clairefontaine. Hands down the best affordable alternative for fountain pens. The only downside is that they don't come with those nifty rubber bands. If you want those I really like Leuchtturm 1912... but they are a bit pricey.

    1. Ah, now that was my first thought too, Philip, because I really like their Seyes ruled cahiers. But to my dismay I've found both the ruled and plain paper I've tried feels rather draggy and I don't like it at all. I can only conclude either all in the printed lines of the French ruling actually make a difference, or it's just my imagination. Leuchtturm was a real possibility, but the paper seems to get such varying reviews. And as you say, it's pricey for an elastic band! :)

  3. Enter into another world ... That of journal making.

    1. And before you know it you're wondering how big a guillotine you can justify... Oh no, don't need an encouragement down that particular slope!


Owing to vast quantities of spam this blog is getting, I'm afraid only registered users can post. All comments are moderated before publication, so there may be some delay. My apologies.