This is the first in a new series of posts: Friday Favourites. Each Friday, I’ll be writing about some of my favourite things. It’s a bit of fun, I’ll enjoy writing about what makes me, me – and I hope you’ll enjoy reading them, too!
First up, it’s my passion for stationery…
I have had quite a collection of stationery since I was a little girl. Pretty notelet sets, patterned pens and pencils, and fancy rubbers (especially scented ones, remember them?) were all coveted by me. Of course, at school these items would be housed in the pencil case de jour.
The collection, of pretty notelet sets in particular, increased when I was a student. I was at university in the mid-1990s, before even the most basic mobile phones and texting, and before email and the internet had really taken off.
Most of my essays were typed on my word processor, which had a backlit green screen that showed you only 10 lines at a time. When printing, it sounded like a machine gun. Many of my friends had similar machines. We migrated to the PCs in the university’s over-subscribed computer labs for our dissertations, thankfully.
We had to queue for the communal payphone – some people had early huge brick-like mobile phones or pages, but they were in the minority.
I kept in touch with friends at other universities, and with university friends during the holidays by writing letters. Seeing letters in my pigeon hole was so exciting. I remember my friends and I decorating our letters, and at one point Royal Mail issued pretty stickers with books of stamps to adorn the envelopes with. Back then a second-class stamp cost 19p. Oh those were the days…
These days, I email and text, or interact on social media rather than send snail mail letters (I know others do this, maybe I should get involved). Despite that, I retain my passion for stationery – and the prettier and more frivolous the better!
Some of my favourite items include…
While I spend most of my time fiddling with technology in one form or another, I prefer to write to-do lists and ideas on proper paper with a real pen. There is something about connecting my hand to the paper through the pen that helps me think a bit differently, makes them feel real.
Yes, any collection of paper on which to scribble notes and ideas will do, technically. But where is the joy in that?
I have a penchant for notebooks with patterned covers that are a treat for the eyes, and good quality paper that is a pleasure to write on.
I may have a couple that are so pretty I am reluctant to use them…
New pens are a regular temptation – relatively inexpensive and (too) easy to pick up at stationery shop tills.
As mentioned in the ‘notebook’ section above, I don’t write by hand much any more, but when I do I like the writing to be a pleasure. That means pens that feel good to hold, and from which the ink flows well.
I have pens in most colours, mostly brightly-coloured. I love bright colours anyway, and while the colour I write in doesn’t matter as much as what I am writing, brights feel more creative. I do have a couple of ‘sensible’ blue and black biros around though, because there are some documents that can’t be signed in purple ink (especially if it’s sparkly).
Sticky Notes and Stickers
Long-gone are the days where sticky notes come only in square yellow blocks. There are so many pretty ones available now.
Most of my fancy sticky notes have been bought this year, as a result of my psychotherapy sessions. My psychotherapist was helping me to be kinder to myself, to allow myself relax more. I had a few words and mantras in my mind to help me do that; I wrote them on sticky notes and put them in my diary to help me see them regularly. Yes, of course I could have used the good old-fashioned square yellow post-its, but I needed something that appealed to my creative side to encourage me to do things at one stage I did not want to consider or entertain.
I also have quite a collection of stickers. They connect with my sillier side, and I’ve used them in my diary to mark significant milestones that have been achieved, such as with my running.
Do you have a soft spot for stationery? What are your weaknesses?