Stationery Six on Saturday – April 28th

I’m back with a slightly off-piste Six this week, as I’ve started a ‘little’ project which isn’t yet ready to feature on this blog! So, welcome to my  Stationery Six on Saturday… that’s my pick of 6 stationery items for the allotment, not stationary as in a Six on Saturday which is standing still!

    1. I mentioned this earlier in the week, but my main stationery item for the allotment this year has to be my allotment journal.

      Every year I think “next year I will make a note of what we planted when” and always fail to achieve it… but this year, I’m hoping the journal will encourage me to get writing, and give myself a decent record for future years!
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    2. Obviously, to go with the journal, you need a pen. When I write with a biro, I tend to end up with a scribbled mess, but along with my favourite fountain pens I mentioned on Monday, I’m also partial to a simple gel pen. Even better if it’s a fine black, or even micro black for a perfect almost spider-like thin line.

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    3. An allotment journal is all well and good, but it’s a bit bulky to take to the allotment with me. What I needed was a small notebook which didn’t matter if it got caught in the rain, or ended up covered in mud. Cue the waterproof notebook I was given as a Christmas present a couple of years ago – that’s come in incredibly handy so far.

      I copied some notes from a gardening book on the new plants we’d tried, so I had a basic guide of how long it should take to germinate, and any extra care and attention the plants would need. Having that in my jacket pocket on the allotment is definitely better than trying to remember it all! It’s also come in handy for noting down a measured sketch of parts of the plot.
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    4. Of course a waterproof notebook wouldn’t be any good if the ink runs! A waterproof permanent pen is essential, but bonus points if it comes in a pack with other colours too.

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    5. All these fancy pens are very useful, but sometimes you just need something that doesn’t matter if it breaks, or accidentally gets buried under the soil on the allotment. A cheap pencil is always handy, but just remember to keep that point sharpened.

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    6. But what happens when you make a note and realise you’ve copied it out wrong and need to correct it? Yep, you’ve guessed it, my 6th stationery item is an eraser.

      And before you say, yes I know the eraser is bigger than the pencil!

 

I’ll be back with a “normal” Six on Saturday next week, but don’t forget to check out National Stationery Week and of course the Propagator’s Six on Saturday – there’s plenty more blogs to check out in his comments section!

 

National Stationery Week – Make a Note Day

Did you know that today is not only the start of National Stationery Week, but is also Make A Note day? I set out with good intentions each year to write a note in an allotment diary, so I know what was planted when, and how each plant fared on the plot… but I never manage to complete an entire year’s worth of entries – it always fizzles out in May (or sometimes before)!

This year, a friend surprised me with a fancy hand-made allotment journal, and I’m determined to keep it updated all year long. She made sure I had plenty of pages, and the ring binding means I can swap pages around to give myself more space for the summer months when there should be more to write about – there’s no excuse to not fill in as much detail as possible.

I haven’t (yet) managed to draw out an accurate plan of the entire allotment plot. The sides taper in towards the base of the plot, so it’s not something that is easily drawn out on the computer, and requires slightly more accurate measuring than just pacing it out like I did previously. I do have some plans of small sections though, and those will be drawn onto grid paper in the journal, so I have an idea of the dimensions of each bed.

Part of the failure of my previous diary attempts was the lack of bulletpoint references for each month. Trying to check when something was planted, required skimming through pages to find a slight mention of the right seeds. The advantage of a journal like this, is the calendar page at the beginning of each month, for a quick-check reference to what we did when. Each month also has a handy tab on the side, so it’s simple to find the right section.

But a journal is no good on its own – you need a comfortable pen to use in it. And true to form, I can’t just decide on one favourite pen… I actually have three! Eventually I’m aiming on the pens having different coloured ink in each, but at the moment both Parkers are using blue ink cartridges.

  1. First up we have a fine-nib Lamy All-Star in Black Purple with black ink, with a handy way of checking how much ink is left without having to unscrew the pen.
  2. next is an old favourite which recently went back to Parker to have the standard medium nib swapped for a fine nib – a 2006 Parker IM (also known as Parker Profile, Vector mkII, or Parker XL!) in Amaranth Purple, with blue ink. The assistant in the stationery shop claimed he didn’t recognise this pen when I took it in to buy a fine nib, but to my amazement Parker was willing and able to to exchange the nib for free (even though it was obviously older than the 28 day limit for their Nib Exchange Programme).
  3. and last but not least, a new Parker Jotter with a fine nib courtesy of the Parker Nib Exchange at my local stationery shop. This one will eventually have purple ink once I can track it down – so far I’ve only been able to find it online!

Parker nibs are slightly wider than Lamy, so the fine Parker is verging on medium when comparing the two… but the medium Parker was so thick and heavy it just reminded me of my school handwriting – my style has developed a lot since then!

So for all those allotmenteers and gardeners out there, if you don’t already keep a good old-fashioned style journal, maybe National Stationery Week is a good excuse to get yourself a new notebook, turn off the computer, and start writing!


National Stationery Week
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#writingmatters