by Amanda Fleet

In many ways, this is my favourite time of year. I love it when the weather just starts to shift from "tired end of summer" to "crisp autumn mornings". The trees begin to change their dusty, shabby leaves into a riot of glorious colours and the weather makes its mind up over temperature. It IS sweater weather (at least, it is in Scotland, where I live). Enough of the faffing about being not quite cold enough to need an extra layer, or suddenly going warm again just after you've decided to pack away summer things.

But, this can also be a difficult time for me. Autumn hasn't always been a kind season in the past. I carry a lot of bad memories, as well as good ones.

Invariably, I find myself treating myself to lovely new stationery at the season turn. Something to reflect the new colour palette, but also to keep me smiling as the days shorten and the sun fades. Whereas Summer in Scotland has long days that barely end, Winter can be dark.

What am I choosing this year?

Well, I'm still totally in love with the Clairefontaine Inkebana. It has the perfect mix of beautiful cover and amazing paper. Frankly, if I had to choose a single brand for the rest of my life, it would be Clairefontaine. The paper is sublime and the notebooks are always beautiful.

But if I was branching away from that, I would get an Esmie A5 journal. Beautiful lined paper (110 gsm) contained within a hard cover with a gorgeous silk screen printed bamboo design, it's both functional and glorious to look at.

Failing that (and stocks of the Esmie are low), I might give the Blackwing Vol 93 Slate notebook a whirl. It has a brightly coloured cover and 160 pages of 100 gsm paper, with a sewn binding. It's also on sale at the moment, and comes with a free Blackwing pencil.

I wonder if my desire for new stationery every Autumn harks back to "back to school" days? It probably does, but then, it's not like I really need an excuse to buy more stationery!