Lock down journalling

by Amanda Fleet

Lock down is affecting all of us - some more than others. I'm having good days (ones where I manage to write, or can video-call my Dad who's in a care-home, or have a (stilted) conversation with Dad through the window at his care-home after dropping off donations to them). I'm also having bad days where I cry at nothing, can't get motivated to do anything at all, or just want to curl in a heap and everything to just stop.

Both days are worth journalling about. If I write about the good days, I have something to look back on to remind myself that not all days are black. On bad days... well, on bad days just the act of committing to paper what's upsetting me can be enough to help me process it and deal with it a little better. And of course, I can look over the entries from the better days too.

The notebook I'm using for this is a lined Public Supply one. Scrib blogged about his last week. He wasn't a fan of the colour of the cover, but the one I was sent has a navy cover, and I really like the understated look, with the blind embossing. I may run a white or silver line around the border, and write the title in white or silver in the space provided. At the moment, the cover is untouched.

So, why choose this, over all the other notebooks in my collection? I mean, there are so many to choose from, what made me single this one out?

Well, partly it was the size... I'm really hoping that lock down doesn't go on forever and that therefore the 5" x 8", 96 pages (sides) size will be enough. I don't write huge amounts each day, but I do write more than a single side - maybe 2-3 on average. And I don't write in it every day, either, which means that 96 sides will last me a few weeks. I only started it in the last week or so (which is why it isn't already full!).

Secondly, the paper is good enough for some of my fountain pens. I used a page at the back to do fountain pen tests and the better-behaved fountain pens are fine with no bleed-through and little ghosting. The big-guns didn't play nicely though - the 1.1 mm stub nibs are a bit brutish and little other than Clairefontaine or Rhodia can withstand them! The paper is a little 'soft' which makes the lines a tiny bit less than crisp, but not so much feathering that each line looks as if it has its own crow's feet!

I also didn't need page numbers or space for an index or anything - I'm not going to be using this book in a way that requires me to look up specific entries.

So, what's the notebook like inside? Here are some perhaps quite technical specs, but if you're like me, you want to know these kind of things!

The lines are made up of dots, which isn't really my favourite style, but once they've been written on, they're not obvious. Line spacing is 7.15 mm. No, it's no more sensible in imperial (0.28"), but for me, using fountain pen, the spacing is about right. There are 25 lines per page, with a broad top margin of ~18 mm. The one aspect that does bug me, is that each recto page has "P - S" at the RHS of the penultimate line. It isn't on the verso (left-hand page). I know it's for Public Supply, but it looks like it's an address book label and it gets in the way. And because it's on the penultimate line, it annoys me more than if it was on the last line, for some reason. I just write over the top of it.

The cover is thick card-stock and the spine is glued, which makes for poor 'flattability', though it's fairly easy to rectify that with a bit of brute force! Maybe a bit less easy once you get to the middle of the book? I don't know. I'm not there yet.

Overall, it's a nice little notebook - not so wee it's a pocket notebook; not so big it deserves to have a novel planned in it; attractive enough to be a book I keep as a record of these pretty awful days. Oh, and Public Supply donate some of their profits to a creative arts programme in the US, which is definitely A Good Thing.

The notebooks come in lined or dot and are £16 each. You can see the full range here.