Pack up your troubles...

by Scribble Monboddo

As the weather in northern climes gets chillier and wetter, the lure of slightly warmer environments grows. You may just be feeling the pull yourself. Who could blame you?

But if you're travelling, don't forget a decent pen and some good paper - because without a note or two of the experience, it can quickly become a bit of a blur. You've probably picked up a spot of 'serious nibbage' by now, and travels are a good opportunity to put them to use. For the paper, a pocket-size (90x140mm) notebook fits in to just about every jacket going, too. A good way to get a few minutes for yourself on even the most frenetic tour, and a pleasant reminder to return to in subsequent months.

Of course, Nero has many pocket-size notebooks and a perusal of this blog will offer plenty of well-tested options. For a week away one only needs one or two, but if you have a bit of a stash to make use of, travel is the perfect way.

As for the pen, the choice is yours. Take it from a blogger who got it wrong, though; a profusion of short brass pens is not the thing for airport x-ray machines; the security team will jump to all sorts of unhelpful conclusions.

For your humble correspondent's last trip, the allure of a purple pen proved irresistible. But not any old purple number, mind. Ruth of Shibui-North fame has been experimenting with a lovely matt-finish burgundy which adorns both one of her own designs, the Tombo, and a collaboration with Onoto, a version of the Scholar. Ruth borrows many of her techniques from Japan, which may seem a long way from the Portuguese seaside - but then again, the word for 'thank you' is the same...