Port West

by Stuart Lennon

Welcome, Port West, to the Nero’s line up, and to Stuart’s personal team.

Hiring a Team

I’ve hired a brand new gang.

Don’t worry Clare is still here, and Scrib and Amanda are still writing, I’m talking about my personal team of notebooks.

I wrote of the plan last week. The Economist Diary is “The Boss”. It tells me what I MUST do on any day. The stripped down #bujo is “The Assistant”. This guy is by my side all day, remembering things, reminding me of things, just keeping me going. “The Coach”, my Hobonichi, listens to me at the end of each day and helps me work out how I feel about stuff. “The Buddy” is always there. A pocket notebook that comes everywhere with me, for work and for play.

My current assistant is full. An Endless Recorder, packed with beautiful tomoe river paper. It has been a joy writing with fountain pens all day, every day. The new assistant is another newcomer. A hard back, dot grid book with a very fetching burgundy cover.

What they say

“Port West is a British brand of original paper products. Founded in 2018, we a design team in London working in collaboration with bookbinders and suppliers across the UK. Together, we deliver stationery reflective of our shared fixation for quality, passion for creativity and respect for the natural environment.”

So there.

What I say

The paper is 90 gsm, white, 100% recycled and 100% recyclable. Mine is dot-grid. There is a ribbon, and a good tight elastic closure. It feels like a robust, high quality notebook.

The trouble with tomoe river, is that I get used to it. The pen glides over the paper, leaving wet sheeny trails behind it. Recycled paper isn’t like that. It’s absorbent and toothy. The paper in the Port West is good. Better for fountain pens than many recycled papers that I have tried. However, it ain’t tomoe.

There’s no bleed-through, a tiny bit of show-through and a whiff of feathering. It is entirely usable, not unlike the boss (The Economist Diary) actually, but I suspect that I will be happier using a different set of instruments in it.

I think my Mark Ones from Studio Neat, my Squires from Baron Fig, my Retro 51 will get a workout in this book. A rollerball feels more workman-like for the daily driver, so I’m not too upset than that. I’m sure that I will still be reaching for a fountain pen when it comes to journalling each evening in my Hobonichi.

Who needs a planet?

I am not an expert. I don’t understand the ins and outs of recycling and the impact we paper folk have on the planet. I imagine, that of all the things that need to be addressed, excessive notebook use is probably not the most pressing. However, sustainability feels instinctively right. These notebooks look a really solid offering at a decent price and they’re recycled. I’m going to give them a fair go.