Travels with my Stationery

by Amanda Fleet

By the time this goes out, I shall be in the wilds of Orkney. Naturally, I will be travelling with some stationery. I'm a writer. I'm never without a notebook and pen/pencil! In the past, I've road-tested the Alwych and Rite in The Rain and you can read my rambles about those here. So, what will I be taking with me this time?

Any notebook that comes out and about with me has to satisfy a few criteria. It needs to be big enough that I can write in it without it filling up almost instantly. It needs to have a sturdy enough cover (or fit in an external cover) to withstand being lobbed in my backpack along with everything else that is necessary for a walk in Scotland. It also needs to be relatively light, because my backpack is already pretty full on a walk, without adding half a kilo of notebook to the mix.

Although B5 is my preferred size for notebooks when I have all the real-estate of my desk available, and no issues over lugging the notebooks very far, this is way too big for travelling. Even A5 is pushing it a bit, if it's a big notebook with a hard cover. But, I'm no lover of pocket notebooks and they would fill up far too quickly with notes after a single walk.

B6 is a pretty good size, or slim A5 notebooks. The problem with slim A5 notebooks is that they can get squished in my backpack, but then, I would use the Lochby cover to keep them protected.

I know... we do talk about the Lochby quite a bit at Nero's, but with good reason! The products are superbly made, waterproof, and can double not just as a notebook cover, but also as a wallet when I'm out.

Inside the A5 cover are several pockets. On the inside left, is a full-height slip pocket, which can be used for slipping a notebook cover in, but which is also secure enough to put money (notes) in. On top of that, are some smaller pockets that can hold a credit card and/or change (Scottish 'sunlight' means the image above looks yellow and blue, but the inside is actually orange and brown!).

The ideal notebook combination in the Lochby when I'm out walking is to have a plain notebook for recording things on the walk (plain paper so that I can sketch things), plus a lined notebook for writing/plotting books.

Unlike Stu, who is happy to travel with a fountain pen, I tend not to have one in my backpack. Instead, my implement of choice is a B or 2B pencil (and a pencil sharpener!), so I can write or sketch without needing a whole pencil case with me. I'll also definitely take a Nero's pencil with me because I could probably write an entire book before the thing needed sharpening!