So I take a deep breath and reveal that I have a penchant, perhaps it may even be termed an addiction, certainly a compulsion, for filling my life with notebooks. And please note the plural - this is not one modest little notebook deep in the recesses of my bag; this is notebooks lined up on my desk, a notebook by my bedside, a large notebook in my filing tray, and spare notebooks waiting, in case of emergency, on my shelves.
In the past I have been quite free and easy in my choice of notebook, and was particularly attracted by pretty covers, but then in a fit of sophistication I moved onto a flirtation with black Moleskines in the hope that I would benefit from the Chatwin/Hemingway association. However, I began to find the weight of tradition, not to mention the weight of the notebook in my bag, a little oppressive.
Then I discovered the Moleskine cahier, and such is my enchantment with the wonder of the Moleskine cahier I am sure that I am not exaggerating if I term it an obsession.
Their infinite variety is most beguiling: they come in three different sizes (small, large and extra large) which I find a useful correlative to purpose. And with lines or squares or plain pages, depending on whether one feels literary, mathematical, or artistic - needless to say that I have dallied with all three. Cahiers also come in packs of three, which is strangely comforting (rather like having those mega packs of loo roll in the cupboard, it means that the chilling prospect of running out in an emergency is averted).
|A nice little pocket at the back|
But I must admit these notebooks have one drawback - the buff cover has a sort of minimalist, even scholarly, appeal, but they do not look quite a pretty as I would like when lined up on my desk.
Luckily Michelle and her patterns have come to my rescue - Michelle does a pattern here (called a Swatch Book Cover) which is for a really easy to sew cover for the small and large sized Moleskine cahiers, and I have been running up pretty covers for all and sundry (it is an excellent pattern for last-minute presents it is so quick to make up).
You don't need a lot of fabric, so it is a great way to use up fat quarters, or left-over pieces from other projects.
And Michelle has also put me out of misery at my uncovered extra large cahier - she has just released a pattern called an Idea Pouch which fits the extra large cahiers (as well as iPads, but sadly I don't have an iPad) and joy of joys, it has pen slots and buttons on the front. You will not be surprised to hear that I have bought this pattern and am in the process of making the all-important fabric decisions. But first my Book of Recipes for a Frugal Housewife needs a cover - I feel that this combination looks suitably culinary. What do you think?
And before I go I will just leave you with a very deep thought. A renowned French philosopher and cultural theorist by the name of Jean Baudrillard took it upon himself to write about the significance of covers in the domestic interior. He uses the word redundancy, and sees such 'overworking of signs of possession' as indicating not only the 'intention to possess, but to show how well one possesses' in 'an anxious compulsion to sequestration'.* As I anxiously go to count my doilies and refold my tablecloths, I wonder at what point domestic coverings become redundant. Are patchwork quilts allowed, or is it irredeemably bourgeois to sleep under anything but a solitary, scratchy grey army blanket? I feel sorry for Mrs Baudrillard - I bet she wasn't allowed flowery notebook covers on her desk.
*Jean Baudrillard, For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign (1981)