I have put some things away, but only today do I feel the wind has died down enough to enable me to think. Today a big, hurty-thumpy, object has been put in its box.
With the unexpected rise of corporate-me, writer-me is feeling under threat. (I think it's she who turned up the wind (I know, this metaphor is beginning to hurt).) Especially as tutor-me is in the process of being resurrected for the new academic term. One of the things writer-me relies on is her journal, as long as she has a journal she knows she exists. Writer-me is the bit of me that holds the rest together.
I use my journal to jot down ideas, the beginnings of stories and poems, images, eavesdroppings, inspirational quotations, and all sorts of other stuff that I feel may help me actually write something again, one day. I stick in pictures from magazines and of my own taking, bits of packaging, old tickets, and postcards. Sometimes I even draw in it. I realise that a real writer could use any old pad of paper for the purpose, but I need a particular sort. For a while I used Papuro journals. They are incredibly beautiful with their glossy leather covers and smooth cream paper. And they have hundreds of pages so last a good year, but they are too expensive for me now. For Christmas one year Stevie bought me a recycled leather journal with thick card pages. Because of the pinkness of its cover it sat around unused for a year or two, but in May I ran out of space in my old one. Unable to afford a new Papuro I pulled, what I then called, the hideous pink thing from the stack of papers it was buried under. When I opened it I noticed that, not only did the colour cease to be a problem, it lay completely flat. This makes it much more comfortable to use: the need to hold down unruly pages eliminated I can sit in an armchair rather than at a table, arms and fingers don't ache, and ink doesn't smudge if I let go too soon. The thickness of the pages is a boon too, they don't buckle and crumple when I glue stuff in. In no time at all I was unable to imagine going back to a different sort. There is a downside, of course: with the pages being so thick there aren't that many of them, and a week or so ago I realised I was going to need a new one very soon. I knew he got it from Paperchase, so last week I went to Glasgow. Paperchase in Glasgow used to be in Borders. But Borders UK went bust. I knew that, but somehow failed to make the connection that with Borders gone, Paperchase probably would be too. I came home without a new journal.
I decided to try and buy it online: Paperchase must have a website. They do, but it's under reconstruction and wouldn't be in operation for another two weeks.
There is a big, luscious Paperchase in Edinburgh. But Edinburgh is less easy to get to and negotiate. They're installing a tram system at the moment, parking is difficult and expensive, busses and trains are infrequent, and I am so busy!
Yesterday I had only one page left, this made me feel nauseous, I was seriously tempted to jump in the car, but decided to search the web first. I spent hours trying different permutations of leather journal in the search engine: leather-bound journal/notebook/sketchbook/pad; leather covered... Recycled leather... I nearly relented and ordered a different sort, but one last try and I hit on the right phrase and found, joy of joys, iapetus gallery. They had what looked like the right thing. After examining it as closely as I could I ordered one at about 4pm.
Last night I filled the last page of Pink. This felt rather reckless but I had to get down Elizabeth Bishop's 'The Man-Moth.' This morning I braced myself for either a panic-trip to Edinburgh or a day or two of writing things on index cards, but before I'd finished a cup of tea Stevie came into my room and said: 'this seems to be for you.'
And it's perfect! The exact thing I was hoping for: thick card pages, sturdy recycled (dark brown) leather cover. It is made by a company called Art Box Designs who reform (rather like Spam, it strikes me) offcuts from the leather industry into a variety of very hardwearing, eco-friendly products. Both writer-me and I must stop fucking up the planet!-me are happy.