Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A Book of Days

A book of days is surely just a posh name for a diary?

It is a bit more than that, with leanings towards a notebook or sketchbook but, without the year and month that you might normally expect in a diary. This bestows the freedom to start whenever you like and write in your own headings.

Designs will normally feature a section for each month [usually for a full year, but not always] and each section will be divided into 31 numbered spaces. Some come with illustrations, some have spaces for you to add your own. Almost any would make a great gift for a stationery addict or creative soul on your Christmas list as long as you choose with love and their individual preferences in mind.

Back in 1981, Rod McKuen published his own Book of Days. He did another in 1985 but examples are rare and expensive. Here is how he described the concept in '81 before adding a few sketches and a thought for each day.

"It can be a diary, a collection of ideas, a series of dates to be remembered, a means of putting order into an otherwise orderless life, a storehouse of maxims [as well as minimums] a secret place to treasure private thoughts or, a book to help rekindle the heart's or mind's memory. You will find no particular years set out in this book because the memories go back as far as my capacity to remember and the years covered are many. It is unfair to tell you where to begin or where to leave off."

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 24 November 2014

POST 105

November 2014
OK. I am not the sharpest knife in the box when it comes to electronic gizmology. A fact not helped by deteriorating acuteness vision and clumsy fingers.

Even so, when my rather elderly Olympus recorder reached its sell by date and planned obsolescence kicked in, it was time to find a cheap replacement,

That thing above seemed the answer at a tenner from eBay, brand new. The blurb claimed that it could do just about everything this side of landing a probe on a comet or making a cup of coffee.

It is tiny at about 8 x 3 cm. It came with an impressive collection of leads and connectors.

And an instruction leaflet in microscopic print. By scanning it and then blowing it up [size wise] I was just able to read it. That's when I discovered that it is written in Chinese English.

Looks like I am gonna spend a few hours working through it step by painful step to convert and write it into a series of logical stages that I might be able to follow. Then again, I might not.

No wonder that retro stuff is so popular. At least with a 1970's cassette recorder, although it was all self evident, even the cheapest ones came with an owner's manual.
Circa 1972

Sunday, 23 November 2014


Shuttered windows on derelict homes
His shades are shuttered lookouts
From a shut and derelict mind
This building may be replaced one day
To bring delight to others
Just as his thoughts of failure
Will one day become plans for success
And he will stop wearing sunglasses in the dark

This building on Margate seafront has been derelict for a quarter of a century. It still was yesterday, despite council ownership..

I wrote those lines around 40 years ago during a somewhat bad patch. It passed of course. Just as black moods usually do.

As someone said at the time, 'When you can't see light at the end of the tunnel, don't whinge. Grab yourself a f***ing torch and create your own brilliance.'

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Field Notes

As I appear to have temporarily mislaid my photography mojo, this is a brief a return to my other pleasure; notebook branding.

Unlike the two heavily hyped examples here, from earlier this week, Field Notes does a simple job really well. The clever bit really IS marketing where, in little over five years, they have created a subscription service for avid collectors of their quarterly limited edition variations. Yes, single packs of three are available too.

If you remember the 'I'm Backing Britain'. campaign of the early 1970's, you will easily identify with Field Notes cover legend that they are 'Made in the U.S.A' and I just love their motto ... I am not writing it down to remember it later, I am writing it down to remember it now.

Their website at www.fieldnotesbrand.com can keep you amused for half an hour or more as you surf their blogs, promotions and short movies.  All because Aaron Draplin recalled the small notebooks that his parents and grandparents used. At 3.5 x 5.5 inches these masterpieces in miniature.

The Autumn 2014 edition "Ambition" is their most sophisticated version yet with gilt edgings and three different inside rulings. Already on sale in the U.S.A and promised for England soon, you could give the back pocket of your denims or the breast pocket of your shirt a notebook for Christmas.

Friday, 21 November 2014


Earlier this year I attempted to buy a subscription to International Artist magazine and reported the horrendous outcomes here. Yesterday I received their 100th issue with their compliments. I now consider that this is adequate penance.

It has also taught me not to subscribe to USA based magazine publishers! Now that WH Smith are the only game in town for monthly or quarterly magazines [Why???] I am pleased to praise www.newsstand.co.uk for either single issues or subscriptions. They have a v-a-s-t selection of titles

Have a nice day, even if you don't have a beach within reach.

You can be anywhere in your imagination though.

Thursday, 20 November 2014


It was not until she said, 'You can come through now please', that I realised just how long it had been since my last visit to a dentist. Now I have four appointments in eight weeks. Ouch!
Picture via internet

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Moleskine started it

Yesterday I posted a couple of instances of notebook hype.

Here is another which possibly dates back to 1997 when Moleskine brand was amongst the early designer brands. Sorry about the quality [of both this example and recent Moleskine products!]