Skinned alive!

Anyone who writes, even sporadically, seems to have a common trait – an addiction to stationery. Pristine, virgin notebooks seem to top the list of ‘must haves’. And if we could choose one book, perhaps it has to be a Moleskine ®

A quick glance at their website and you’ll see they come in all shapes and sizes – although none are actually covered in mole skin – or any skin for that matter.

The notebooks are supplied sealed in cellophane and opening them up has a sense of occasion. But what’s inside? Surely owning a blank notebook is only a small part of the writing process.

The first page allows the owner to record their details and confirm how much they would offer as a reward for its safe return – such is the supposed worth. The remaining pages are ruled, inviting inspiration jottings. But there’s something special inside the back cover – an expanding envelope reveals a treasure.

A small leaflet explains the history of this ‘legendary notebook’. European artists and thinkers have used them for the past two centuries. Ernest Hemmingway was a fan, as was Van Gogh.

Originally manufactured in Paris, they almost became extinct towards the end of the 20th century. However, their numbers now thrive and their keeper modestly describes them as a ‘reservoir of ideas and feelings, a battery that stores discoveries and perceptions’.

They’re lovely to own – and very expensive to buy. My small collection comes via a magazine that offers them as prizes.

I just wish I could tap into that reservoir of ideas!