Leather bound

Whenever I go on the Filofax website to look at organisers, I always filter by “leather”. I love organisers made from leather. I know it sounds snobbish, but even if I had to own just one, it would have to be leather. I remember when I just started working and didn’t have a lot to spare, I wanted to get a Filofax A5. I looked at something similar to a sketch and almost bought it. But something stopped me and I decided to save up for a leather one. Then I came across a sale at Samsonite and they were selling these beautiful leather binders at dirt cheap prices because they were getting rid of the stock. I finally got my leather binder.

I know leather can be difficult to clean, especially in lighter colours. I know they tend to get scratched and may start peeling. I know leather items need a lot of TLC, but I think it’s worth it. Leather never goes out of style and if it’s good quality, it can age beautifully.

For me, leather is luxury. I love the feel of beautifully made leather. If they’re hand crafted, even better. I love the feel of my Malden, Charleston, Osterly, Original (all filofaxes) and Midori. My wallet, my bags, my shoes, my belt all have to be leather. I probably own only 2 canvas bags and even those have leather trimming.  Some of my nicest notebooks collected over the years are leather. I’ve collected special editions of classic novels bound in leather. I don’t know how long my bank balance can put up with my preference, but at least I know whatever I have, will last because they are leather.

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Blogging… a thing of the past?

Over the last couple of months, few bloggers I’ve followed regularly have decided to stop blogging. I realise most of them have been blogging for several years so they may be tired of it, or may have reached their objective. But it made me wonder whether blogging has now become a thing of the past.

There was a time when people avidly followed newspaper or magazine columns. Those then turned into blogs. Now I’m thinking that with the pace of the world, people hardly have time to follow, let alone write blogs. With the explosion of various social media, people have resorted to cutting their words short. Sites like Twitter and even Facebook are very effecting for getting a quick message or your thoughts across. As technology has progressed with fantastic smartphones, avenues like Instagram and Vine have become ever so popular. With these, you no longer even need words. All you need is a simple picture or video.

I know I haven’t always been a regular blogger and may be I started blogging regularly somewhat late in the game. But I’m hoping I haven’t miss the train. Blogging makes me feel good. It’s a great way to get some writing done. Great way to reach out to people and even to share information and ideas. I don’t think any other social medium has the power of a blog and I hope people realise that. I hope, for the sake of mankind, people don’t stop blogging.

 

 

10,600 views

I just checked my stats and…. Wow! I have had 10,600 views of my blog. By my standards that is a lot. A lot more than I had ever hoped for when I started out. I don’t have very many followers but probably because I have been writing intermittently and there are many people who don’t use wordpress so the stats are skewed.

Well either way…thank you to all the people who have taken the time to stop by my blog.

Taking care of me…

I’m a very self reliant person. Occasionally, I will ask for help or ask my friends to accompany me somewhere, but I don’t usually rely on people to take care of me. I’m usually the one taking care of people and supporting them. I like that. But it also feels good to be taken care of once in a while. Today my friend dragged me to the doctor for an insect bite that flared up quite badly. I was all set on ignoring it, because that’s how I am. Turns out she did me a huge favour, because the bite got infected and could have turned into something really bad. I’m so grateful that she took me. I probably wouldn’t have gone otherwise. I’m grateful have good friends. And it felt really good to be taken care of, for a change.

Post-it flags for meetings in my A5 Filofax

Update:

Smaller picture added for a fellow blogger. May be this will download. 

During back-to-school shopping, I picked up a couple of discounted stationery items for myself. How could I resist? One of the item was a 2-pack Post-it Flag + Pen with Flag Combo. These pens come with miniature flags half the size of the normal flags.

I’m using a vertical layout diary on the A5 Filofax and I started to use these flags to mark meeting events. Advantages to this:
– I can move around the flags if meetings get changed
– I don’t like using pencils as they get smudged so this is a good alternative
– I write the meeting event on the flag and requirements if any under. Since these are translucent, I can see what I need.
– I can continue writing my to do list and reminders in my day column and move the flag on top to denote a meeting at the time.
– They come in several colours so I can designate colours to internal, client, personal meetings etc.

At the moment, I’m using Red for Client Meetings and Yellow for Personal events.

Post-It Flags for Meetings

smaller version

Koh-i-noor Magic Pencils

I recently read an article about what different famous designers use to make their sketches. There was one who used these funky pencils, so I had to order them on Amazon to see for myself. They are simply fantastic. Expensive at $19 for a set of 6, but so worth it. The mix of colours are fantastic and they even have a neon one.

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Koh-I-Noor Magic Pencils – Nib Close-up
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Koh-I-Noor Magic Pencils Set

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

This is on the list of my most favourite poems. I think I like this poem because it tells a story… a story of secret love, a story of bravery and a story of loyalty. I like how in the end, there is still the memory of love.

 

The Highwayman
by Alfred Noyes

PART ONE

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
Riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

He’d a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle. His boots were up to the thigh.
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard.
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred.
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened. His face was white and peaked.
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s red-lipped daughter.
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—

“One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I’m after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.”

He rose upright in the stirrups. He scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement. His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
(O, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

PART TWO

He did not come in the dawning. He did not come at noon;
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon, looping the purple moor,
A red-coat troop came marching—
Marching—marching—
King George’s men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord. They drank his ale instead.
But they gagged his daughter, and bound her, to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!
There was death at every window;
And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest.
They had bound a musket beside her, with the muzzle beneath her breast!
“Now, keep good watch!” and they kissed her. She heard the doomed man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!

She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it. She strove no more for the rest.
Up, she stood up to attention, with the muzzle beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love’s refrain.

Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horsehoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding—
Riding—riding—
The red coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still.

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer. Her face was like a light.
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.

He turned. He spurred to the west; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o’er the musket, drenched with her own blood!
Not till the dawn he heard it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shouting a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high.
Blood red were his spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat;
When they shot him down on the highway,
Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with a bunch of lace at his throat.

. . .

And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
Riding—riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard.
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred.
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.