Stationery Love
Stationery LOVE

Stationery Love with Pat from Squirrelbasket

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

Welcome to the first Stationery Love post in this new series.  Over the next few months, people from all walks of life will be sharing their stationery love / addiction with us.

My guest today is Pat English.  Pat gave me inspiration and ideas for this revamped version of Stationery Love so it’s fitting that she is the first one 🙂  Moleskine is something we have in common (although mine is a journal and green) and I found myself nodding along to Pat’s memories (if you’re a similar age to us I bet you will too!).


Stationery Love


Hi Pat,


What’s your favourite everyday stationery?

I use a computer much more than pen and paper, but when I do write I always use a Papermate Flexgrip Ultra retractable ballpoint (very smooth) or a Papermate Flair nylon-tip (sharp, firm and delightfully squeaky).  I prefer blue ink but use black for more formal occasions such as exams.

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As for paper, I love the A4 Pukka Pad jotta for creative writing, but use a black hard-back spiral A4 pad for everyday notes at my desk.
Stationery Love


I always carry one of my little black books in my bag for writing down odd thoughts. Although they are all black and functional, I love shiny things, so decorate them with these butterfly stickers…


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What is your earliest stationery-related memory Pat?

At infants’ school we learned to write the alphabet in big blue exercise books with plain paper on which the teacher had to rule the lines by hand. I was annoyed when I was one of the last children to graduate to a smaller grey book with lines properly ruled in, as my writing was “too big”. I was competitive even then, so it was a blow to my self-esteem.

When I was a little older I bought red Silvine exercise books from the village shop and had to learn all the tables on the back – complicated imperial measures before decimalisation, such as how many ounces in a pound or furlongs in a mile.

As a special treat I was allowed to buy a note & sketch book from Woolworth’s. The cover had a brown design like tree bark and I made nature notes and drew pictures on the alternating lined and plain pages.


Tell us about your “collection” of notebooks/binders etc.

I must have hundreds of notebooks and binders for creative writing snippets and cuttings. I have had more than 40 years to accumulate them! In the days before Wikipedia I made notes on non-fiction books I had read and filed them in ring binders – with those white sticky reinforcers that look like corn plasters to stop the perforations in the paper tearing.

Then I moved on to using A4 polythene pockets in the ring binders, especially for recipes, and then to A4 presentation books. But now for my family history notes I use Tiger Rip ’n’ Clip display books as the pockets can be repositioned easily.

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I also have small books for notes on all sorts of things. Pictured are notes on arms and armour and embroidery stitches. The time I wasted before we had the internet…

I use lots of French Clairefontaine notebooks for holiday diaries as I love writing on paper that has squares instead of lines. It’s like being abroad.


Do you have any dislikes?

As I have been a journalist all my life, I have worked my way through many spiral-bound shorthand notebooks for reporters. But I don’t like them. They are cheap and nasty.

I also hate drawing-pins and ruined my fingernails for decades until I discovered push pins (I especially like the brightly-coloured translucent ones).


Paper or electronic diary?

When I was working full time I kept an online diary, as it could be shared, but in the last year my life has been more complicated as I work part-time, so I have been using a Letts desk diary.

For 2017 I have treated myself to a large weekly notebook diary from Moleskine. They call the colour grape violet, but it looks more like mulberry to me.

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What luxury item would be on your stationery wish list if only you could afford it?

I like my chrome-plated Waterman’s fountain pen but if I were really dreaming I would choose this sparkly limited edition Mystery Masterpiece by Mont Blanc and Van Cleef & Arpels. It’s only the second most expensive pen on the Most Luxurious List website ( but I didn’t like the one that cost a million dollars. (I’m easy to please – I LOVE the Gaia High Luxury Omas Fountain Pen – 9th on the list and only $43,000 …)

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This one is just 730,000 dollars and is trimmed with rubies. I would prefer the sapphire version. But then, if I had that much money to spare I would probably buy a few houses and rent them out.


When did you last write something Pat?  What was it?

If I write letters I use Wedgwood blue Basildon Bond paper. But recently I have written only to-do lists and Christmas cards.

I miss writing and I have had a yearning to take up calligraphy again so treated myself to a calligraphy set in a tin from Hobbycraft.

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So here I am back at the beginning, practising my alphabet as I did at infants’ school. I so enjoy putting pen to paper again.

Thanks for sharing with us Pat.  

I hadn’t heard of the Tiger Rip ’n’ Clip display books (had to Google!) but looks like a useful piece of stationery to have.  Great to see the calligraphy set 🙂

Connect with Pat

Pat English lives in Cardiff, has been a journalist for nearly 40 years and blogs on anything that takes her interest – including hosting a monthly platform for tree followers.


Twitter: @Squirrelbasket


Stationery Love

Papermate Flexigrip Ultra retractable ballpoint (medium and fine) Prices from £3.49 Amazon

Papermate Flair nylon-tip Prices from £2.90 Amazon

Pukka Pad Prices from £3.99 Ryman

Butterfly stickers from 81p Amazon

Tiger Rip ’n’ Clip display books £4.37 Amazon

Clairefontaine notebooks from £1.30 Bureau Direct

Translucent push pins from £1.74 Amazon

Moleskine Diary £15.95 Bureau Direct

Chrome-plated Waterman’s fountain pen £46.38 Amazon

Wedgwood blue Basildon Bond paper £4.13 Amazon

Deluxe Calligraphy Set £19 Hobbycraft

* Most of the links are affiliate links which means I earn a small commission if you purchase using a link.  The price you pay will be the same.  By using the affiliate links you are helping to support future giveaway’s on Jera’s Jamboree.

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Each month linked with Stationery Love there will be a giveaway for my UK/ROI readers.  This month’s Stationery Love sponsor is the lovely Claire Keay from Sherbet Lane.

Stationery Love

Claire is the owner and designer behind the monthly subscription stationery box, #SherbetBox.

Claire is generously gifting one winner a #SherbetBox voucher. In the box is a gift voucher for you to choose which month’s box you would like to receive and an explanation of how to get it sent to you.  Also in the box are some samples from previous #SherbetBoxes – not a full collection but about three items to give you an idea of what you might get.

You can see me unveiling the October #SherbetBox and find out more about how I stumbled upon artist Claire Keay.

Entry via the Rafflecopter which has moved to Stationery Love with Elle Turner.

From 25th January 2017, click the link above to enter.

Do you share the stationery love?  Join in and share your addiction!

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.

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