Last week the time came to swap into my new journal and what a relief it was. I didn’t enjoy using the Silvine exercise book for my morning journal sessions anywhere near as much as I’d expected to when I started it. That feeling wasn’t helped by my purchase of a pretty hard-bound journal when I was only a few days into the exercise book. I’ll admit I toyed with the idea of moving straight on to the new book, but I’m glad I toughed it out as now there’s one less mediocre notebook in my collection.

To be fair, the Silvine notebooks are fantastic value at a pound a pop and I can’t fault the paper quality at all. I also love the line spacing. They make great generic notebooks, especially at work where I can scribble stuff in them without thinking much about keeping it pretty. The problem is that I prefer something fancier for my long-form journal entries.

I used the Silvine exercise book from 20th May to 27th July and ran through the following pen and ink combinations:

  • 20/05/2022-30/05/2022 Cross Bailey Light + J Herbin Cacao du Bresil
  • 31/05/2022 my Dad’s Parker 51 + Graf von Faber-Castell Cobalt Blue
  • 01/06/2022-09/06/2022 Waterman Hemisphere Rose Cuivre + Diamine Writers’ Blood (this combination was far too dark and dismal)
  • 10/06/2022-25/06/2022 Cross Century II + Waterman Tender Purple
  • 26/06/2022-08/07/2022 Namisu Orion + Waterman Tender Purple
  • 09/07/2022-14/07/2022 my blue Waterman Hemisphere + Diamine Majestic Purple (the nib/ink/paper combination was not a happy one)

These pen and ink shenanigans formed part of my general inability to decide on anything. I was happiest in the middle of the journal when I spent a month with Waterman’s purple ink. In fact, I was so enamoured of the uniformity that I’ve decided to commit to completing a whole new volume of my journal with one main ink colour. I’ve chosen to use up a box of cartridges of Graf von Faber-Castell Hazelnut Brown. This does mean I’ll be limited to using the pens which take standard international cartridges, but I have enough of those in my collection to keep me happy: the two Waterman Hemispheres, the Diplomat Traveller, and the Namisu Orion. My Lamys, Crosses and Parkers can do their duty in the planner where I’m using bottled inks.

The second lesson I learned was to do with writing out my horoscope at the beginning of each entry. I’d moved from writing out the whole paragraph to doing a short synopsis and was doing this through the whole of the Silvine book. Visually, though, I prefer to see the whole horoscope, so I’ve reverted to that practice from the start of the new notebook. All of which brings me nicely to an elaboration of the new book.

This is part of the Museums & Galleries collection for the V&A with a Voysey textile design called Birds of Many Climes printed on the cover. I bought mine whilst browsing in Waterstones. The cover called out to me with its jolly birds on the stylised tree. It features a gold ribbon bookmark and matching gold endpapers. It is a hardback with 80 leaves/160 pages of a nice ivory-coloured paper. It doesn’t feel as smooth as Clairefontaine or the Silvine exercise book paper, but it’s certainly not toothy. I’ve gone for a larger format than usual with the pages being approximately 240 x 180mm. The line spacing is a lovely 8mm and the ruling is relatively unobtrusive. So far I am enjoying this book a lot.

I went for a JRR Tolkein poem to start the book. I’ve used some of my lovely typewriter washi tape here, but I’m putting a strip of narrow washi tape with a star design between entries. After writing my Sunday morning entry, I added a page of August horoscope highlights. Again, this is something I skipped in the Silvine Notebook for July and missed during the month. I’ve decorated the August page with a suitable washi tape showing star signs and planets plus some little stickers from Filofax.

I hope this change of journal will be part of the signalling that the dog days are over and I’m ready to re-engage with the good things in life.

10 thoughts on “Journal changeover

  1. Just today I was considering buying a sample of Diamine Writers’ Blood – maybe I will maybe I won’t. I do like starting the day with the horoscope. Maybe I will do the same. It is only a work bullet style journal but it could foreshadow the day….

    1. I would probably recommend a sample of Writers’ Blood. I’ll keep on experimenting with it to see if there’s a nib that brings out something I like from it.

  2. I usually start mine with the day’s weather forecast but now thinking I should finish with what it actually was. It would give me an idea of what the weather really was.

    1. I love that idea, especially being able to compare the forecast with the actual weather. You should definitely start doing the weather in retrospect as well as the forecast.

  3. Thanks for this post! I had been under the impression that Waterman cartridges fit in pens which take standard international cartridges, but not vice versa. That opens up new possibilities for my Watermans as I have loads of standard cartridges.

    1. I’ve been able to use Graf von Faber-Castell, Diamine, Caran d’Ache and Herbin cartridges in my Watermans without any issues. Funnily enough, though, I have a Schmidt standard international converter that I presumed would fit and it doesn’t match at all.

    2. It just goes to show, it’s always worth trying. I was quite excited to discover that Aurora pens can use Parker Quink cartridges, especially as Aurora cartridges are not so easy to find.

  4. I only tried Diamine Oxblood, but i only use in in winter and autumn…. But the cover of the new notebook is beautiful

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