Rachel, I thought of you and your love of stationery when I looked through my pencil case for a pencil today. I have a very sorry collection of pencils I have found lying around the house, under sofas, under car seats, in coat pockets. In fact I think I've a pencil from every room in the house. As you can see, I have no brand loyalty and most of these are rather unloved.
So I thought that with Christmas on the way, it's time I actually got myself some decent pencils for work rather than these cast-offs. I fell down a bit of a rabbit hole.
The first question is one of quantity or quality. As a teacher I had visited the Pencil Museum in Keswick more times than I care to count, so I looked at Cumbrian pencils first. After a little digging, I found this:
With that box, I'll never be without a pencil again. The problem is, they just aren't special enough, so off I went on my search and discovered a new world of pencil review blogs, such as Pencil Revolution. What I learnt was that the world is slightly more interesting than I had realised and that I should check out these pencils:
These Blackwing pencils really are fine, but I was more amused by the homepage of the website that invites you to become a Blacking dealer. I had images of someone creeping furtively through school corridors offering unwitting students a try of this wonder pencil to draw them in.
Eventually though, it wasn't the pencils that held my attention, but the notebooks. I'm a fan of squared paper for notes, sketching and so on, but as with pencils, I seem to end up with something cheap or left over. These however are something else.
I can practically smell the leathered feel the thick paper between my fingers. All of a sudden I've stopped caring about pencils and think that one of these will be my next purchase.