When I arrived home from work today, this was sitting on my door step:
I’d been waiting for it since last month, it having made a rather circuitous route to my home. First, I’d spent several days tracking it down on the Internet. Then, because about an eighth of the world doesn’t know the other seven eights exist, I had to have it shipped to my son in the US so he could send it on to me.
And this is what I was waiting so expectantly for:
Yes, they’re paper pads.
But not just any paper pads, these are number 30-721 Ampad memo books. Aren’t they beauties?
I’ve been using them for as long as I can remember. They have 50 lined sheets and are small enough to fit neatly in a shirt pocket or the back pocket of my jeans. For size and convenience, I have never found anything to rival them. I call them my Perfect Paper Pocket Pads.
Back in the States, I could buy them at Wal Mart, and whenever I found them I always bought out the lot. When I came to the UK, I brought enough over with me last, well, about eight years. And so, eight years later, I began my Internet search, only to discover Ampad no longer makes them. The Ampad representative, however, was able to put me onto the company that had bought out their stock.
So now I’m flush with PPP Pads, just as I found another (I’m such a paper pad slut).
This new pad won’t take the place of my cherished PPP Pads; it isn’t like I’ve found a new love that I’m abandoning a long-time partner for. It’s more like a mistress, one I acquired by accident.
This is how it happened: Last weekend, I was short-sighted enough to leave the flat with nothing to write on. I’m sure you’ve been there, and know the gnawing panic that comes from being unable to jot notes on the run. So I slipped into the local book shop, grabbed a pad from the display, paid and left.
It wasn’t until later that I began to realize how much I enjoyed taking notes with it. I usually hate to write in longhand, but here I was writing outlines, plot sketches and even short articles. The book was small but held ample, sturdy pages that begged to be written on. In the back was a pocket for holding odds and ends, a serial number on a sticker and a leaflet telling the history of the pad.
It was a Moleskine product, and the story behind the notebook was every bit as inspiring as the price was breathtaking. Having come to understand that they are considered the fillet mignon (with a side of broiled potatoes and French-cut green bean) of notebooks, I belatedly checked the receipt; it had cost ten quid. (About $15)
I didn’t let that put me off, I just considered it a nice gift to myself.
So now I carry two notebooks; my PPP Pad for writing messages and organizing my ToDo lists, and my Moleskine notebook, for jotting ideas and letting my imagination wander into places where a word processor can’t fit. They seem to work together well. But I haven’t introduced them yet; I’m not sure how well they would get along.