My name is Vicki McLeod and I am a stationeryaholic. There, my dirty little secret is out. I can’t go past a paperleria without wanting to nose around inside. I buy brand new felt tip pens in handy carry cases, but they aren’t for Gidg, they’re for me. I sniff the inside of brand new ringbinders, they have that ‘new folder’ smell: they’re irresistible. But what is it with the Spanish and squared rather than lined paper? Why is it so hard to find a jotter pad? I search out hardbound notebooks, but then don’t write anything in them. What’s wrong with me?
This week (in between appointments for work, the school run, the food shopping, the dog walking, and all of the other stuff that goes into being a mum, a wife, and working for a living) I found myself in Palma, in the vicinity of one of my most favourite guilty pleasures, an office supplies store called Folder. Of course, I had to have a quick poke around: you never know when you might need another notebook. I was drawn to the diaries for 2011. I spent at least twenty minutes mulling over the pros and cons of the different designs, sizes and colours. Even languages: it would be quite ambitious of me to buy one in Catalan, but I do know the days of the week now because all of our school notices come in Catalan, so you snooze you lose as far as our education authority is concerned.
But I couldn’t decide on a diary, and you know why? Because I may have finally recognised at least one of my flaws: a major part of my stationeryaholic status is that I buy new diaries all year round, in the hope that they will finally, finally organise me. I’ve been through them all: Filofax (my clever friend Mark once asked me if the plural of filofax might be filofaeces), moleskine, A4, A5, A6, landscape, portrait, day a page, week a page. None of them have worked. Mainly, I realised whilst meandering around the shop with an armful of bright pink post-its, because I put my total faith in my new diary. I turn over a beautifully clean, smooth page, and think, ‘right then, this time, this is IT life, my new diary will control you’. Nope, you can’t, said my inner voice today. The diary can only accept appointments, and lists, the rest is up to you McLeod.
I might have just discovered a new addiction, now all I have to do is find the cure.
(first published on 26.10.10 http://www.euroweeklynews.com/columns/vicki-mcleod)