Give him a bag of Bics and he’s happy as a sandboy. Sticky notes, dispensed from a variety of holders, surround him like a halo. Yes, my Dad loves stationery.
But he’s very bad at buying the stuff for himself. I’ve seen him use a mini pen from Argos. I bought him a Moleskine a few years ago. This was because I couldn’t bear to see him use the back of his cheque book for note-taking any more.
That said he’s always been brilliant at sorting stationery for me. We had great fun sorting out what notebooks would work best for university. And just for the record reporter’s notebooks were the winner because they could fit into my bag and encouraged me to write up my lecture notes. At university, I used a fountain pen he found me in Paperchase. I had a clear body and colourful details on the lid. For graduation, he picked out a Sheaffer fountain pen filled with green ink for me.
A Roman notebook
But one of the most amazing stationery related things he ever did for me was making me a Roman notebook. My childhood was wonderfully full of visits to castles, country parks and museums. Living in Essex there was no escaping Roman heritage. After one museum visit, we were talking about how Romans might have one about their daily life. Romans didn’t seem to use paper and when they did scroll where involved. How did people manage when they needed to write something down I wondered?
So my Dad nipped off to his shed and a while later presented me with a Roman notebook, as shown above. Open the laminated chipboard covers (nice use of recycled materials), and you have a layer of wax for writing on. You used a stylus to scratch the scratch down who had won the dice game or how many flagons of oil you needed. Then the wax was smoothed over when the notation was no longer needed.
This Fathers’ Day I’ll be reminding my Dad about this awesome item he made me. I’ll be thanking him for giving me an appreciation of both history and stationery, and all other the millions of things he’s done for me in life. That’s what the day is about after all. And I hope he’ll enjoy the Ink Drops box created just for Dads.