Christmas is coming, and the shelves are getting fat

As Christmas approaches, so the supply of stationary items at TKMaxx begins to swell. So much to choose from.

So when I spotted this Semikolon A5 exercise book for £1.79 in the clearance section, I nabbed it!

A5, plain pages, pocket in the back.

There’s a cut out on the cover to put your name card in (1 supplied), or you could put anything in there really, a photo, doodle, whatever you like.

As it’s an exercise book it has a stapled spine and around 50 pages, cream in colour. Make a nice book for doodling in as it lays open quite easily.

Semikolon make really nice quality notebooks and they have a good range, so well worth checking them out.


Lego Moleskine

£3.49? Go on then!

Small plain pages, Lego detailing. A flat 8 stuck to the front, I guess you could stick some more flat bricks on there to customise it, and if you wanted to go all out you could build pretty much anything on there, but then good luck opening and using the notebook.

There are nice sketches inside, but I was a little disappointed with the stickers, it would have been nice to have a bit more variety in there, especially some Lego heads with different faces. Maybe it’s because its the small book, maybe the bigger ones have a greater variety in them?

Uh-oh! Looks like Michael Mouse has found the ideal location for his new holiday cottage! No Michael, no, I’ll never grant you planning permission!


/Begin Personal Rant:
And as always, the multiple of ‘Lego’ is ‘Lego’, never ever say ‘Legoes’. It’s fine to say ‘books’, because they are, but Lego is the brand name. You wouldn’t say ‘Cokes’ or ‘Pepsies’, no, you’d say ‘Look at all those cans of Coke’.
So you should say ‘Look at all those Lego bricks’ or ‘Look at all that Lego’ or ‘Look how many Lego sets are in here’, never ever should you say ‘Look at all those Legoes’, because there’s no such thing, they are Lego bricks, made by Lego. And shame on Dr. Sheldon Cooper, he of all people should know better!
/End Rant

Flex Refill

Oof, refills! Can be pricey can’t they? So when I used up the notebook in the smallest Filofax Flex, it went back on the shelf and was replaced in the car with a cheap generic notebook.

But a now rare visit to my old friend TKMaxx revealed a fat, plain refill for a mere £2.49.

It doesn’t say how many pages it is, but as you can see from the photos it’s substantially more than the standard book. So it’ll go back into the car come January, ready to note down how much I’ve spent on fuel and such, (all for the purposes of seeing how much profit I can make from work milage claims. So far it’s lots) as well as any other jottings I need to make along the way.

And did I pick up a small Lego Moleskine while I was in there? Hey, no spoilers!

Filofax Slim

So I got the Filofax bug about 5 years ago thanks to good old TKMaxx. The first I bought myself was the Bond Personal. Now, it’s called the ‘Bond’ due to the fact it’s made from bonded leather. Unless you’re poor and are desperate for a Filofax, all I’ll say is stay away from bonded leather. That’s also good advice if you’re buying a belt. Bonded leather, is as its name suggests, a thin piece of leather which is then glued and/or stitched to another material, usually card or plastic. This means two things. Firstly, the leather will never age well. You’ll never get that worn in look, it will never soften properly. Secondly, at some point the bond will break, and you’ll end up with a split Filofax (or belt).

Now, real leather Filofaxes can be expensive, but a few months after buying the Bond, patience on eBay rewarded me with a used, brown Kendal. 100% leather. It was cheap, came with no inserts (didn’t need them, I just transferred pages from the Bond) but it had a slight gap between the rings. The gap was easily fixed on the Kendal, (there are no rivets holding the centre ring cover on, so carefully pull it off and you can see the workings, bend back and it’s sorted) so that became my main Filofax for a few years. Then I stopped using it as a diary last year, so I just used it as a hard copy backup for contact info.



I bought my Mum a Filofax a few years ago to replace her diary/falling-apart-address-book combo. Picked up before that Christmas from you-know-where I bought her a Cuban slim in a lovely reddy brown colour. Hmmm, slim, same page size as Personal, but much smaller rings. Nice and compact.

Fast forward to December last year, and I’m in that certain store and I see a Filofax Slim in black ‘Deluxe Leather.’ Came with 2018 week to a page diary, card holders, address pages (but no A-Z dividers) and a couple of other bits. It was £20. Hmmm, pick it up but walk around a while and decide. They had another that initially appeared the same but was boxed an £5 cheaper, but closer examination revealed it was bonded leather, so that went back on the shelf.

So yeh, I bought it. I’m currently making notes of stuff ‘to do’ and ‘have done’ in the diary, but I’m not filling it out with future appointments like I used to, let’s be honest, it’s much easier to do that with an iPhone, even though it is nice to browse through a diary.

Long term I’m not sure what to use it for. I’ve bought a set of a-z dividers and I’ll use those to record passwords, so I may just keep the slim as a password book, and use the Kendal as my address book. I never need to take a paper diary out with me, and for work we use Office 365.

As a form factor for carrying around the minimum, the slim Filofax is ideal. You can see from the photos how much thinner it is, but it holds much less pages. Insert a week to two pages diary and contact pages and it’s about full, so not ideal for a full on content organiser, but a really nice addition to the collection.

Flexing that Filofax

So a few years ago the Filofax Flex came out. TKMaxx had them in towards Christmas. Three sizes were available, A5 being the biggest, then one about standard Filofax size, and one smaller still.



I’ve got the smallest one in the car for noting fuel costs and anything else I need to write down (so just fuel costs then), the other two are unused. Like the Midori, I’m not really in tune with covers that you then put a notebook in. I understand that it’s good way of keeping multiple notebooks together, so I guess I’ve just not really got the need.


But £1.49 in TKMaxx for a thick A5 plain refill? I’ll take it. It doesn’t even have to go into the Flex, it’s a notebook all on its own. And that’s the thing about the A5 flex, you can use *any* A5 thin cover notebook in it.

Any maybe one day, I’ll have an actual use for them.

Sellotape Commemorative Tin

This apparently is a Co-op exclusive. I spotted one before Christmas, and they were £3.50. Tempting, but a tad expensive for a roll of sticky tape in a tin.


Fast forward to January, and they had a pile of them for 88 of your earth pence. Thank you shop keep, I shall take one.



I’ve no idea why, for the sheer novelty value I guess. Perhaps in years to come it’ll be worth ten times as much! Imagine that!

GIANT Moleskine Drawing pad \(^-^)/

Bottom shelf, at the back. That looks like, but probably isn’t.. it is! A giant Moleskine!


A3 in size, it is just a giant, plain paged Moleskine. An ideal Christmas present for the budding artist! Or you could pretend it’s a normal size book and that you’ve shrunk.

I’m not opening it, ‘cos it’s a definite present, and one I will give, not one I’ll keep. Also, it’s too big to hide in my cupboard.


At just 15ukp, which is a tenner less than Amazon, I nearly bought the other one they had too, but I don’t like to be greedy, always leave some treats for other hunters I say.