The Sunday Subject – The Notebook

Good morning, grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy The Sunday Subject. This week’s subject is The Notebook.

No, not the 2004 film starring Ryan Gosling. The notebook, every stationary lover’s obsession.  I myself have many (many) notebooks scattered around my home, some beautiful, others practical, most totally empty because they’re just too nice to spoil with pencil or ink!  Notebooks bring me a scene of productivity and organisation, two things I often find I lack.

From a cheap and cheerful ring bound pad from Wilko, to the sleek and stylish Moleskine. The uses of a notebook are innumerable. Whether you’re a writer, artist, parent, student or astronaut everyone has a use for a notebook.

Maybe you make your own.  During the 17th and 18th century notebooks were made at home as and when they were needed by folding together pieces of paper.  Children were taught how to make them in school because information management was so important.  It wasn’t until around 1890 that notebooks started to be made and sold.  Scraps of paper were stitched together to make a small pad.  These quickly evolved into the ‘Legal Pad’  that we have today.  As with all things the notebook developed over time and the production processes changed to include, glueing, covering, spiral binding, ring binding and of course in the 20th century we were introduced to the practical, if less pretty, electronic note taking world.

I have to say, that even with the benefits of digital note taking, I don’t think I’ll ever fully switch from paper and ink to pixel and key.  Notebooks are a work of art, there’s so much character in a well used notebook, you just can’t beat it.

If you’re interested in learning how to bind a notebook here’s a list of UK based classes and The Book Studio in Norfolk offers courses during the winter months.

Or maybe you could just fold together a few sheets of paper…

I’d love to see your notebooks, whether home made or shop bought.  You can share them with me on twitter (@BeccyMundy) or send me a DM on Instagram (beccy_mundy).

 

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An Honest Opinion Of Myself – Pregnancy

My hands and ankles are swollen, my thighs and bum have expanded, my back hurts, I can’t get comfortable ever and I’m peeing about 100 times an hour.  And yet, I feel better about myself than I have in a very long time, possibly better than I’ve ever felt about myself.

Before I was pregnant, I would never have worn tight-fitting, figure hugging dresses and skirts but the second my bump popped I was in horizontal stripes, embracing every lump and bump I had. I’ve had my pale, poorly shaved legs out and my no make-up days have heavily outweighed my make-up days.  I imagine its partially down to hormones, partially down to “pregnancy glow”, but a huge part of it is down to – and please pardon my French – my body is doing something fucking amazing right now!

Being positive about your body is a choice, always, and when you’re on your knees at the foot of the porcelain altar for thirteen straight weeks it can be pretty hard to love yourself much. And not everyone enjoys being pregnant, and what it does to their body and that’s okay too! I’ve definitely had days when I needed something loose and flowy to help me feel comfortable – I’m about 4 weeks from D-Day, feeling a bit swollen from the heat wave we’ve had, and rapidly running out of even pregnancy clothes that fit comfortably.

Comfort, not ‘these shoes are really comfortable’ but comfort within myself has been my key to enjoying this journey.  Looking in the mirror and feeling like me. It’s not been about feeling pretty or beautiful everyday, but about confidence and respect for myself and my body and what it’s doing.  Pregnancy does not change who you are. You are still you.   

Give yourself a chance. A chance to see past stretch marks, swelling ankles and puffy eyes.  Look in the mirror and tell yourself ‘My body was designed to do this and I’m doing it beautifully’. Behind it all, there is a tiny little person (or persons!) relying on you for everything and you are doing a fantastic job of providing that for them.  So embrace it for all that it is, because it takes up so little time really and when it’s done, that little person will be worth it all…

… I hope, because the swelling is really starting to get on my nerves a bit…

Favourites: July Edition

For my July favourites I want to focus on my favourite household objects.  More specifically my favourite objects in my favourite room.


We have recently moved house and are working our way through the rooms getting them just the way we like them.  The first room was my dressing room / office, I might do a post on that another time.  We are just putting the final touches to the living room, this is the room that’s quickly become my favourite.

We don’t have a TV (we watch a lot of Netflix and DVDs) so we normally just load whatever we want to watch up on a laptop.  Our living room is very minimal and I love that your eye isn’t drawn to a massive black rectangle as soon as you step in.

For our anniversary we bought ourselves a new radio/CD player/Bluetooth speaker system.  We are in love with it, it looks really sleek and a bit retro and is super simple to use and set up.  The sound quality is great and it comes with a whole load of features like an alarm and a sleep timer that we’ve not really looked into yet.

We have a lot of green in our lives. Hubby’s parents recently adopted our cats and since then we have felt a real lack of life in the house – plants are the next best thing to pets I think. They lift your mood and they can be interesting to watch grow and change.  They will fill the four legged gap until we are ready to welcome a new fur baby into our lives.

I’m a knitter, and, as such, I make many many blankets, cushions and sometimes foot stools!  Knitted fabric is a wonderful texture and when it’s a nice colourful pattern it can be a real feature in your room, we have a table/basket (we got ours from IKEA) that holds all our blankets when it’s too hot for them.

Everyone loves a candle, right? I particularly like The White Company for candles. At the moment we have Ocean Tide.

We are planning to add a chair and a coffee table to this room and then it’s done done done!

What’s your favourite room and why? Let me know down below!

 

It’s wonderful to be alive

I’d like to confess to something that only a select group of friends and family, including my husband and parents, know.  Oh, and the listeners of a university radio station in whom I confided when the weight of my action became too much to handle alone.  A few years ago, on a bike ride with a friend, I killed a frog.  There was really nothing I could do to prevent it, at least that’s what I’ve had to start telling myself in order to sleep at night.  It was on the path and I was going very fast. I didn’t see it until it was too late.  Then I had to continue seeing it as my wheel spun in front of me. If it hadn’t been me it might have been funny.

This evening found me on another bike ride.  A bike ride that was all round much bumpier, slower and took more effort than it would have if I’d had the foresight to pump up my tires before I left.  I considered asking one of the passing cyclists if I could borrow a pump, but sadly I am totally incapable of interacting with strangers in that way, so I ploughed on.  I realise I could also have turned round and gone back home but where’s the fun in that?

I had a very romantic idea of cycling along to the nearest town, pulling up at a pub with an area out the front for me to sit in the evening sun and having a refreshing glass of coke. I’d prop up my bike, pop inside, helmet unclipped but still on my head, comment to the bartender about the pleasant evening, raise a glass to other outdoorsy people around me and head back outside to sit with my bike, not because I was worried it would be stolen, oh no! But because I wanted to take a perfectly filtered picture to add to my blog post about how wonderful it is to be alive.  My dreams were dashed as the only pubs I saw proudly advertised their wide screen TVs and surround sound for all your footballing needs and, thoughtfully, as little pavement as possible outside.  I imagine this is to give their patrons as little a way to stumble to a taxi as possible, after their team loses the match.

It’s amazing what a difference in surroundings you can find on a 5 mile bike ride.  What was most noticeable was the difference in smells; stagnant water, cut grass, petrol from a burnt out car, cut grass, horse poo, some kind of delicious food from an unseen location, stagnant water.  Fascinating and also very confusing to my senses.  I returned home with a craving for a plate of steaming hot grass and chips…

Something I’ve realised from living in Norwich is that, even though some drivers are totally mad and completely incapable of driving,  people are at least fairly accustomed to the sight of someone on a bike.  Tonight’s route had me cycle on the road for a very short amount of time, not enough to get up any real speed, and I was on a fairly narrow and winding road so drivers behind me were forced to drive slowly rather than speed past me.  I indicated to come off the road and the driver behind me actually came to an almost complete stop to allow me to make what was essentially a U turn back onto the cycle path. She was also kind enough not to laugh at me when, after taking my hand from the handlebar to thank her, I almost rode directly into a post.

Star Wars (spoiler free)

Very early in the morning, in a cinema in Norwich…

It’s been a dark time for The Franchice. Although the prequels were terrible, another attempt has been made to restore The Franchice to its former glory. Hoping to evade the dreaded CGI overload, a young couple shuffle to their seats in the arthouse Cinema City.

Continue reading “Star Wars (spoiler free)”

Greatest Works…

Frequently I will write really great blog posts. Only, I don’t actually commit them to any kind of physical form. And so, as the day goes by, I forget what I had to say and the words are lost forever.  Some days I write blog posts in a physical medium, they might not be as good as the ones I write in my head, but it’s better to write them down and post them, right?

In terms of connecting with people and sharing my stories with other like minded people, yes, it is better to physically write something for people to see, but sometimes is the act of private creation not more important?

In order for me to post something I have to be the first person to like it and, to be honest, generally I feel that I’m the only person who has to like it. I only ask my husband to read it to make sure it’s comprehensible (there is no hope of other people liking it if they can’t even understand it).

By “writing” blog posts that never get written I’m developing my style, my voice. And even though I’m hugely disappointed when I have the feeling that something great has been lost, it gives me confidence to sit down and write anyway and occasionally I’ll run to the computer fast enough to get the post down.

I carry a notebook with me, I’m trying to get better at making quick and detailed notes to look at later and sometimes ideas make it to the pages but I still  find the posts I write in the shower or while I’m carrying shopping are much better than the ones I manage to get down on paper.  By writing them down I cease to continue developing them in my head and when I come to write up the post the moment is gone.

So as I sit and write this, with wet hair that possibly still has some shampoo in it,  I realise that maybe I don’t need to learn to write better notes: I need to learn to run faster.