Monthly Archives: April 2012

Oxford’s Rhodia-style notepads 6

You might remember my blog post about the Carrefour Bloc-notes. Today I want to talk about another Rhodia-style notepad, the Oxford Bloc1. I bought this notepad for €1.05 (~ $1.39; £0.85) at J. A. Hofmann Nachfolger in Würzburg, Germany. I haven’t seen it in any other brick and mortar shop yet, but I have seen several online shops that sell this notepad.

The company

Despite the British-sounding name Oxford belongs to Groupe Hamelin, a French manufacturer of paper and stationery with roots that go back to 1864 and with plants in nine countries.

Rhodia Oxford Carrefour

Just like the Rhodia and the Carrefour notepads this notepad is made in France and just like the Rhodia and the Carrfour notepad, the Oxford notepad is held together by a staple, too, and features a orange fold-around cover. The notepad is available in the same common formats – the one on the photo is the 74 x 105mm version.

The paper

The paper feels less yellow and more purple than the Rhodia paper and less grey than the Carrefour paper. The grid printed on the paper is similar to the one on Rhodia paper, much less blurry than the Carrefour grid. The paper feels very smooth – no wonder the name of the paper has satiné in it.

It is a fantastic paper for fountain pens and ink, the inks I tried don’t show through on the reverse side at all, even though one of the nibs was rather wet.  For pencils it is a different matter though. The paper is so smooth that the graphite from the point of the pencil doesn’t seem to want to stick to it as much as on most other paper. As a result the line from the pencil feels slightly lighter than on other paper. Lines also feel lighter than on the previously discussed Oxford Black n’ Red polynote notepad. Both Oxford products use Optik Paper, but the Black n’ Red’s paper has a density of 90 g/m², compared to the orange notepad’s 80 g/m². Just as with the Black n’ Red it is also easy to erase graphite from the Rhodia-style notepad’s paper, but there is a chance that you will still be able to see the indentation where the pencil line used to be.


Price and exchange rates: April 2012

As mentioned in the Black n’ Red blog post Hamelin / Oxford doesn’t react to query sent through their web site’s “Contact Us” form, therefore I’m unable to provide more information about the Optik Paper used.

  1. I’m not sure what the official name is. There is a similar products, the Bloc Idéa, which seems to have the same format and the same 80g satiné extra blanc Optik Paper, but the cover of the Bloc Idéa is different []

Juniperus virginiana 5

…just arrived in Germany today. Travelled by ferry again, so lots of space for stationery in the boot1 8^)

In the evening my mother called me because pencils were featured on prime time telly…

Rette die Million! (Image © Endemol/ZDF)


In the German version of The Million Pound Drop Live, called Rette die Million!, candidates were asked for another name of juniperus virginiana (Virginische Wacholder). The correct answer was pencil cedar (Bleistiftzeder). The candidates lost more than half of their money on this question.

Great to see something pencil related on prime time telly!

…taking photos of TV shows is so much better on my mother’s flat screen compared to our CRT at home2.


More about juniperus virginiana in the blog post Schwanberg and the Pencil Cedar.


The photo of the pencil has been taken from the ZDF TV show ‘Rette die Million!’. I believe that the use of this image falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

  1. AE: trunk (just in case you thought of shoes…) []
  2. Just look at the ‘How I Met Your Mother’ photos I took from the CRT. []