A Stationery Christmas

Now that the holiday period is coming to an end and things are returning to normal I thought I share my Stationery Christmas with you.

Hobonichi Techo

I mentioned previously that I would like to try the bigger A5 sized Hobonichi Techo this year, the Cousin. I ordered the A6 version, again, but changed my mind and it was too late to change the order. Luckily I was able to sell my A6 Techo on eBay without losing too much money. Even more lucky, my wife was looking for a Christmas gift for me and The Journal Shop had a Black Friday event, so the Cousin was available for a good price. Not cheaper than when ordering from Japan, but this way was saving time and hassle with customs. For a little bit extra you could even get a cover with the Techo. I picked the Hazelnut cover, not only because it looked good on the photos, also (to a smaller extent) because I really like hazelnuts. The Blue Gingham cover would have been my next choice.

One complaint I have is that the Hobonichi should have been packed a bit better. The corners of the diary look as if it fell down at some stage. They look worse than the corners of by Avec from previous years which all have been used for six months each.

The cover itself looks good but more shiny than expected. It is still fairly gender-neutral, less than expected. It reminds me a bit of the stationery that chains like Paperchase use to target female customers.

First impression:

With the Hazelnut cover, the Cousin isn’t much bigger than the A6 version with a zipped cover. The big zipped cover was one of the reasons why I often took my A6 Techo out of the cover when I took it to a meeting at work – the cover was just so bulky compared to the diary.

The Techo usually spends most of the time on my desk at home or at work, so the size itself is not a problem. The Cousin comes with additional weekly pages: One week per double pages. So far I found this a useful addition. I will see how the A5 Cousin holds up. My hope is that I can write down more useful, work-related information during the day as there is more space. Whether I can then easily find what I have written down is another matter, we will see.

In case you wonder why I don’t use my new Staedtler 925 15 with the Hobonichi: the rubber grip is too difficult to put through the cover’s closing loops.

Funnily enough Brad Dowdy seems to have switched to a Cousin, too, this year. You can hear his first impression in The Pen Addict Podcast #289, around 44 minutes in.



We also got a surprise parcel with Christmas gifts from friends from Singapore.

Fun fact: In the Nineties and earlier Noughties these friends and I were running the biggest Gameboy web site on the planet: EAGB.net. At that time, I had several limited edition Gameboys and accessories the day after they were released in Japan (at least when the postal service was quick, which it often was).

The gift they sent to my wife was a Japanese magazine that came with a Pikachu case. The magazine itself is described as a “trend magazine for business person” and includes information about stationery. I thought I share some of the stationery items shown there with you.

The zeit Vektor folder seems interesting. I assume it can be stored vertically in your drawer for easy access, but you can also just take it with you.

Orgel On, the tape measure that seems to play a melody is probably more of a gimmick, but the masking tape for closing and opening envelopes seems like a good idea. There have been many pencils as dice products, so they don’t get me too excited, the novelty has worn off, but the colourful Rhodia cases look beautiful.

Non Stationery

Other, unrelated, things I found out during the holidays and found very exciting:

The Dutch have caffeine free Coke Zero. How cool is that‽

..and Munich’s Develey brand is selling a sauce in Germany that tastes very similar to McDonald’s sauce on the Big Tasty. I am quite sure that when I was still living in Germany the McDonald’s sauces there were made by Develey, so this one might even be made in the same factory as the real one.

The images from Dime magazine have been taken from the September 2017 issue. I believe that their use falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

6 thoughts on “A Stationery Christmas”

  1. Happy new year!

    I too fancied the Cousin this year but sadly my life isn’t busy enough to fill it so I gave mine away. If I’d know you wanted it .….

    Best wishes to you and your wife. Thank you for your wonderful blog.

  2. Thank you for sharing your Stationery Christmas! I am sorry to hear that your Cousin has been damaged. I am eager to hear what you will say about the daily use!

    The magazine pages are amazing! It’s almost unbelievable how much creativity went into the products on these four pages alone.

    Have you bought the Coke and the sauce?

  3. Thank you very much for your comments and a happy new year!

    Amro, thank you for the offer. I actually suggested a swap ( https://bleistift.blog/2017/09/hobonichi-techo-2018/#comment-98633 ), but I guess a small comment at the bottom of a post is very easy to miss. I probably should have contacted you in another way, but didn’t want to be imposing. Thank you for your praise and also all the best wishes for 2018 to you.

    Gunther, the damage is acceptable, it’s just a shame as it would have been avoidable with better packaging. I wrote a review mentioning this in the online shop and they have now made the review public, so I hope they must have seen it. I hope they will use better packaging for other orders. I will let you know what I think and whether I will stick with A5 or go back to A6.
    About the magazine, I thought you might be interested in the scissors from Carl (open in a new tab to see in high-res). Google Translate seems to indicate that they are made thicker steel than usual (3mm).
    I bought the Coke but haven’t tried it yet. I bought two bottles of the sauce as they were on offer (for 99 cents) and I liked the description. I only tried the sauce after I came back to the UK. If I had known I might have bought even more…

  4. Hi Mattias,
    The caffeine free Coke Zero was one of my favorites. But it appears to have been discontinued in the U.S. I was just in Maastricht and must have missed it there in the stores. I liked the Coke Zero vanilla too, which also is gone. I’m a regular reader and enjoy your posts. Thanks, Ben

  5. Happy New Year, Matthias! Good luck with your Cousin. I also ordered one of those basic Hobo covers my first year, and my impression was that while the colors are nice and photograph well, the material itself is something of a letdown. I hope there are more interesting covers available next year!

  6. Thank you for your comments.

    Ben, I wish they’d bottle or can Coke Zero with lime or lemon.
    The caffeine-free Coke Zero is made in Belgium.I hope it’ll be available in other countries, but with classic, diet, zero, life, etc I don’t think Coke wants to add even more to their line-up. I’m happy you like this blog.

    Sola, it’s better than I first thought, I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be a dirt magnet. I thought other covers have the year on the small label, but this one doesn’t. Do you know whether this means it is being sold in many years?

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