Highway to pen

It’s always nice to drive through Belgium as it gives me a chance to refill my Atoma reserves. As you might know, I’m a big fan of Atoma notebooks.

Stationery in a Carrefour Hypermarket

With such a choice to tempt me (see photo above) I couldn’t resist getting a BIC multi-pen with a pencil to add to my multi-pen plus pencil collection.

BIC in Belgium

Carrefour had an offer on the Pelikano junior for under €10. It’s a great pen. When I bought mine in 2008 I paid £6.80, but these prices are long gone and today €10 seems like a steal.

Pelikano junior, probably bigger in Japan than in Europe

The reason I really stopped was to get more Atoma notebooks. Unfortunately they didn’t have the Bio Atoma which I love. Even Atomas with cardboard covers were rare. Most had thick plastic covers which seem unnecessarily plasticy and not as nice as the cardboard variety. The similar Adoc notebooks were however available with cardboard covers.

No Bio Atomas. Sniff.

When I drove on, into Germany, I noticed another nice stationery surprise. Kids get the excellent Noris colour pencils with a kids meal. Chicken fillets, fries, orange juice and Staedtler Noris for €3.99. The Noris is certainly the star in this combo.

I wish I was a kid

Professor T’s Pencil Pot and more

Faber-Castell in the Wild

Now that the final season of the TV series Professor T has come to an end [1]The original has come to an end, but like other Belgian TV series (Cordon / Containment) it seems that other countries prefer to remake Belgian TV series, rather than broadcast the original in … Continue reading it’s time to revisit his use of stationery again. In the previous blog post, we looked at Staedtler’s Noris, which was a common sight in the first season.

Professor T is a great TV series, even though the handheld cameras were often extremely shaky. I certainly liked how normal scenes were interspersed with one second cuts when people picked up or dropped stationery.

It’s nice to see Faber-Castell’s Design Pencil Stand in this TV series. It is on the desk of Chief Inspector John van Humbeeck.

“Professor T’s” Faber-Castell Design Pencil Stand (Image © Skyline Entertainment)

I first wrote about this pencil pot in a blog post from 2009. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be produced anymore, but you can still get the last few ones on eBay US and eBay UK in a set with 24 Polychromos pencils.

From Faber-Castell to Lamy

Speaking about coming across nice stationery in unexpected places: I was surprised to see some exciting stationery on Pimoroni’s website. Pimoroni is a hobbyist electronics company producing accessories for the Raspberry Pi. Their product photos feature fountain pens from Faber-Castell and Lamy (the Lamy 2000).

Pimoroni’s Lamy 2000 (Image © Pimoroni)

Unexpectedly, Lamy also made it’s way to tea packaging in my local supermarket, in the form of a Lamy Safari nib drawing in B.

From Lamy to Kaweco

Pimoroni doesn’t only feature Lamy and Faber-Castell. By coincidence, I came across the blog of sandyjmacdonald who seems to be behind these photos. On his blog, he explains in wonderful detail how he made these shots. His shot shows a Kaweco fountain pen.

Speaking of Kaweco: On Reddit you can also see famous actress Emma Watson with a fountain pen, a Kaweco Liliput in Copper.

Emma Watson and her Kaweco Liliput in Copper (Image © unknown)

Back to Faber-Castell

Going back to Faber-Castell, in case you were wondering: here’s how my Faber-Castell pencil pot looks now, 10 years later.

…and here’s my own.

The first two images in this blog post have been taken from Episode Eleven of Season Three of the original Professor T. TV series and from the web site. The Emma Watson photo has been taken from Reddit. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


1 The original has come to an end, but like other Belgian TV series (Cordon / Containment) it seems that other countries prefer to remake Belgian TV series, rather than broadcast the original in another language. Professor T is no exception.

In a Belgian Supermarket

Last month we [1]My family and I. went to my home town in Northern Bavaria [2]Franconia.

In the past we used to take the ferry from Hull to Rotterdam, an easier drive [3]Without packing you travel 1 12 days, but recently this ferry got really expensive. We have neither too much time, nor too much money, so deciding wasn’t easy, but in the end we went with the cheaper option: going through Dover to France. This option was much cheaper than what the ferry we used to take costs now, but the drawback is that it involves two whole days of travelling (driving from North West England to South East England, then taking the ferry to France and then driving through Belgium and the Netherlands into Germany (driving through four different German states. Bavaria for example is more than twice the size of Belgium, but within a country there usually isn’t much variation, so there aren’t too many new things to discover, compared to driving through another country. Saying that, there was a new part of the motorway in Germany which was quite nice. On the side of the motorway you can see all the ‘trees of the year’ from the previous decades and a sign showing the name and the year for that tree.).

Well, it’s a little adventure that, as an added bonus, contains the opportunity to buy cool stationery and other items I can’t get in the UK or Germany (except stationery this was mainly caramel tea and flavoured Perrier).

So here’s a mini blog post about a visit to a Belgian supermarket: Carrefour, a French chain that is present in many countries. They used to sell their own Rhodia clones, but I haven’t seen those in recent years anymore.

This being Belgium the main attraction was to stock up on Atoma style notebooks – and the Belgian supermarket didn’t disappoint.

Atome-style notebooks
Atome-style notebooks

They also had a surprising amount of retro video game hardware. I found that very cool as I used to collect retro video games. I did/do have an interest in this: Fifteen years ago some friends from Singapore and I were running the biggest Gameboy web site at that time (called EAGB) [4]I still have an interest, but no time – my free time is mainly spend on stationery now..

In a Belgian Supermarket

There was also a great choice of Lucky Luke comics. A big proportion of German shops selling magazine will sell Lucky Luke comics, but you wouldn’t get the choice you got in this supermarket – unless you go to a specialist shop. The photo I took on the day was blurred, so I’ll just skip adding it to this blog post.

…and finally: flavoured sparkling water. In the UK flavoured water has sweetener in it, basically making it lemonade, but in Belgium you can get Perrier with all sorts of flavour. Nice. I know these from Shanghai, but in Belgium they are much cheaper.

In a Belgian Supermarket


1 My family and I.
2 Franconia
3 Without packing you travel 1 12 days
4 I still have an interest, but no time – my free time is mainly spend on stationery now.

Rhodia on offer

Possibly of interest if you live in the UK [1]so no exchange rates this time.

I was just looking at the Belgian Atoma notebooks at Craft & Party Direct’s web site when I noticed that they sell the Rhodia ePure notebook covers for £1. The covers even come with a pad. I think I won’t order one as I alredy bought one at Meriful (paying much more). They also have other items on offer, like Rhodia pencils for 25p each.


Edit: Unfortunately Koralatov had a bad experience with this mail order. I haven’t ordered from them, so cannot comment. If you have ordered from them in the past, what was your experience?

I would like to thank Kent for the Munhwa Deojon you can see on the photo.


1 so no exchange rates this time