All It Takes is the Right Equipment!

We're lucky where we live here in Tuscany to have a cartoleria just a mile away. This is a shop which specialises in a sumptous array of paper-related goods, from scrapbooks decorated with real autumn leaves to writing paper lovingly crafted in Florence. They also have stationery – pens, pencils, glitter – as well as seasonal items like hallowe'en masks and carnevale face paint. There is personal service and the owners will wrap things, weigh things, count things and cut things for their loyal clients.

It was in a cartoleria that I first spotted a shelf groaning with gorgeous aged brown leather notebooks stuffed with pale cream sheets of thick hand-made paper. Each glorious object made you want to grab a quill and create epic verse immediately.

I feel sure that anything written on such exquisite material would have significance, be valuable and valued. The book that has stalled on the computer screen would dance into life if it was written on this paper, as if the very act of creating the words on the page could transform dull prose into something magical. Imagine – Merlin might have had a notebook like this. Or Shakespeare.

Wouldn't it be amazing to have enchanted paper and pens that pulled great writing out of you and spun it onto the page? Of course there wouldn't be a spell check or editor or cut and paste. But anything written on the magic paper wouldn't need those, would it?

I didn't buy the notebook in the end. I had such high expectations of it and was afraid to be let down. But every time I see one in a cartoleria I stop and pick it up, imagining the wonderful words hovering around it in the ether, just waiting…

 

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