...and your coat, scarf, gloves and thermal socks! Apologies for mangling the lyrics of that well known Tom Jones song, but a weekend in a caravan in Berwick upon Tweed in October can be a mite on the chilly side; it's the first time this pen-thusiast has slept fully clothed for fun!
Who says we don't suffer for our art?!
It's not all bad news however, as Berwick is home to a couple of little gems as far as stationery shopping is concerned.
The first of these is Geo. C. Grieve Ltd. Stationers & Bookseller on the corner of Marygate and Church Street. Not just your average provincial stationers, oh no! Geo. C Grieve's is a veritable cornucopia of stationery-related goodness - postcards, notebooks, paper, pens, ink, art supplies, calenders, maps, local books, the list is (almost) endless. Grieve's is always this pen-thusiast's first port of call on a trip to Berwick.
Grieve's is a wonderfully friendly shop (of which there are precious few around these days) and this pen-thusiast has never failed to find something interesting or unusual to buy - it's worth a trip to Berwick just to visit this shop! It's also nice to be recognised and greeted warmly, even when your last visit was six months ago. A word of caution though, Grieve's website lists but a fraction of the stock available, so should you not find what you're after, please do email them, they'll be happy to try and source stuff for you.
The haul this time included a 0.5mm Pentel Graphgear 1000 drafting pencil (which came supplied in a great black pen sleeve), a Pentel Ain Clic eraser in red, a Stabilo Marathon ballpoint in black and a six-pack of Artline Multi Pens by Shachihata; no idea what I'm going to do with this last item, but they looked cool and are bound to be useful!
Add to that a few interesting postcards of the local area and a couple of magnetic-backed FootNotes notepads, and it was a happy pen-thusiast who set off, his wallet suitably lightened, to the next regular stop on the itinerary.
The second port of call on our whistle-stop stationery tour of Berwick is Doolally in Marygate, just round the corner from Grieve's in fact. Located on the ground floor of the historic Town Hall (which dates from 1761), Doolally is a combination bookseller and gift shop with a cafe, so you can enjoy a rather lovely cup of coffee while examining your purchases.
Visiting this time brought me my first contact with Momiji - incredibly cute dolls from Japan (I believe). Now these are not really my thing, but my darling daughter picked up the Kittie Doll, which even I have to admit is rather cute! We both grabbed one of the Momiji notebooks and a couple of the matching pens too.
I really quite like the notebooks - they're about A5 size, with wipe-clean plastic covers and have different designs on the pages, making them ideal as inexpensive journals (possibly more suited to our younger viewers!). The pens are needlepoint rollerballs and come with black, blue, red and green ink, each colour having a different barrel design.
Should you be heading up to Berwick, you can contact Doolally on 01289 306 796.
Not a bad haul for a weekend's work, eh?