Thursday, 31 March 2016

Write On (A Month of Letter Writing)

So next month is marks National Stationery Week (25th April -1st May) in the UK as well as World Stationery Day on 27th April. It also seems to be the National Letter Writing month in the US mainly observed with the Write On campaign. I don't know if anything similar here in the UK but I know there's been International Correspondence Writing Month InCoWriMo but don't think much happened with that this year.  *sigh* There is also Lettermo which is in February which I have done before.

But regardless I thought it might be nice to take part even if it's not in direct conjunction with anything. But as a stationeryholic and keen letter writer it's an good excuse to get writing. I have been managing to write more for myself as mentioned before. But need to make a better effort with correspondence I thought this might be a good way for me to catch up on letters owed, renew some old acquaintances and possible make some new ones. Not to mention just putting pen to paper again I am in the way that haven't done in a long while. I mean who doesn't love a good excuse to get some new stationery and get writing? 

I think I roughly know most of the people that I'm going to write to but I have left space for some extras. I always say I'm not looking for penpals I have reached out to a few people which hasn't worked out. Which is a shame and it makes me wary of taking on any new pen pals. I believe there's always the right there's always enough room for the right person.

I will say for now for the one off later I've got about five days or spaces so if anyone wants to receive a letter from me they can leave a comment here or on my Instagram post. Just explain why you like to write and or why you would like to receive a letter. It may not be a letter it could be a card or a postcard but it will definitely something handwritten or from my typewriter, something analog and personal from one person to another.

Sunday, 20 March 2016


I wrote a post before about the Traveler's Notebook Caravan event at the Ace Hotel. The event was actually held in three cities Berlin, London and Amsterdam. I learnt more about the Amsterdam venue a shop called Miscellaneous through Instagram and the Traveller's Factory website. Ever since I saw Miscellaneous' Instagram posts and checked out their website I had instant stationery envy and wished it was in London. The Ace Hotel had Traveler's Notebook products provided by the Journal Shop for the London event whereas Miscellaneous is an actual store that has a lot of Traveler's Notebook products as well as other brands.

So of course when I planned my Amsterdam trip I knew I had to go check the place out. I went with my friend Chanou, a longtime pen pal and fellow stationeryholic. Miscellaneous is conveniently down the road from the Kopjes Cat Cafe that we visited earlier that day. Cats, cakes and stationery what more could a girl ask for?!?!

There's not that much to say I was quite good and didn't spend too much. It would be easy to buy up the whole shop but I don't like buying things about having a purpose in mind and I already have a surplus of notebooks and statioenry thought I don't lke to admit ti that often. I stuck to notepads and a new Hightide Nahe case and note cards and notepad from Le Typographe a Belgian brand.I wanted to go to their shop while in Brussels but didn't get the chance so was glad to find their products there. As with my trip with to Amsterdam in in general I already want to go back!!

Museé Hergé

Going to the Museé Hergé was almost a bit like a pilgrimage and it was nice to go with my sister who is just as excited as me. I've loved Tintin ever since I was a child passed down from my dad. The museum itself is so well put together. The collection not just based around his art but lots or artefacts from his personal and professional life and that of Studio Hergé. 

It gave me deeper sense of appreciation of the research that her out into each booker after The Blue Lotus from the influence of his Chinese friend Zhang Chongren. It great to see direct links from Hergé's world and life that went directly in the Tintin books. His father and his twin brother who dressed alike being the basis for Thomson and Thompson. Or the relics from The Seven Crystal Balls or the Broken Ear that Hergé drew from museum exhibits  in Brussels.  It was lovely to see the sketches and the different stages in his work not just Tintin but Quick & Flupke and The Adventures of Jo, Zette and Jocko. 

The Museé Hergé was definitely the highlight of our Brussels trip something my sister and jointly enjoyed. The staff were lovely too and the shop had many great items. My favourite place in Belgium. 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Kattencafe Kopjes

So Japan has a number of cat cafes and now even London has one, Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium. I haven't been to Lady Dinah's but if I'm comparing Kopjes to Miysis my local cat cafe in Japan Kopjes wins hands down. Both London and Amsterdam are also much cheaper and much better and comfortable for humans and cat alike. Also Kopjes doesn't have many cats just the 7 Misysis is a bigger space but has somethign like 30 cats but I think the Kopjes set up works well for the cats. As we most cat cafes all the cats were rescue cat just making it even better,.

The cats of Kopjes

Kopjes also provided me with a great opportunity to meet my long time pen friend Chanou and fellow cat lover. This was a great way for us to meet up we both have cats and the place is just so damn cute. I absolutely adored the place it was also somewhere I could enjoy jointly with my sister who I was travelling with.

As mentioned the key difference between Miysis and Kopjes is that though Kopjes is smaller and  had less cats, there were more people than cats while we were there. Admittedly this could be slightly less fun for human visiting  BUT the cafe is so nice that even without the cats it's a nice place to chill and grab a coffee. THe cafe is just so cut and kitch everything is cat related in the cafe, I loved their attention to detail. I would definitely go again the coffee, cake and atmosphere with or without the cats was lovely, but of course much better with. 

Cats and klitch





Brussels & Amsterdam

Last week I took a long overdue break and went on holiday with my sister to Brussels and Amsterdam. It was my first time in Belgium and the Netherlands and also my first time using Airbnb. The Airbnb was a fun experience and I was really pleased with the place that I found in Brussels. Similar places in Amsterdam were way out of budget, I'm glad I went to the hostel that I found instead. The Brussels hosts were really lovely and relaxed the dates that we booked meant though actually in residence I thought it be a little awkward saying somebody's home but it worked out fine. 

I did enjoy Brussels the highlight was the Museé Hergé as I'm a big fan of Tintin but I have to say overall I'm not that taken with Brussels. On the other hand I completely fell in love Amsterdam, unlike Brussels I will definitely return to Amsterdam. I had the same feeling that I got when I was in Japan that I could easily live here but I'm sure lots of people leave that thinking the same thing. 

In Amsterdam I went to the Van Gogh Museum I wish I had time to go to the Rijksmuseum but travelling with my sister she's not as interested in arts and culture as me we had to make some compromises on this trip. Being in Amsterdam also give me the opportunity to meet my long time pen pal Chanou or @gnoe as she is on Instagram. We hit it off straight away as I've mentioned before I've been really lucky with meeting up with people from Instagram in real-life everybody's been fantastic. 

It was great spending time with Chanou and my sister we had a great first day in Amsterdam together. The stuff that we got up to was really fun we started at a cat cafe Kopjes and then to the Miscellaneous stationery shop followed by walking to central and then dinner. I've written about Kopjes and Miscellaneous in separate posts. What I loved about Amsterdam is that it had all the feel of somewhere like Shoreditch  but without being over priced and the pretentious. I will definitely be making a future trip it as probably the best place I could've gone to for a break.