With Mum being here, throughout our wanderings we’ve been presented with many varied retail opportunities across the country, near assailed by sales. More, with only a little under a month left in Japan, a constant, quiet little mantra has been tinkling away in the back of my mind whenever I enter a space containing cash registers and price tags: this isn’t at home, you’ll never get another chance to get this, buy it, buy it. All this means I’ve been buying an awful lot of stuff recently.
After leaving early and training out to admire a most majestic Kobe Bridge swathed in low-hanging misty cloud and then riding back on a train that at one point ceased being a rapid express and became a slow local without my noticing until it was too late to do anything much about it, and then eating an unnecessarily large quantity of Burger King, I made a number purchases in Sanjo today. Most notably, socks and stockings were purchased from Tutuanna (for every female member of my immediate family, and not entirely with my money), and several writing-related implements (and a few items from the home ware level) were obtained in Loft. I’d been wanting something nice I could keep my pink and green books in – they’ve been in a plastic shop bag of late to protect them from the rainy season – and I remembered that last year when sister Frannie was over we outfitted our baby brother for his first year of uni with such a something, a black A4 sized case with many pouches and zips. We took great pleasure in filling it with pens that erase their own ink and cassette tape public transport pass holders.
The case I bought is identical in make but green, and now has a wooden protective duck hanging from one of the zippers. Also bought (two of them in fact, one as a gift) was another item that sister Frannie and I placed in our brother’s case last year: a moleskine passion journal.
I think they’re just so adorable. These journals have special sections and pages and subheadings, designed to help document your passion: music, books, films, gardening, wine, restaurants, beer, chocolate, cats, dogs, recipes, travel, and such – there’s probably a few I’ve forgotten. Several of the titles I’m not so sure about – the cat and dog journals are for documenting sightings, like bird watching, which I’ve always found a little creepy. Seems even more creepy to be spying on your neighbours’ four-legged companions, to me. But there are more than enough non-creepy titles to choose from. The journals come with decorative stickers and blank pages to add your own sections, and the covers are inlaid with images and words related to the appropriate passion. I’d been debating, back and forth, whether to buy one for myself and which one to buy for as long as half a year, and finally settled on the book journal – I’ve hardly read at all since I started writing seriously. It’s quite appalling really. But reading, even just going into book shops, often depresses me. Hopefully with this journal to fill in I’ll get over that and be pushed to read more again. And not just old favourites. I need to read new books. If you’ve read anything just wonderful recently, let me know – I’ll try to make it one of my first entries.
As with most things I develop a certain fondness for, these journals have also inspired and become part of my writing. A version of them appears quite prominently in Tom (current novel, kept in the pink book). Tom’s younger sister keeps a detailed chocolate journal designed by her parents so she can keep track of flavours and recipes – she is never without it. I took some ideas for sections and such from the moleskine version I looked at, but added a number myself. Tom, on the other hand, unwillingly keeps his journal, made to fill it out every day to improve his writing. His journal is not one of which moleskine yet have a version. These journals have a little more significance to the story than they first seem to – just a little more – so I’ll say nothing more of them here.
So yes, though I’ll probably wait until I’m back in Australia to start, hopefully my book journal will soon start to fill up. More than just the concept of the journals themselves, reading new things and documenting it will probably help improve my writing, too … I’ve heard such things are so. I suppose. And I’m aware I missed my deadline – I’m meant to post every two days, but I missed yesterday … I don’t think anyone noticed. Not yet sure if I’ll wait two days from now or post tomorrow to get back into the original pattern. Suppose it’s no huge issue, I’ll see how I’m feeling tomorrow. Will be cruising on Lake Biwa, should be good.