Looking for something to write about for today’s post, I thought I’d mix the noting and music themes…

In keeping with the new year resolutions to organise and document more effectively, I started keeping a new notebook to record ideas from the jam sessions mentioned earlier this year (that spawned the consumer splurge resulting in new pedals, etc).

It’s an old new notebook, and those of you that Keep Notebooks will ken fine what I mean by that, I am sure.

The glories of the notebook. Many of my dearests keep a notebook of some sort, from Oma Jojo and her pocket book of quotations, to Julia over at Ten Minutes Hate blog with her hacked notebooks, and these foxy items of note, to my mate Dave who uses Tumblr for electronic notebook purposes. I enjoy both electronic and actual noting, but this is the first time in a long time that I have not been carrying a paper book round with me every day. Not sure how it came about, really. It tends to be something I do when I have the luxury of time, such as when travelling, or on a late night when I’m in denial about having to be up early.

Anyway, writing up this week’s rock notes in THAT notebook, pressed into action, I started thinking about The Notebook itself, and that reminded me of an piece on notebooks I wanted to link to previously. So here’s this BBC article on writers’ notebooks (as distinct, presumably, from those of artists, engineers, teachers, cooks or any of the other people who regularly jot down ideas, inspirations, itineraries).

Lawrence Norfolk notes:

A writer’s notebook is a junkyard; a junkyard of the mind. In this repository of failed attempts, different inks speak of widely-spaced times and places, the diverse scrawls of varying levels of calligraphic awkwardness, lack of firm writing-surfaces, different modes of transportation.

All the places a good idea might blossom into something bigger and better.

Nice that, eh? Those images rang several moleskine-bound bells for me, as I’m sure they might for others. Speaking of good ideas blossoming, I was quite taken by his German station names game:

Turning to the back, I write the word Letter.

I am travelling on a German train between Hannover and Osnabruck. Letter is the name of the station through which I have just passed.

The next is Haste. I write that too. What, I wonder, if the name of every station on the line turns out to be cognate with English words? What if the stations form a sentence? A paragraph?

Unfortunately, the next station is Gummer.

What larks! In the digital dumping ground notebook where I originally recorded this extract, I jotted down possible disavowals of such insalubrious associations for ‘Gummer’ [you have to imagine Humphrey Lyttelton’s voice reading this bit]:

“Why, surely it’s just about hurriedly sealing envelopes! I myself am a most rapid licker of flaps.”

Finally, the post was ready.