stationary Traveler's Notebooks

Traveler’s Notebook by September Leather

September Leather Traveler's notebook unboxed with case and Opinel Knife.
September Leather Traveler’s Notebook: Unboxed and Raring to Go

Organised with paper

I don’t know why but I’ve always liked the idea of being organised. And I’d love to say that I’m super efficient and organised but, alas, I’m not.

Getting Things Done

Of course that doesn’t stop me looking to be more organised. I’ve read Dave Allen’s, Getting Things Done, GTD. Let’s just say that’s a work in progress.

Buying More Notebooks

But the retreat of those looking to be organised and to feel that they’re making progress in that endeavour is the humble notebook. Who needs to worry about not being organised when you can just buy another notebook, and start all over again. There’s something powerful, and even empowering about a blank piece of paper.

Sprinkle a few highlighters

And of course if you combine that with a pen, you’re on the road to victory. Sprinkle a few highlighters, some paperclips, a couple of Sharpies, and you’re ready to conquer the world. If you were to throw in a few freshly roasted coffee beans and a kettle you most certainly would conquer the world.

Lost? Just buy another notepad

And when you get stuck in transit, all you need to do is buy another notepad, and perhaps adopt a different journaling or colour coding sytem. Because as we all know it isn’t what we do it’s how we make those lovely lists of what we’re going to do.

Midori Traveler Notebooks

With that in mind, I came across a whole series of videos on the Midori Traveler’s Notebooks. I thought, this could be life changing. Instead of abandoning my notebooks system with the traveler notebooks I could just add an insert.

September Leather Traveler's Notebook open at centre with dotted insert.
September Leather Traveler’s Notebook with dotted insert

Can a Fauxdori Change my Life?

So I thought about how this notebook system could change my life. But it came at a price. So I thought I would buy a similar item but not the same brand, colloquially known as a Faux Dori. I bought a September Leather traveler’s notebook. It is slightly larger than passport size but this allows me to be more forgiving with my choice of inserts.

Midoris Traveler's notebooks including diary, weekly and monthly with plastic Midori Inserts next to Moleskine Cashier Dotted Journals
Midori Traveler Notebook Diary and Moleskine Cashier Insert

Upgrade to a Midori Traveler’s Notebook?

My thinking was that if the basic system works I could always upgrade, or put it in the draw where it was sure to have plenty of company. I did buy a mixture of Midori inserts including a monthly diary, a weekly diary, and a Moleskine Dotted, and few others just to mix it up a bit.

September Leather Traveler's Notebook open with one insert
September Leather Traveler’s Notebook with insert

The September Leather brand is a good value traveler’s notebook. The leather is strong and durable, built to last. The September Leather Traveler’s notebook comes well packaged, and should give you years of service. The September Leather’s slightly larger size gives you a wider choice of inserts to incorporate your own unique style.


James Gourmet Coffee

James Gourmet Coffee Beans with Melitla Molino Coffee Grinder and Kalita Wave 185
Fresh James Gourmet Coffee Beans Freshly Delivered

Gourmet Beans Online

I ordered these James Gourmet beans coffee online and even during these challenging times it arrived pretty promptly. I have to thank the staff at Herefords, James Gourmet Coffee. So credit to the staff at James Gourmet Coffee, for an efficient service. And of course to our fantastic postal service. Thank you.

Packet of James Gourmet Coffee beans
Fazenda Jacaranda from Brazil via Royal Mail via Ross on Wye

Coffee Dude Without The Robe

I watched a James Hoffman video and he mentioned the Ross and Wye based James Gourmet coffee. Not his roasters but an independent company. So I thought I would give it a try. For any of you who haven’t watched any of James’ videos, he’s a former barista, world champion, coffee expert, coffee author, and is part of square mile roasting. Basically, he is Mr Coffee himself or in a Big Lebowski way, but without the robe, the coffee dude. I went for the Facencda Jacaranda one roast, Brazilian 250 grams, whole bean. Obviously prices vary over time so best to check their website:

Fresh beans make fresh coffee with my Kalita Wave 185

Kalita Wave 185

Before someone else says it I shall beat them to it: I will say that I’m not coffee expert, but I do like a decent cup of coffee. I use a KalitaWave 185 when I’m in the office. It works quite well, and it stops you getting complacent. As every pour requires a little bit of patience and commitment.

Kalita Wave 185 and beaker with Melitta Molino grinder

Melitta Molina

My grinder is a very cheap and cheerful ordinary, Melitta Molina. It works but for some it wouldn’t grind consistently enough. But it works for me. The roast date on this is the 16th of April 2020. It’s says it’s best to use within 12 weeks from roasting.

James Gourmet Coffee Beans packet view from back
Fresh Roast Beans from James Gourmet Coffee

Fresh Coffee Bean Bloom

It’s got a typical one way valve, which lets the carbon dioxide out. I’ve been told, but I’m not an expert that coffee once roasted produces carbon dioxide and therefore it has to escape. It’s all part of the idea of why you should bloom your coffee for thirty seconds, which should allow the gases to escape. There’s some fantastic stuff online. And it really explains why you should bloom your fresh roasted beans.

Brazilian Facenda Jacaranda

After a little bit of rummaging, and tooing and froing on the James Gourmet site I went for the Brazilian Facenda Jacaranda. They have a reasonable variety on their online store. My delivery took a few days. I think the delivery may also be tied up with certain roasting days. I think a lot of roasters have set dates for roasting that fits into their set dates for posting. I suppose it isn’t just a question of popping off to the post office counter. That is if you can find one open.

Post Office Trained?

Here in the United Kingdom there are now fewer dedicated post offices in existence. A lot of the custom has gone to small shops who have a post office counter, like the local Co Op. These in theory can be a good idea as the opening hours are often advertised as matching the store. But in reality there isn’t always someone available who is post office trained. (Sorry, what does this have to do with coffee beans? Fair question, and I agree.)

Mät King with James Gourmet Coffee, Kalita Wave 185, Opinel knife, scales, and Melitta Molino coffee grinder

16 to 0ne

used a ratio of about 16 to one on my James Gourmet Beans. My Melita Molino doesn’t have a wealth of settings but goes from fine to medium to coarse. Always carefully weighed out on my Salter Scales. I went for a medium coarse as I was going to use my Kalita Wave 185.

Melitta Molino Coffee grinder hopper on Salter Scales with James Gourmet Coffee Beans
16 grams of James Gourmet coffee in Melita Molino Coffee Grinder Hopper

God of Grinders

With 16 grams at 16 to one ratio I aim for about three minutes for my completed pour. So I always weigh a little extra for sacrifice to the God of Grinders who invariably purloins, in a polite way or steals in a more open and honest in touch with my emotions way, a gram or so.

Sacrificial Gram

I dropped my 17 grams into the Molino and a gram as expected had gone, never to be seen again. Well, perhaps, when I clean my grinder out it will be lurking just to fall onto my recently vacuumed floor or scrubbed surface.

Ground James Gourmet Coffee Beans in Melitta Molino hopper
Melitta Molino Coffee Grinder Hopper

Cleaning the Grinder

When I use a new bean, I always clean out the grinder including burr, hopper, and nooks and crannies before the main grind. I don’t like to contaminate my new beans and old. Once cleaned I use a few of the new beans to run through the blender just to clear any residue.

Ground James Gourmet Coffee Beans medium grind
Medium Coarse James Gourmet Coffee

Stuck in the Grinder with You

It’s incredible how much coffee is left sitting in the grinder. I don’t think that’s just with the Molino but is one of those first world problems that occupy those with way too much time on their hands. And those with even more, seemingly available, time who write blogs posts and make YouTube videos about it.

Melitta Molino Coffee grinder hopper midway through a grind.
Melitta Molino Coffee Grinder Working Hard for its Keep

Rinse the Kalita Wave Filter

I rinsed out my Kalita Wave 185 filter with hot water, and carefully put in my freshly ground James Gourmet coffee. I tend to double the weight of the coffee for my bloom and let it, hopefully, bubble for thirty seconds or so. Then I slowly pour keeping an eye that the liquid level isn’t leaving too many grounds up and away on the Wave filter. If so I tend to carefully wash them back down, and I mean carefully as I don’t have a gooseneck kettle. And if you’re a tad cavailier with your kettle you may ending up bypasing the filter.

Kettle pouring into Kalita Wave 185 with Melitta Molino, Opinel knife, and ceramics
Pouring hot water on James Gourmet Coffee using Kalita Wave 185

Tasting the Coffee

After about three minutes, the 256 grams of water had been poured. A quick shake of the beaker, and I was ready to taste. I tend to taste the first grind of a new coffee in an old shot glass. This allows it too cool and gives me a better idea of whether I like it or not. Steaming hot coffee is brilliant on some cold mornings but the heat tends to mask the taste.

James Gourmet Coffee Beans on white paper, medium grind
Medium Coarse James Gourmet Coffee on A4 paper

Deep Dark Chocolate…

I took a quick sip of my freshly ground, poured, and decanted coffee. Did I like it? Was it worth all the effort? Did the coffee live up to the cup profile of “deep dark chocolate, lychee, and roasted nuts” listed on the James Gourmet website? Well I’m not sure I tasted roasted nuts or indeed, dark chocolate but I liked it. It was a nice. It had a taste to it. I don’t have coffee language to describe that but I know what I like and I know what I’ve tasted.

Mät King tasting James Gourmet Coffee from shot glass
After a bit of effort a nice James Gourmet Coffee

Was it Worth it?

Was the James Gourmet Coffee worth all the effort? It was for me. Only you can make that judgement whether it’s roasted coffee, a twenty-mile run, or a Netflix marathon. I know what I like. You know what you like. I think the trick is to keep trying to find more things you do like and not having too many things you don’t like on the way.

James Gourmet Coffee Beans with Kalita Wave 185 and Melitta Molino Coffee grinder with picturesque view.
James Gourmet Coffee Beans with Kalita Wave 185 & Melitta Molino Coffee Grinder

Bronze casting Kicking Donkey sculpture

Up the Runners and Risers

It has been a fascinating process filming British sculptor John W. Mills’ “Kicking Donkey” sculpture through its various stages of development. Kingstreetimages was making a film about John’s long and distinguished career as a sculptor while he was creating the sculpture of the donkey in the studio. And during that process we were commissioned to make a film about the donkey’s progress, and ultimately its journey to its site in Guernsey.

It has been incredible to see how such a large piece of work is created and disassembled ready for transportation to Pangolin Editions foundry in Chalford, Gloucestershire. We’ve filmed the foundry’s technicians creating latex and fiberglass moulds. And recently we were back filming at the West Country foundry nr Stroud while sections of the donkey were being produced in wax before runners and risers were added ready for bronze casting.

We will be returning to Pangolin Editions soon to film the finishing and patination of “Kicking Donkey” before it heads across the English Channel to the island of Guernsey where a site is being prepared.

Is it ever too early to think about documenting or promoting your work? your gallery? your business? your museum?

We’re always happy to have a chat about how we can create films and content for you. 

mobile: (UK) 07956579548

Lowewood Museum Museums World War 1

Absolutely Time To Watch Absolutely 

Here’s our new film: Absolutely

The film was made at Hertfordshire’s Lowewood Museum with their fantastic Youth Panel. 

The film features “Wonder” performed by Naughty Boy , Emeli Sandé 

Courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd (GB) Under licence from Universal Music Group
Additional cast includes members of The Vallé Academy of Performing Arts , and Liam Mercer from 10th Essex Regiment Great War Living History Group

The project has been kindly supported by ROH Bridge

Lowewood Museum youth panel

Absolutely Online Soon

We’ve been working with Hertfordshire’s Lowewood Museum’s Youth Panel over the last few months producing a short film. From early ideas, a script was created and the project took shape. The film was shot at weekends and in the evenings when the panel was available. It was a busy time for the Youth Panel what with revision, school, work, civic commitments, Snapchat, Instagram, and Christmas even popped up unexpectedly.
Absolutely will be arriving online very soon.


Is it ever too early to start?

Film film making World War 1

To Thine Own Selfie Be True

Production still from a really busy day at the Lowewood Museum yesterday where we were filming with Liam Mercer from the 10th Essex Regiment Great War Living History Group, Ciara Jane Fleming from The Valle Academy of Performing Arts , and Caitlin one of the many members of Lowewood Museum’s Youth Panel who were filming. Of course Lowewood Museum’s tiger Ben kept a ready eye on proceedings.Only a few more days of shooting left on the Youth Panel’s short film “Absolutely”, which is kindly supported by Royal Opera House Bridge .

filmmaking Lowewood Museum youth panel


Off to the Lowewood Museum in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire tomorrow to add a soldier to our historical figures featuring in their short film Absolutely. Members of the museum’s Youth Panel have appeared as Romans, Victorians, and even someone from the sixties.

Bridge River Thames

The River

Something constant about the Thames. Whatever the time of day or time of year it’s there. Irrespective of what else is happening wherever in the world that may be the Thames is there. And it will still be there long afterwards.

Film filmmaking Lowewood Museum

Staying In Character 

Lowewood Museum’s Youth Panel’s Yanena maintaining character between shots at Lowewood Museum ‘s shoot for their new short film “Absolutely” supported by Royal Opera House Bridge.