Welcome, fellow stationery geeks!

I shall be using this blog to witter on about my stationery finds in general and diaries/planners and Filofaxes in particular. Please feel free to witter along with me!

Sunday 2 September 2012

Philofaxy North-West Manchester Meet-up - what fun we had!


Hello everyone!

Firstly, apologies for not posting on my blog for a while. It's been the school holidays so I've been attempting (and failing!) to entertain my six year old daughter. She goes back to school on Tuesday so hopefully normal service will resume shortly!

Anyway, yesterday was the day that I personally had been waiting for for a long time. The Philofaxy North-West Manchester meet-up!

A coaster given to us all by Anthony (Hill).  What a great idea!  Done by ASDA apparently.  Not everyone named on the coaster came along to the meet-up unfortunately, but never mind.

In order to attend such an event, preparations had to be made. I had to banish my daughter to fields afar so that I could escape and spend the whole day being completely selfish and indulgent. What fun! So, off she went with her Dad, who promptly dumped her with his parents while he went to play cricket!!!

Then came the travel arrangements. Naturally, I made a list of all the relevant train times on a scrap of paper and chucked it in my bag. JUST KIDDING! I wrote them in my Filofax of course. ;-)

Next, I don't know my way around Manchester so I printed off walking directions from Manchester Victoria station to our meeting place: the ground floor coffee shop at BHS on Market Street. It was actually really easy to find and I was GUTTED to realise that I'd arrived with about 20 minutes to spare, and TK Maxx was next door. How awful(!) So I thought I'd have a wander around the bag section first in case my other Philofaxy friends didn't want to later on. I didn't buy any bags (although I saw a couple that I liked), but I did get my friend a little birthday present. Reduced from £12.99 to £3.99, what a bargain!

It was now 11am, the scheduled beginning of the meet-up, so I popped next door and the first person I saw was Anthony sitting by the window - I recognised him from his Google id picture.

Anthony Hill (from Cheshire)

Then I spotted there was a massive 'Philofaxy' sign wrapped around the table! That kinda gave the game away...I wish I'd taken a picture of it actually but all rational thought flew out of the window once we all met! Sat with Anthony was Jenny (from Manchester) and Debi (from Widnes). Neither of them have blogs (although I suspect this might be about to change...) but are Philofaxy readers. After some quick introductions, Alison of Filo-Obsessed (from Preston) arrived so we all went to get a cuppa and sat down for a chat.

Well goodness me. Talk about the saying 'time flies when you're having fun' being appropriate! Within no time at all, it felt like I'd known the others in the group for most of my life. Everyone was totally lovely. We talked about all sorts - families, tv, hobbies, jobs...and I think a bit of chat about Filofaxes might have crept in there as well...tee hee hee! We admired, sniffed and stroked each other's Filofaxes (to the amusement of the other diners in the cafe) and there may have been a bit of enabling too...Jenny is now an Adelphi slimline convert and Debi's next Filofax is going to be a Holborn!

Then it was time for the usual photographic session. Out came the cameras! And gifts too - Alison handed out bookmarks she'd made for us all. Beautiful and practical! My love of reading is rather notorious now.

And Anthony then gave us all a M&S gift card!!! What a lovely thought, thanks again Anthony! I can't wait to go and spend it. Needless to say, we didn't have time to wander around M&S...

And Jenny gave me a Filofax for my daughter Phoebe! How lovely of her. (Jenny - she totally loves it!  Thanks very much!)

And here are the 'people and Filofax' photos...

Jenny (left) and Debbie.  And a pile of Filofaxes.  How did they get there?!

Alison from Filo-Obsessed
And a great big pile of Filofaxes!   Commence the stroking...NOW! 

Oooooo! Ahhhhh!
Before we knew it, it was 1pm. So we decided to have a quick shop before lunch. Off we went to Rymans!  Anthony (what a trooper) and his harem of lovely ladies spent quite a while wandering around the shop, checking out all the various stationery items. There was a small Filofax stand that had some Filofaxes in the sale, but to be honest, the selection wasn't great and I knew that I could get most of them cheaper online anyway. I did buy a few bits and bobs though, not before a rather embarrassing moment at the till.  My debit card was declined, TWICE! "What?!  Are you serious?", I thought. I immediately rang my bank to find out my balance. No problem there, so what was going on? I paid cash in the end but had to refrain from having a panic attack at the thought that I only had enough cash to get my lunch and a few other bits. What if I saw a Filofax that I wanted to buy? What would I do??? I told Alison what had happened, still full of confusion, and she said, "Is your card out of date?" Of course! That's it! My card expired the day before and I'd totally forgotten about it. Fortunately, I had my new card in my purse ready for action. Thank goodness!!! Phew. Well done Alison, you can come again.

Anyway, I digress.  My purchases from Ryman's:

Midi expanding file for my spare personal inserts

A shopping list/to do pad, ripe for hacking!

I intend to chop the top off...

...and the bottom, then punch the pages and stick them in my Filofax.

And these little babies were just too cute to leave in the shop.  They are absolutely tiny!  I thought I might slot one into my Filofax.  Why?  Just because.

Look how small they are compared to my index finger!  CUTE!!!
Then we made our way to the stationery department at TK Maxx. There were a few Sketch Filofaxes (A5 and personal) and lots of little journals, note books and cards and various other stationery items. Nobody actually bought anything in here, but we did spend a good while rummaging and 'ooooo' ing and 'aaahhhh' ing.

By the time we came to leaving TK Maxx, we'd realised that it may actually be a good time to think about eating some food. Being that it was 2:30pm. Oooops! How did that happen?! So off we went, back to BHS (which was just next door) and got some lunch, which was bought for us all by a very generous (but naughty) person!  You know who you are!  (...and thanks again...yummy!)  ;-)

After lots more chatting about our lives and Filofaxes, we made our way swiftly (thanks to Jenny, the walking-talking map of Manchester) to Paperchase. Well oh my good Lord in heaven above. The magic word there was HEAVEN. Seriously. It was MASSIVE. And on three floors! After unpacking our sleeping bags and booking a space in the corner upstairs so we could continue browsing the next day (...!!!...), we set to work, starting on the first floor. Wow. Seriously, just - wow. The last time I was in a Paperchase, it was in the Trafford Centre in Manchester and it was tiny compared to this one. And I spent an hour in there, so would we ever leave this one?!?

We all spent rather a lot of time wandering around all the stands, picking up and flicking through various styles of notebooks, journals and diaries, as well as sticky notes, pens and general stationery bits and bobs.

Then, we discovered the Filofax stand. Good grief!!! It was seriously massive. The biggest and most varied selection of Filofaxes I have ever seen in the flesh. Seriously, it was HUGE. I really wanted to take a photograph but I kept noticing a security guard wandering around and thought I might get kicked out, which would have been a disaster. We all had a good look at what was on offer, and stroked and sniffed the Filofaxes that we'd never stroked and sniffed before. They had a really lovely blood-red lipstick-coloured Finsbury that I surprisingly liked. They also had Finchleys, Maldens, Holborns, Chameleons, Astons and even a black pocket Adelphi! Again none of us bought any Filofaxes because everything is so much cheaper online. Take note, shops!

Anyway, here's what I bought:

Ruled paper, to do sheets and Filofax appointment stickers.



A treat for my daughter - a tin containing everything you need to make fingerprint fairies!

Once we'd all spent up and managed to tear ourselves away, Jenny, Debi and Anthony left the group for Piccadilly train station at around 4:20pm. Alison and I wandered leisurely towards Manchester Victoria station, had a natter once we got there, said our goodbyes and then got on our respective trains.

On the train journey, I made some brief notes in my Filofax about what we did and when so I wouldn't forget. I was too busy enjoying the moment to do it during the meet-up! Then I dived into a romance novel on my Kindle and before I knew it, I was at my local train station waiting for my Dad to pick me up so I didn't have to get a bus/taxi. Thanks Dad! As a thank you to him, I'm going to plug his (very successful) photography website. Have a nosey, it's really good!

Then I picked up my car and drove down to my Mum and Dad's house to tell them about my day and show them my purchases. They also both have and use Filofaxes and my Mum also reads Philofaxy!

I arrived back home at 9pm, to realise that I had, once again, forgotten to eat. So for my 'tea', I had a bowl of cereal. Oh well, who needs food when there are Filofaxes to discuss and stationery to buy?!

I hope you enjoyed my write-up of the Philofaxy North-West Manchester meet-up. We decided we are definitely going to do it again, so why not come along and join us next time? Watch this space!

P.S: Check out Deb's new blog here, and check out Alison's meet-up post here.

Please FOLLOW ME if you enjoyed this post!



  1. Hi Lucy! Great post! I was indeed inspired to start my blog yesterday after chatting to you guys, so I did it last night, my first post being about our meet up (of course!) so if u wanna check it out, it's debimoje.blogspot.com
    Definitely itching to meet again very soon :) it was serious Filofax/stationary heaven! :D

  2. Hi Debi! Yes it was indeed fab. I've checked out your blog, commented and am following it too. Have fun! XXX

  3. Hey Lucy!! I'm loving this!! hehehe I love reading about philofaxy meetings! They seem to be so much fun!! And I gotta say the fingerprint kit you bought your daughter looks so much fun!! hehe Lovely post!

  4. Hi Tina! Glad you enjoyed my post. We had such fun! Thanks for reading XXX

  5. It sounds like you all had a fabulous time!!! And I love that fingerprint fairy set - I think I may just have to place an order with Paperchase now :o)

  6. It was a great day and so much fun, can't wait for the next one, was lovely to meet you and what a great post, off to check out Debbie's now :)

  7. Great post Lucy. I'm glad you all had such a good time. I wish I lived in England so I could go to all the Philofaxy meet ups ;-(.

  8. Thank you all! Glad you enjoyed my post. It took me a while to do - I didn't realise it was going to be so long when I started it! The fairy fingerprint set will get used tomorrow I think, I'll let you know how we get on with it!

    @Lady-Tamlynn - you could just have your own meet-up wherever you are. Put a call out! You never know, there may be loads of people nearby who are interested!

  9. Hi Lucy
    Thanks for the really great and amusing post. It was truly wonderful meeting everyone, what a time we had. In now time at all we all felt we'd been friends for ages. I also agree that the display of Filofaxes in Paperchase was the largest I've ever encountered but with only 20% discount it's true that it's cheaper on line, perhaps a further discount might have encouraged a purchase, who knows! I notice that Steve has said that he might be able to meet us at one of our future dates that will be good. I know that we'd tentively mentioned about five or six months time. I've tried the finger print idea just with yellow paint a finger and a fine pen to draw the legs and beaks of a little chick, works just great.

  10. Hello Anthony! I'm glad you enjoyed my post, thanks for reading!

    It was great to meet you and yes we certainly did have fun! I'm looking forward to the next meet-up already!

    I suspect the fingerprint tin will be getting used today, it's the last day of the school holidays. I'll suggest to my daughter that she has a go at your chick idea!!!

  11. Oh I am so jealous, I am also a north wester and was due to attend this meet up. I can't wait for the next one :). xx

  12. What a shame you couldn't attend Jess! We had so much fun that we're definitely doing it again though. See you next time! X

  13. Sounds like you all had a fabulous time!

    I use the inserts from Paperchase too - the local store to me stocks a wide range and I practically cleared the shelf last time I was there!

    1. Hi Cloudberry! Yes we did, it was great fun. I don't have a Paperchase where I live so it was great to have the chance to look around a massive one!

      Thanks for reading x

  14. love your stuff i think u have very inspiring blog here , good fun reading it.Would be really cool if we follow each other. Let me know xxx

  15. Hi Julia! Thanks very much! I'm glad you enjoy reading my blog. I always try and make my posts fun! I'm following your blog now x

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