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Ronan's report

Sunday January 8th 2012

I was thinking about buying a sketchbook the other day, but thought better of it. I've already got a few of these pads, in various sizes, most of them largely unfilled. Some people do the same thing with writing journals (I don't have one), and I'm willing to bet that a goodly percentage of all journals and sketchpads sold never get filled beyond the first couple of pages, if at all.

There is something alluring about a fresh pad of clean drawing or writing paper. It shines out at you, promising unending creativity and fulfilment. Anything is possible. The next sheet could very well be the platform for an epoch-defining piece of art or writing, instead of the usual untidy cartoon-ish doodle of a robin or a cloud, or the Tesco shopping list.

The fact that it's a gloriously full pad of paper means you can visualise yourself busy for hours, honing your skills, attaining pinnacle after exulted height in your chosen field. In years to come, someone will unearth one of these pads and sell it at Bonhams for £3m. (Note to self: Remember to sign every page to establish higher future sales value, say £8m).

So there you are: Sketchpads and journals are really like many New Year resolutions. You get them with grand intentions, but they quickly get lost under the jumble and jostle of everyday life and remain unfulfilled at the end of the year, sometimes forever.

I have a kind of standing resolution (it's been going along unfulfilled, for so long now it seems odd to call it a New Year one): To catch a big pike on a fly.

I've caught a few good-ish ones already, but not a truly large one. And I've tried.

So, I'm carrying on with this resolution again in 2012.

It may not happen. But even if this metaphorical sketchbook doesn't get its masterpiece, the pages full of doodling will be fun.


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