Thursday, 31 July 2014

Stretching My Loop (aka 50 Shades of Malden)

Well it is time again to practise what I preach.
Hot off the press and in my hot little hand is a hot ticket item I have been in hot pursuit for a long time.
My Pocket Ochre Malden.
Proudly holding my Malden up at work for all to see!

It is a sensual experience holding your Malden in your bare hands.
It’s leathery aroma titillates the olfactory senses and the feel of its skin is silky and comforting.
But there was one small problem.
My ultra-favourite writing instrument – the Coleto HI-TEC-C gel pen (with 4 refills) was too wide for the rather snug single pen loop the Maldens are notorious for.
Decisions, decisions, decisions!
Could I do without my beloved and faithful pen?
The answer was simple.

I seemed to recall a wonderful YouTube video about stretching stubborn Filofax Loops.
It was remarkable and very helpful…..
…Oh yeah, …it was also one of mine! <he blushes>
So I eagerly rewatched the said video and entered that scary journey along with thousands of you in getting the loop bigger and wider to accommodate my enormous Coleto.
I was rather hesitant at first as I did not want to wreck the beautiful brown leather of the Malden.
But desperation is the Father of Adversity (or something to that effect) and I began the delicate manoeuvre.
First step was to select an instrument that was smooth and rounded and slightly thicker and longer than the pen I was aiming to use.
My standard grey Sharpie fit the bill.
Firmly wedging Jumbo up my loop (while the Coleto looks on)!

I soaked the loop in water and slowly covered the sharpie with plain old Nivea hand cream.
Shove, Twist, Push, Reposition, Twist again, Uh, Uh, UH!!!!!
In it went.
Taught and. . . . . . seemingly stuck.
I loosened the leather again with more water.
It seemed to help.
In it went again, right up to the cap.
I decided to leave it overnight.
I didn’t sleep too well.
Upon the dawn, I reached over to see if it was still OK.
(Yes!!!!! I sleep with the Filofax next to me!!! Doesn’t everybody???)
Everything was fine.
Now to have a bit of a tug at my Sharpie.
I struggled a bit but eventually succeeded in removing the marker which came out with a tiny ‘pop’.
I tried to insert the Coleto.
My poor old loop firmly packed and stretching!

It could only go half way in.
That afternoon I repeated the process but with a thicker instrument: Water soak, Nivea, Shove, Shove, Shove.
Another restless night.
Next day – I removed my Jumbo Marker – it has a bigger girth than Sharpie.
It came out much easier and I quickly slipped my Coleto into the loop.
I sighed and was now a satisfied man.
My Malden loop was big enough to do the job.
In fact, the Jumbo stretched it ever so slightly more than the Coleto needed.
Not to worry, it will slowly and naturally shrink over time and with regular usage.
Age does that sort of thing.
Stretch finally completed by the thick Jumbo marker -

The old lubricating the loop trick worked once again.
I had broken in that sucker and my set-up was now complete.
Pen and binder – seemingly one.
And after all that hullabaloo,
The push, poke, pry, push, pull, push and pull
I gazed lovingly over at my antiqued leather friend . . .

and lit a cigarette.
My original YouTube video on loop stretching

The reference to smoking in the above text was purely for theatrical effect. Kent from OZ does not smoke or endorse cigarette products in any form. Smoking is dangerous for your health and besides, you could accidentally set your Filofax on fire - now THAT would be a travesty!



  1. LMAO!! This made my night!! Loved this post and I'm so glad you were able to fit your big pen in such a small place...that type of feat takes talent and patience. ;P

  2. Ha ha! A true story of romance.