11 May 2014

Reader Under The Spotlight - Beverley

Today I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine, please welcome Beverley. 

I'm Beverley, 37, from Northumberland in the UK. I'm married to Jonathan (we celebrate out ten year anniversary in June) and we have a 2 year old son, Harrison who is the most awesome little boy in the world. I very recently took voluntary redundancy from the Prison Service after 15 years working there and I'm looking forward to watching Harrison grow up while I work from home; I'm busy setting up two business - one offering Photography workshops in Northumberland with a friend of mine from Camera Club (www.keithsaintphotography.com) and another making and selling cushions with a Northumberland theme (www.facebook.com/sewcanny). Plus, Jonathan left the Prison Service last year too and is now working as a self employed locksmith and electrician (www.locksandvolts.com) so I'll be helping him with the admin side of things

I have a passion for all things creative - I studied media and photography at university and I'm a self taught seamstress and crocheter. I have neglected my photography since Harrison was born but I'm hoping to take it up again soon.

Back in 2005, we bought a run down farmhouse and outbuildings in the South West Charente region of France. Over the years, we've enjoyed many holidays there, met some wonderful people and learned to speak French in the process. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we're currently selling our maison but I'm already looking forward to our next adventure! 

I first "met" Steve Morton on a forum for French Property Owners and we've stayed friends since through our shared love of all things French and photography. I've met him and his lovely wife a few times now and he's one of the most genuine and interesting people I've ever had the pleasure to meet. Last time I saw him, I was even granted the privilege of seeing his planner collection!

I promised to answer the Reader Under the Spotlight questions months ago, but life has been pretty hectic so far this year so I'm just getting round to it now...

1. When did you buy your first organiser and what was it?

A Black, Personal Kent, bought off eBay by my mam as a birthday present about 5 years or so ago. I decided that I *needed* a filofax so asked for one.

2. What other brands have you used or considered using?

I considered the Paperchase ones simply because of the price and the variety of colours and patterns but i like the quality of the proper Filofaxes so have steered clear so far. I'm currently lusting after a Midori Traveller's Notebook...

3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?

I love my Raspberry A5 Finsbury. It's my everyday planner and it's big and fat enough to keep everything in with plenty of cardholders and a zipped pocket and I really like the notepad at the back. Plus the colour's lovely!

4. How many Filofax or other brands of organisers do you own?

I'm up to four now - my Raspberry A5 Finsbury, a scratched and worn Black A5 Finsbury (another eBay win), my Black Personal Kent and a Purple Pocket Domino.

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

The Kent - no idea how old it is though...

6. What do you use your organisers for?
  • Raspberry A5 Finsbury - everyday planner - diary, address book, To Do lists etc
  • Black A5 Finsbury - I'm in the process of turning it into a Kiddofax for my 2 year old son. I'm going to fill it with colouring in pages, flash cards and blank paper to keep him busy. Crayons fit into the pen holders quite nicely and you can even fit toy cars in the zipped pocket!
  • Black Personal Kent - This is now my Travel Filofax - I made my own pages for trip planning, itineraries and journals. Plus it has several zip envelopes for ticket stubs, napkins and other souvenirs.
  • Purple Pocket Domino - This was my work planner, with a diary in for shifts and a shortened address book for work numbers plus lots of idiots guides for some of the IT stuff I did. Now I'm unemployed, I'm unsure what to use it for. Because it's small, I might use it when I'm out and about but not sure what for yet???
7. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

The quality. They really are very well made. I know there are other, more expensive, planners out there but I think Filofax is as good as they get.

8. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

I'm actually going to have a go at this. I had a dream a while back that I found a beautiful red suede Filofax so I'm going to have a go at making it. I bought some red suede off eBay and I'm currently deciding exactly what I want in it. It will feature a place to store my Google Nexus 7 tablet and plenty of pockets to store bits and bobs. It's going to be my carry-around inspiration planner where I write down ideas for things I want to make or do.

9. How do you carry your Filofax?

I tend to leave them at home at the moment. If I start using the Domino, I'll probably make a little protective sleeve for it for when it's jostling around in my handbag among the nappies and toy dinosaurs!

10. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?

I *really* want a Ochre Personal Malden. At the moment I can't justify the price so, no :-(

11. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?

Ha, I've only ever bought one - the Domino which was a tenner from TK Maxx. My lovely hubby bought me the Raspberry Finsbury and my mam gave me the other two.

12. What's your favourite Filofax tip or hack?

Making your own pages. I use Excel so the margins don't jump around. Once I've set up a template for the size, it's so easy to design your own then cut them to size using a paper guillotine. I bought myself a Rapesco 6 hole punch off Amazon which has proved invaluable.

13. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

The vast wealth of information - it's my one-stop-shop for everything I need to know. Plus the community that's sprung from it on Facebook. I'm going to my first Philofaxy Meetup in June and I cannot wait.

14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

Nope, can't think of anything...

15. What was the last music track you downloaded or bought?

I've just downloaded the latest Paolo Nutini album which sounds quite funky so should be a good soundtrack for summer. I've also just downloaded all of Paloma Faith's albums. I think she's bonkers and very talented which is a great combination! Can't remember the last time I bought a physical CD.

16. George Clooney or Brad Pitt?

Probably George. He looks like he's got a great sense of humour. Plus he's single ;-)

Thank you Beverley, how can I forget the fun days of  the French Total France Forum! I'm so pleased to have left that behind and discovered Philofaxy!  I look forward to seeing you in June. 

And of course if you would like to appear in this feature on Philofaxy please contact philofaxy at gmail dot com


  1. Beverley, lovely to read your post. You are certainly both resourceful in having started your own businesses and having lived the dream of a home in France. Sad that you have to sell, but other dreams will step in for you I am sure. I giggled when you said that your Filofaxes were gifts.... mine have been too, and I buy reduced price ones in TK Maxx at Christmas time. Enchante et merci encore une fois. Jane.

  2. Thanks Jane, we're gutted that our French dream is over (for now) but it's been a great adventure - we've both learned to speak French and met some amazing people in the process who will become lifelong friends. Since meeting Jonathan 13 years ago, our lives have been so busy and hectic but exciting at the same time. I've never been one to live a "normal" life - who wants to be normal anyway?!?

  3. Good luck with your new adventures, Beverley!


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