Category Archives: General

That was the National Stationery Week that was!

Sorry we didn’t blog last week, we were on tour… No, not with Lord Dodo’s heavy metal band the Wailing Dodo’s (one for another blog, I’m sure *hemhem*), but to celebrate National Stationery Week at the London Stationery Show! Like Nelly the Elephant before him, Lord Dodo proudly packed his trunk (and we packed ours) and we transported our wares up to the big smoke to showcase the best of Dodo Pad at the Business Design Centre in London’s Islington. Though we did request from HRH Queen Elizabeth II Dodo Herethat The Royal Train be used to ferry His Lordship to the city, unfortunately the locomotive was in for a service on the 1 – 2 April and therefore we had to find an alternative mode of transport . The drive from Cornwall meant several pit stops to stretch wings and legs, but we made it to the capital in one piece and boy, was it worth the journey! From pens and sticky notes to little folding contraptions and staple-less staplers that – if it wasn’t down to the little perspex window that shows you exactly how it works, you’d surely mark down as witchcraft – the show was a feast for the senses; a true stationery lovers’ paradise. Taking place during National Stationery Week (a fantastic campaign to ‘Get Britain Writing’ – you can read more here) some of the nicest little companies – including us *blush* – showcased the latest and best products on their stands. We proudly displayed next year’s diary (it’s the one before the big 50th edition – hold on to your hats!), the new, blue and just for you Acad-Pad 2014/15 and our new Dodo Mini Blank Book along with our range of greetings cards and even our very special (and freshly hatched) Dodo Jotter! The London Stationery Show is a very special place, with the best of the best stationery on display for all to see, touch, sniff and peck at. We went, we saw, we made new friends and showed the stationery world what Dodo Pad is all about. We only wish you could have all been there to have a good laugh with us on our stand. You’ll have to save your giggles for Lord Dodo’s 50th birthday bash and bonanza, which you’re all invited to! Details to follow in due course, stay in touch with us here, on Twitter or on Facebook! Or if you’d  like to be ‘Kept Posted’ on the #DodoJubilee celebrations sign up here.


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The Mother’s Day Anti-Gift Guide

We didn’t really need to put ‘Mothering Sunday’ in our Dodo Pad to tell you that this Sunday is a Mum’s special day, did we? Surely the violent explosions of pink in every shop and the excessive flowers appearing at petrol stations all around the UK were enough reminder that the time has come around to tell your Mum how much she means to you.

Mothers have an exceptional ability to know what we’re going to do before we’ve done them, often before we’ve even thought about doing them, such is the power of maternal instinct. Lord Dodo himself was often caught feeding his dinner to the dog under the dining room table before the breakfast pancakes were even served at the table.

Dodo Pad, Flowers, Mother's Day

When you were small, your Mum cut off your crusts before she put your sandwiches into your lunch bag. She gave you ‘the look’ when you were about to say something embarrassing and she dutifully took you to all the parties you’d been invited to. She sent birthday cards on your behalf and stopped you from opening all of your advent calendar windows on the first day of the season.

We love our Mums here at Dodo Pad, and we felt that we could learn from the things that they’ve taught us over the years to give them priceless presents this Mothering Sunday. Here’s our anti-gift guide*. Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Lick a tissue and wipe your Mum’s face with it before she goes out. She always did it for you, it’s time to repay the favour
  • Take your Mum out for dinner and cut her meal up into bite-size portions. If she complains, give her ‘the look’
  • Apologise to people on behalf of your Mum when she’s making a complaint on the telephone, to a neighbour or in a shop, explaining that she’s “tired and emotional”
  • Now you’re tall and grown, take your Mum’s favourite snacks and treats from the cupboard and put them on the highest point in the kitchen so she can’t eat them in-between meals
  • Follow your Mum into the bathroom in the morning and say “30 more seconds” once she’s finished brushing her teeth, handing her back the brush
  • Insist your Mum finishes every morsel on her plate at dinner
  • Point to the soap if she swear
  • Threaten to knock her and your Dad’s heads together if they’re in a disagreement about watching Match of the Day

* Lord Dodo accepts no responsibility for smacked legs, groundings, mobile phone confiscation, internet unplugging or pocket money retraction that may come as a result of our fun Anti-Gift guide.

Do you have any fun anti-gift guide ideas to add of your own? Comment here and we’ll choose our favourite to win a special something from the Dodo Pad for you or your Mum – you decide who 🙂

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When a little kindness reaps enormous pleasure

We are pretty good at Dodo Towers at getting the right product in the right package to the right customer – we get very few returns and even fewer complaints. Which is a big relief to Big Bird Lord Dodo who has a pathological hatred of careless mistakes. OK I said it.

But we are human (apart from Lord Dodo of course who is…well, a dodo of course) and it does occasionally happen.

Last week we had a very apologetic email from a new customer who thought she had made the mistake and picked the wrong item. She gently and very politely chided us for product descriptions that were too similar.


But in fact we quickly discovered that the mistake was all ours. The wrong code had been typed into the database and so instead of a wiro bound Acad-Pad desk diary she received a loose-leaf A5 Filofax compatible diary insert. We offered her the correct item and asked her to send the wrong one back – and we would pay her postage costs. But she confided that she had already written in it and felt she could not return it. I told her to keep it and we would still send the desk diary. But she insisted that she would stick with that version…

“I won’t be able to send it back as I already marked something on it. Could you please advise me on what folder I should get so it all looks okay as my wonderful way of binding it together by treasury tags is not too practical ;-)”

We again offered to send the correct item and suggested that alternatively she would find a reasonably priced Filofax binder on Ebay and that we would refund the difference in cost as her refill was cheaper than the desk diary.

Radio silence for two days.

I emailed again yesterday morning. She replied apologising that had been ill and told me that she’d definitely decided to keep the inserts; she didn’t feel she could ask us to send something else and not get a ‘saleable’ item back, but that she really wasn’t able financially to afford a binder and the ones she’d seen on Ebay were too expensive.

Now…I really, really wanted to help her. I am a member of two Facebook groups for Filofax Fans. I’ve found the members to be incredibly generous with their time and help over the years. Many of the group members have quite big collections of Filofax binders. And quite a few of them use the Dodo Pad or Acad-Pad diary inserts in their Filofax. I put out a plea in the early afternoon for anyone with an old A5 binder who might be willing to let it go to a good home. Within an hour or so I had two very generous offers – from people who didn’t want a penny in return. Just the pleasure of helping someone out.

Our customer is overwhelmed by the kindness shown to her.

“I am very grateful… I am really touched by this kindness. I would be happy with any of the Filofax folders, I am sure 🙂 I think a situation like this can show how amazing people can be. I am still a little bit speechless…”

I think we may have a lifelong Dodo Pad customer and, most probably, a permanent Filofax convert! And I feel good too – it’s made a big difference to her for a small amount of effort and the will to do something to help someone out.



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The Floating Saint

One of the things that I adore about my Dodo Pad (other than the fact that it keeps me from suffocating under a pile of post-it notes or sobbing over missed deadlines and appointments) are the quirky facts, sayings and amusing tidbits that await me on each new week.  Obviously I need to skip ahead to future weeks to add reminders or relevant pieces of information however I am very careful to advert my eyes. I imagine that if I read through them all at once it would be like eating all of the chocolate in your advent calendar only to realise the next day that your treats were finished and you had nothing to look forward to until next year.

The reason for this post is to share one of these fabulous entries.  After having a browse through some of Lord Dodo’s archives I came across an entry that showed that last week, back in 1976 (yes, Lord Dodo has been around for a while now!), the Dodo Pad informed its users that not only did the exceptionally well known Sir Christopher Wren die in 1723, but on Monday 23rd February, the event of note was the Feast Day of St. Milburga.

St Mildburgha as featured in 1976

Having never heard of her or him (it is a ‘her’), I hit the mighty Wiki for more information. It turns out that St. Milburga, the daughter of the King of Mercia was a Benedictine abbess. She did quite well for herself actually, no doubt aided by her noble lineage and became the abbess of the Wenlock Abbey in Shropshire.

This is fairly impressive; after all, there were only so many abbeys to go around so you had to be considered pretty special to be given the keys to one of them. It turns out however, that according to legend not only was the good lady a devout abbess who ruled Wenlock with a hand that was both firm and fair; it seems that St. Milburga had superpowers! While she didn’t wear a lycra suit and rescue peasants from terrible enemies she did, it has been told, have the power of levitation. There is also the suggestion that she had an almost unearthly power over birds however Lord Dodo has made it quite clear that this is total and utter tosh (yet has no issue with the idea that she could float above the ground?!).

So there you have it, just one entry and a quick Google and I know about a saint that I hadn’t heard of previously, and one, no less, with super powers! The inclusion of something supernatural is quite apt actually as I have been known to liken the organisational benefits of my trusted Dodo Pad to something other-worldly.

While I ponder on how St. Milburga escaped being branded a witch, having these magical powers (unless they were attributed to her after she died?) I have to ask you: Who is your favourite saint? You needn’t be religious to enjoy the tales of historical figures that were later given the title, and I am hoping to hear about some other saint that perhaps I haven’t come across before.

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Open Day at Dodo Towers in Aid of Cornwall Hospice Care

Every year Dodo Pad HQ delights in flinging open the doors to let the public into its stationery packed rooms. While the thought of chatting with fellow stationery lovers is good enough reason in itself to have a get together over some Christmas nibbles, this event is being held for a very special reason.

Rebecca and the team are keen supporters of Cornwall Hospice Care. The work that the dedicated staff do at the two adult hospices in the county for those who are terminally ill and in need of help, support, compassion and friendship is truly awe-inspiring.

Please click on the image for more information

Unbelievably, considering the care that Cornwall Hospice Care provides, only 9% of their funding comes from Central Government. They therefore rely on their supporters to help them raise the other 91%. These much needed funds cover everything from staffing, equipment, food and more. This funding is essential if the Hospice is to continue offering the highest level of care for those with life limiting conditions and their families.

So, for those of you within striking distance who are just itching to see the inside of the almost mythical Dodo Towers (which is actually less of a stationery filled mansion and more of a converted barn with fabulous Cornish views), this is your opportunity to do so while supporting a fabulous and much needed local charity.


Christmas Open Day in aid of Cornwall Hospice Care
Dodo Towers
Friday 7th December from 10-4pm

Perranporth, Cornwall

 The whole Dodo Pad range will be on display for sale (many items at prices lower than on the website), from pens to pads, slip covers to diaries. 20% of the takings for the day will be going to Cornwall Hospice Care to help them to be able to continue the fantastic work they do. There is no obligation to buy of course and there will most definitely be minced pies, stollen cake and other festive treats available. There were rumours of mulled mine being on the menu however Lord Dodo has something of a fondness for a glass or three of this festive tipple so whether there will be any left remains to seen. There will of course be coffee and tea aplenty for all.

 All the way up here in North Yorkshire people have heard of the generosity of the Cornish, demonstrated of course by the Dodo Towers staff and the many other local supporters who give their time to help raise cash for this most worthy cause. I suspect that the open day will be very busy and that it will again be a fabulous fundraiser for the hospice.

 Please do pop in on the 7th and eat, drink, be merry and support the team in their endeavours to enable Cornwall Hospice Care to continue to provide much needed comfort and support when it matters the most.

You will find more information on Cornwall Hospice Care on their Facebook page and their website.

If you plan to go along or need any further information or directions to Dodo Towers, then please give the office a call on 01872 575055. I know Rebecca and the team are looking forward to meeting some of their local fellow Dodo Pad lovers.

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Dodo Pad 2013 – The Independent’s Top Choice

Imagine the surprise over at Dodo Towers last week when the Independent’s 10 Best Diaries feature hit the stands and the 2013 Dodo Pad was in prime position at No. 1!  Of course once the whooping, dancing and singing had subsided everyone returned to their usual calm, professional and dignified selves, yet the grins are still firmly in place today.

Lord Dodo’s support sales team

Dodo Pad is considered to be The Independent’s top diary choice above the likes of Paperchase, Moleskine, Cath Kidston, Aspinal and other well-known diary and planner names. While those at Dodo Pad HQ had been told that it might well be in the Top 10, hitting the top of the charts was a genuine surprise.

Better still this has all come about without Lord Dodo having to nominate the product or indeed making any effort whatsoever. Clearly some clever individual over on the Arts and Entertainment desk has happened upon the brand all by themselves.

For the eagle-eyed of you who have already seen the piece I have no doubt that you spotted the Independent’s unfortunate type error.

It may be assumed that “provides pretty much ticks all the boxes” refers to the fact that the Dodo Pad 2013 provides everything a planner needs and that it ticks all of the boxes for the stationery lover, both of which are absolute correct so we will forgive the paper their slight mistake.

As a new addition to the Dodo Pad team I was overjoyed to hear that the Dodo Pad 2013, my own diary and planner of choice way before I became involved, had received this much deserved recognition. The team all work incredibly hard and truly believe in the Dodo Pad and the unique way in which it provides a quirky, fun and flexible way for people to organise their lives and this comes across loud and clear when you have to opportunity to speak to any of them.

I have it on good authority that everyone connected with the Dodo Pad are suitably thrilled at reaching the No. 1 spot however all the top ten articles in the world mean nothing if not for the loyal customers who come back year after year to enjoy the many stationery items on offer and the new visitors who find and fall in love with this fun way of keeping everything organised. So, on that grateful note, thank you all!

As always we love to hear your thoughts and I’m sure this week Lord Dodo would be thrilled to hear what you think makes the Dodo Pad 2013 your top diary.


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Treasured Seasonal Treats

At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s November now and, up here in North Yorkshire, we have not only had our first hard frosts but even some snow. I think it is safe to say that the likelihood of a long, mild autumn is slim to none and already I see our local shoe shop is running low on boot socks and wellington boots.

I myself love autumn and winter; cosy dark nights, hot buttered toast and the obligatory hot chocolate. I adore crunching through the autumn leaves with my two boys, collecting conkers (with or without the boys!), and of course I absolutely love the festive season. I have to admit though, much like the esteemed Lord Dodo himself, I’m not quite convinced that we need to have Christmas trees up and Christmas chocolates and foods out on the shelves the very instant the first leaf turns golden.

At this time of year we all have our own routines and our own seasonal treats that we cherish, some being winter warmers such as breaking out the lavender-scented slippers that warm up in the oven and for others it could be having the opportunity to take a walk in the stillness of an early winter morning and enjoy (and perhaps photograph) the beautiful winter sights.

My favourite indoor seasonal treat is turning to my slow cooker page in my Dodo Book for Cooks and starting to rediscover my autumn and winter recipes. To be honest I should use the slow cooker all year round, however I never seem to get much use over the summer months. Working from home to the smell of a stew, curry or soup simmering away gently, knowing that come tea time all I have to do is serve-up is fabulous. If you asked my family what their favourite food-related seasonal treat is they would tell you it is my famous *slow cooked lasagne, which is of course served with home-made crusty bread.

If however you asked my best friend what her favourite seasonal treat is she would tell you that it is hiding under the blanket in the dark, in front of the TV with a large glass of Baileys. My question today therefore for you all is:
What is your favourite seasonal treat? What is it that you look forward to doing, seeing or eating when the clocks turn, the evenings get darker and the frosts start to arrive?

*Slow-Cooked Lasagne

Ingredients:  Adjust amounts to suit the size of your slow cooker and required portions

Minced Beef
Tomato sauce (make your own or use a jar- just so long as it’s not too runny).
Lasagne sheets
White Sauce (as with the tom sauce, ensure that the sauce is on the thicker side)
Grated cheese (I find a mature cheddar works well)

Cook off your onions, mushrooms and mince in a pan, draining off any excess liquid.
Make up and add your tomato sauce.
Put a thick layer of the bolognaise mixture in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Add a layer of lasagne sheets (no need to blanch these),
Add a layer of white sauce,
Add a layer of lasagne sheets
Then bolognaise mixture,
Then lasagne sheets,
Then layer the remaining white sauce on the top and finish with generous handfuls of cheese.
Put the lid on, set to medium and away it goes.


I tend to do this around lunchtime ready for a 6pm tea however set on a low heat setting you may do it in the morning.

 This is a very basic recipe and may be jazzed up by adding extra vegetables as required. Give it a try, perhaps this recipe will become a favourite seasonal treat for you too.




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