Thursday, 26 March 2015

Thursday 26th March - F-o-u-n-t-a-i-n- P-e-n-s

Most teachers of my acquaintance have a stationery obsession to some degree. Skip this post if all things pen and paper leave you cold.

I've been indulging mine these past few weeks;

Recent purchases have been a Moleskine "Chapters" journal (two, actually, I couldn't decide on the colour and they were only £3.50 each). I should have measured them first; then I would have bought the larger size as these are a bit too small for ease of use. I haven't yet sent off for the larger size; it's been a near thing once or twice, but so far I have managed to resist. I would use them as a handbag notebook - passing address, ISBN of a likely-looking book, jot down a poem from the tube, filch a recipe from a cookery book that just "happened" to fall open at the right page, sketch something that catches my eye...




Then there are fountain pens. I've still got the little Parker, engraved with my name, from when I was a school. It sort of writes, but I "modified" the nib so may times to make it work "better" (I'm left-handed and used to find all pen nibs un-cooperative) that it should really either have a new nib or have a decent burial.

I use the Schaeffer cartridge pen given to me by my brother about forty years ago. It writes so smoothly, and is totally reliable. It has black ink in it for important and grownup things like writing cheques or filling in official forms.

I've a couple of cheap Osmiroyd fountain pens with italic nibs, which I bought at university years and years ago for writing out runes and poems from "The Lord of the Rings" and inscrutable symbols for the plants or from alchemy texts. As you do, when you are in the phase of your life. I don't use them much now - they really are not very satisfactory as writing instruments.

Then I discovered the website www.bureaudirect.co.uk. Financial disaster. If your order comes to £10 or more there is no charge for delivery. Well, a flat white costs close to £3 from my favourite expensive coffee shop, and that's before you add a croissant. And last year I used to call in at greater and lesser coffee and tea shops several times a week as I roared around the countryside from one school to the next, whereas this year that is simply not happening. So, the occasional order from Bureaudirect is still a saving, and very low-calorie compared to last year.

Just look at the desirability of this:
J Herbin fountain pen + 1 Herbin ink tin

a dinky Herbin fountain pen and set of six Herbin ink cartridges in one of around 20 colours of ink. I chose this green. Ahhh. All for £10.95

And my other favourite pen:
Lamy Safari fountain pen
The Lamy Safari. I bought the cartridge version, because it is easy to keep a spare handy, but then I discovered you can buy conversion thingies, so now I can refill it with any colour ink I want. Purple at the moment. Periwinkle. Orange. Even blue (the midnight blue with gold flecks in it).

Oh, and my other other favourite pen: the Lamy ABC, with matching 6mm pencil. Mine's red, not blue. It contains burgundy ink.

               Lamy ABC fountain pen          Lamy ABC mechanical pencil

 So what brought all this on as a blog post? I really just wanted to record a link to this super desirable planner that I really, really want next year. I'm using a Moleskine planner for my daily appointments and notes, and a larger Moleskine for a page-a-day diary/journal that I write up every (nearly every) evening, but the Hobonichi looks to be eminently wantable. I am wanting it very much at the moment, but the Moleskine planner is only half full!

http://www.thejournalshop.com/hobonichi-techo-planner

I'm managing the "waste-not" part of the wise old saying, but "want not" is not happening right now.

Oh, just a final note; I kept a page-a-day journal all through last year, and am doing the same this year. It is quite amusing to read what was happening in our lives a year ago - so much I had already forgotten. Several times I wondered what the point of the diary was - now I know.

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