it’s a shame about the weather

Tomorrow is Canada Day. It’s also Canada’s 150th birthday. Naturally, oodles of festivities are planned for this, and we, here in the Maritime provinces, will get three days of RAIN. The bad stuff has already moved in — the fog is pretty dense this morning. My husband’s son and girlfriend had planned to visit us … to go camping with their new tent trailer, but how much fun is that in pouring rain?! The visit has been postponed.

Yesterday, I was talking with my friend back home — the one who came to visit last summer — about how we, with age, seem to get more comfortable in our own skin, so to speak. I’ve thought about it from time to time, but it’s never been as evident as during my last trip to Sweden:

There are two, big department stores in Stockholm. One is old and very posh … comparable to, perhaps Harrod’s in London, U.K. or rather … Fortnum & Mason. The name is NK [Nordiska Kompaniet]. Over the years, when I’ve gone there, I’ve always had little bouts with some kind of inferiority complex. The people working there [mainly women] seemed to be so ‘perfect’ with their clothes and make-up … I felt like something the cat dragged in. I thought they looked snooty (probably all nice, sweet people). Three years ago, when I was there, I basically walked in and out again.

This time, though … I seemed to have forgotten all about it! Didn’t have that feeling at all! I was there several times, browsed around, drooled in their porcelain department and also, of course in their fountain pen store.

Either, this comes with age, or I’ve must have gotten really far, working with my own ‘soul searching’. I’ve always been of the persuasion that I’m no better than anybody else, but, I’m no worse either. I guess that finally sunk in 🙂 The person in the pen store there was so nice, and we had discussions about fountain pens … nothing could have been farther from my thoughts than feeling inferior.

DSC_1853Having said all that; here’s a picture of my latest acquisition. A Pelikan Tortoiseshell with a bottle of Edelstein Smoky Quartz. I have other Pelikans, but this has the classical Pelikan striped body. Luckily, the ink was thrown in as a gift [that’s expensive stuff], because honestly I don’t know what to think about the colour. It’s brown. Okay, it matches the pen, but that’s only visible to me. I’ll keep it for private use … not letter writing 🙂

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impulse purchase

On Boxing Day [the day after Christmas], I was aimlessly browsing Amazon when this fountain pen appeared before me. It wasn’t on my radar — I’m not even sure it’s a pen I would have been interested in normally. However, the picture and the price appealed to me, and I thought “What the heck?! I’ll give Cross another chance!” I had some bad luck with Cross in the beginning. Love their ink, though. Anyway … it was, what Amazon called, a «lightning deal» 🙂 and it arrived yesterday.

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The nib is solid gold 18K on this Cross Forever Pearl Sauvage. The term ‘buttery smooth’ is perhaps getting a little hackneyed, but there is no better way of describing how it writes. I now understand what gold nibs are all about. Mine is an F nib, but it lays down a pretty wet line and I’d compare it to a European F nib, but I knew that already. If there’s anything on the con side, and this is personal, it’s the metal grip section. I’m not a big fan of them … I find them a little slippery.

The ink in the background arrived at the same time. It could very well be the «grail» blue I’ve been looking for, but I won’t say for sure until the Iroshizuku asa-gao arrives from Japan. Graf von Faber-Castell’s inks are so good I have a hard time finding a suitable superlative. I didn’t like the colour of the first one I bought [Cobalt], but then I found out they had a Royal Blue. As much as I disliked the colour of Cobalt, I still used it in very fine-nibbed pens that tended to be scratchy. When I ink them up with GvFC they become smooth as ever. I’ll do a sampling of the ink when the Iroshizuku asa-gao arrives … they’re very close in colour.

 

dotted paper

Got a notebook from Goulet with dotted Tomoé River paper. I’ve never used that before. Thought perhaps it would be good for practicing/improving my handwriting. After all … that was one of the basic ideas I had when all this fountain pen stuff started. I just wanted to get a decent handwriting for ‘daily use’ — I had [have] no plans on starting Spencerian script.

Tonight I tried my new, dotted notebook for the first time. Wrote a quote I read somewhere long time ago. It probably saved my life at the time.

This is written with my fine nibbed Waterman Hemisphere with Visconti blue ink. Can’t say I liked the experience. The dots are too pronounced for my taste. I think they should have been more sublte.

This, new Waterman pen quickly became a favourite! It’s my best writing exprience after the Sonnet! It’s smooth, not overly wet. It just works — never skips a stroke, and that was right out of the box. Its full name is Waterman Hemisphere, Blue Obsession 🙂

new ink

sheaffer_inks

Not only my three packs of ink cartridges, but also a Sheaffer Sagaris fountain pen arrived. The latter was unexpected. It was said to arrive Wednesday.

I bought it basically because of the price (!). I paid $22. Thought it was cheaper because of the, perhaps less attractive colour, but the next minute I clicked on the same pen it was $44. I don’t know what happened there … whether it was a glitch within Amazon or what. In any event, I ended up paying $22. I’d never used a Sheaffer, and I want to try [almost] all of the major brands. I was positively surprised by this pen. I was worried it would be too slender for my taste. It’s not. Even if it were on the slim slide, the weight of it compensates for that. It has an F nib, and it is just that: fine. It’s what I consider a fine nib. Normally you always have to take into consideration whether it’s a Japanese fine, a European fine or American … This is fine 🙂 and I like it. It’s a keeper.

Over the run of this day, I’ve tested all my three inks. Since I have only one pen to use them it, it was a bit time consuming … the thorough cleansing between each. I have no idea what possessed me to buy the violet one, but obviously I did. In some strange way I like it. It’s a somewhat desaturated violet .. when I first started to write with it, it looked pink, but only until it had dried. It’s an extremely ‘wet’ ink. The colours you see in this picture … they were all written with the same nib!

greens_scanThe moss green from Faber-Castell is a very pleasant ink to write with and I like the green. It’s getting very close to my “ideal green” … but not fully.

Sepia is okay too. Same thing there — I don’t know why I chose sepia, when it really was the container I was after. Visconti has those gorgeous little bakelit containers for their cartridges, and I have since ordered a blue one. I saw a sample of Visconti blue online, and it seems to be very close to IKB (International Klein Blue) … a blue I love. We shall see when it shows up 🙂

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expanding flock

I’m not a fountain pen collector per se, in spite of the fact I have nine. Well … eight — one is on its way to France 🙂  All of them were bought for different reasons, such as colour, beauty, cuteness or brand.

This has only been going on since June this year, and one of the first I fell in love with because of pure beauty, was a Pelikan. Eventually I acquired it, and recently also another Pelikan (Amethyst).

For quite some time I’ve been thinking about the fact I don’t have one pen that takes «standard international cartridges». I use bottled ink all the time, but I’ve been thinking about it and how convenient it would be for travelling. Not that I travel often, but it happens.

Pelikan have always been very devoted to their piston filling mechanism, but a few years ago, I guess they caved under the pressure and released the P-series. P2** accepts both converter and long international standard cartridges. They are plain looking black and their nibs are supposedly corresponding to M200-series.

My P205 arrived on Friday. One Edelstein Sapphire cartridge was included, so I plugged it in right away. It’s a smooth writer, but I have a feeling the nib is somewhat finer than the M200. Now, I’m not sure … it could be all in my head 🙂

A number of brands carry international standard cartridges; Diamine, Faber-Castell, Visconti, J. Herbin … just to mention a few. Kaweco and of course Pelikan themselves. If you’re too ‘lazy’ to do the syringe filling from ink samples … well, then a whole new world opens up.

 

Sad Story

My Parker Sonnet, which I love so much, is on its way to France (!) for … repairs?!

Last week, I noticed it was leaking. At first, I thought it was just me … that I hadn’t inserted the feed properly after flushing, or something like that. However, after several attempts and explorations, I noticed the leak was located at metal ring in the grip section, just where you insert the feed/nib.

Went into the seller’s website and it turned out they only allowed fifteen days return. I’d had my pen for thirty days exactly. Contacted them, and they told me to send it in, which I did the same day. I sent it from here in Atlantic Canada to them in Ontario.

Then I contacted them again to find out what the procedure was and how long it would take. Bear in mind, this is my favourite, darling Sonnet we’re talking about! In spite of owning beautiful Pelikans and others, this is my goto pen and love. The kind lady there, explained it would be sent to France! Yes! France, Europe! From there back to Ontario and then, eventually back to me in Atlantic Canada. I have no idea when I will see it again.

I’m sad.