no colder weather

It’s October 25 and we have 22ºC (71ºF for those of you in the U.S.), but with the, so called, humidex, it feels like 27ºC. The rain is coming down in sheets … real downpours. We actually had a couple of forest fires, so this might be a good thing. Nothing like out west, but still.

The apartment across the hall from us is vacant being renovated … new paint, flooring and even a new stove. In a building like this they have quite the turnover — the young students move often and the senior citizens might move into a home or … elsewhere. The guys that do the painting always leave the door ajar when they finish in the afternoon — this has happened many times before — so I grabbed my camera and went in to take come pictures, as the late afternoon light was good.

They have a spectacular view there, on the other side of the building — they can see straight out to sea. Anyway; ours might be more … entertaining 🙂 Always something going on here — firetrucks and ambulances.

DSC_2215This is Fort Howe — the outlook spot of Saint John [click for better viewing]. Our building is taller, so I was actually looking down on it. Was aiming for the gull who was sitting on top of the monument, but he took off 🙂 There are almost always a few cars lined up there … they go up there to just sit and gaze for a while, in peace and quiet, I guess … just as we do. To the left in the picture you can see a small portion of the mighty Saint John River, on its way out to sea, under the Harbour Bridge. I love this little city, in case you’d missed that LOL.

DSC_2220My fascination with fountain pens and handwriting is still alive and kicking. In many ways I think it’s very much thanks to the online community it’s still so much fun. It even involves a little bit of photography! The shots some people take of nibs and pens are just … wow! In my Instagram feed I see so many marvellous shots. I used to have two Instagram accounts — one for ‘ordinary stuff’ and one for the pen community. That didn’t work in the long run. My old account got hopelessly neglected, so I merged them to @her.nibs. Now I’m probably boring my old Instagram friends to death, as I’m taking part in a daily handwriting challenge, but I’m trying hard to throw in other things too. It’s a very small niche of an interest, but still there are 20,000+ members in one of the Facebook groups. One could get hundreds of comments on a post about blue ink, for example 🙂 … quite amazing.

 

 

 

 

poppies

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Ideally, I would like to merge my ‘new’ interest for handwriting and fountain pens into this blog without boring my readers to death. When an old blog, all of a sudden, takes on a completely different direction … usually, you lose! My blog didn’t have a direction so it shouldn’t be that much of a problem, right?! 🙂

I don’t know what it was like, back in the days when the use of fountain pens and ink was common, but I don’t think the supply of ink colours was what it is today. It’s literally endless.

The poppy is one of my favourite flowers … if not The Favourite … so I was drawn to this notebook by Rhodia, labelled as «Poppy Red» and I paired it with a ‘poppy red’ ink. Luckily they come in small bottles like the one in the picture — how often would one use red ink for writing anyway?! I use it only in my notebook … not letters.

Sometimes [ahem … quite often!] I ‘force’ my husband to try out new pens and look at various shades of this or that ink colour. He’s the only one around … (cat McDuff couldn’t care less). He complies, but then starts to read some Latin to me, from Cicero’s writings, just because I’m as interested in that as he is in inks LOL.

poppy_mugsPoppies don’t grow naturally around here and I hope that I’ll, one day, will get the opportunity to be in a field of poppies somewhere.

Every weekday, we have Coronation Street on TV here. I don’t follow it, but sometimes the TV is just on, and I see them using a gorgeous poppy mug when they drink tea [which they do pretty much all the time]. This is my current collection. I have some dinner plates too.

automatic translation

Okay, so I look a lot at fountain pens online … Amazon and elsewhere. That’s my one-year-old-hobby, in case you’d missed that — fountain pens 🙂 .

Sometimes, in Amazon I notice the vendors must have used Google Translate, or something similar, to describe the item in question. Most of the time it’s at least understandable and sometimes even hilarious.

DSC_1682One case that sticks out in my memory is the fountain pen Pilot Stella 90s. It said something like ‘the nib is small but pretty and cheerful, close to the skin (!) … its glow was like the stars in the night sky’ et cetera … sounded really poetic. That nib is the one in my picture, by the way. Stella is one of my best writers.

I took that photo yesterday with out little point & shoot Canon camera. It’s still going strong — it’s been about ten years, at least, since we bought it. On my upcoming trip, I won’t lug the heavy DSLR camera across the Atlantic. I’m tired of that and I’m going to travel super light this time. Each time I’ve been home … towards the end of the stay, I’ve always realised I’d packed a lot of stuff I never used. So I’ll only use a carry-on suitcase I bought in Costco and my over-sized handbag. My little computer will go in the latter.

It will feel liberating, not having to wait at that conveyor belt, nervously looking at all the black suitcases emerging from underneath the flaps. Flying used to be a pleasure I anticipated with joy — now it’s just something I have to endure in order to get from A to B.

But now … I lost my train of thought here … the Google Translate! I wonder how many people that actually believe in the stuff?! That they type in a sentence in their own language and get a correct translation?! That’s kind of scary, if they do that! I can imagine a lot of misunderstandings! I use it occasionally for words, but I don’t take it for granted it’s right — when it doesn’t make any sense, I have to look for other sources. Swedish, Danish and Norwegian are very close [especially when reading], but make no mistake — there are many ‘false friends’. «Rolig» in Swedish means something fun or comical, whereas in Danish/Norwegian it’s peaceful and serene 🙂 Danish is more difficult for me than Norwegian, and spoken Danish I don’t understand at all … only the occasional word.

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.

 

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 🙂

inks_cartridges

 

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.