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Sunday, June 26, 2011


I am a bit of a pen collector. Especially fountain pens.

Here is a photograph and a description of each of my favourites in my small collection.

The pen set at the top of the photo was given to me one Christmas ages ago when I still worked at Spot Signs. I have never used the pen or pencil, can't really say why. They are lovely, though. Milled from solid steel with a brushed finish, they are quite heavy and very robust.

Second and third from the top are two of my grandfather's pens. The top one of the two is a beautiful tortoiseshell Parker. I don't recall how it came into my possession, but I owned and used it in the first few years of high school. The second one is also a Parker. I also forget how I came to own it. Isn't it just stunning? I think that may be real gold on the cap. The nib also has gold detail. Can't say that I've ever written with it, but I still love it.

The modern burgundy Parker fountain pen belonged to my father. The nib is tiny compared to the ones in the older pens, but that gives it an extremely thin stroke. I took it from my father's things after he died. Like me, he mostly used capital print when writing, especially at work. People just don't seem to be able to decipher our handwriting when we use script.

On the left of a photo is one of my grandmother's fountain pens. I also took it from her things after she passed away. This one is a Hifra. You can see it's well used. I guess it was one of her favourites since she kept it long after she didn't use it anymore.

Second from the bottom is a Parker fountain pen I bought for myself with my very first salary. I love it; I used it exclusively for the first years of my working life. It uses the new cartridge system for refilling instead of the very messy pump system of the older pens. It is so much easier to carry around a few miniscule cartridges than having to drag around a pot of ink and plenty of kitchen towels.

At the bottom of the photograph is my favourite pen. It is a wonderful Lamy which I stole from some kid at high school once. Well, he left it behind and I didn't return it, evil little brat that I was. I used it at school from the very day I got it. It accompanied me all through high school and I always used it when writing poetry. For some reason, I've never used it once since I met The One. Last week I finally remembered to buy refill cartridges, so it is finally working again. It is still a pleasure to write with. It glides smoothly over the paper, so light that it feels like an extension of your fingers.

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