Snippets: epic mail call and more travel

I haven’t posted a blog since 22nd October, 17 days ago. It’s been a busy couple of weeks.

At the end of October I took a long weekend with the family down to Fowey Hall in Cornwall. It was a chance to get away and unwind from work.

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I tried not to let the Cornish coastline distract me from my pens too much…

I took just four pens with me: my Desiderata Soubriquet loaded with Birmingham Celestial Blue, my Leonardo Momento Zero loaded with Kobe #51, my Montblanc 149 loaded with Homer Greek Blue, and my Esterbrook Estie loaded with Montblanc Web Grey.

Even with just those four I was spoiled for choice. You know already that I really enjoy the Estie, and the 149 hasn’t been uninked since I bought it on my way to Krakow.

But they have competition. Since I sorted the Nemosine 0.6mm stub out, the Desiderata has become one of my most coveted pens. I owe you a full review, but suffice it to say this is a pretty special writing instrument. The only fly in the ointment? The cocobolo wood model I have is a one-of-a-kind. Sorry.

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I’ve never used a pen like this. 

At the risk of spoiling my 2018 awards post, I’m also ludicrously impressed with the Leonardo. It’s in the running for my pen of the year, and at about £135 it’s a complete steal. Comfortable, gorgeous, superb steel nib, little details everywhere — it feels much more expensive than it is.

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The Leonardo is a candidate for my pen of the year.

Ironically, the clip fell off both the Desiderata and the Leonardo as soon as I unboxed them. Pierre at Desiderata Pens shipped me a new screw to reinstall it; Stefano at Leonardo is sending me a whole new pen via Roy at Izods. No complaints.

The very next day after getting home from Cornwall I flew to San Francisco. It was a business trip (and a knackering one at that) but there was a degree of pleasure involved too… in the form of an epic mail-call. I set off with just four pens (Soubriquet, Estie, 149, 1912)…

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…but returned with a lot, lot more.

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This was just the first batch. Luckily the reception staff were wonderfully helpful.

Let me give you the bullet points:

  • Various pads, inks and accessories from Franklin-Christoph for friends. For myself, I picked up a bottle of Spanish Blue and a glasses case with three-pen insert.
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This is pretty much the slimmest way to carry three pens without them touching.

  • A James Brand Elko in terracotta. I liked this little knife so much I immediately ordered a second in cerulean blue.
  • A titanium 4sevens Mini light from Dark Sucks, one of the last.
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See, I do have hobbies beyond just pens…

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I really appreciate the Diplomat’s build quality, but the nib sucked out of the box.

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I used to say I only liked black pens. Hahahahahahaha.

  • A load of Graphilo paper (my second favourite, after Tomoe) and new Esterbrook nibs from Anderson Pens. The 2048 extra fine falcon has become a fast favourite, and using the MV nib adaptor on the Estie was a doddle.
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Nibs like this make the Estie an even better buy.

So, uh, yeah… my suitcase was pretty full on the way back. Especially after buying some of the new Montblanc Purdey ink from the wonderfully knowledgeable chaps at the boutique near Union Square, and four new LPs from the Aladdin’s cave that is Amoeba Music.

Well, I have an excuse at least… it was fountain pen day, right?

Anyway, now my “to review” pile is absolutely overflowing, and I also have a few other blog ideas stewing in my brain. Just as soon as I get over this jet lag…

10 thoughts on “Snippets: epic mail call and more travel

  1. Pingback: The Leonardo Momento Zero is simply fabulous | UK fountain pens

    • I know… I need to go on a pen diet! I did promise myself that would be me done until Christmas, but I have another Van Gogh on the way from Write Here too…

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      • Very comfortable I think, whether you post or not. It weighs 41g, with a brass piston and feels solid. The shape is a bit like the Fortuna and so you might find that the shiny plated threads are where you want to grip. I felt that the colours looked a liitle faded and it is not a showy pen. Interesting piston though; the turning knob does not rise as you turn it, and it makes a noise like winding a clock. [A football rattle is probably an exaggeration]. Holds a ton of ink. I can’t stop thinking about it.

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      • Ah the Montegrappa I just got has a ratcheting piston too — if I hadn’t read about it first I would have been convinced it was broken! Sounds interesting… might try to find one in person to try.

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