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.
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.
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.
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)…
…but returned with a lot, lot more.
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.
- 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.
- A Diplomat Aero in exclusive electric blue from Goulet, along with a load of Goulet Tomoe pocket notebooks and a Nock Lookout in bright mandarin orange. Can you see a blue and orange theme emerging? Unfortunately, the nib on the Aero was unusably dry out of the box.
- A Pineider La Grande Bellezza from the wonderful Chatterley Luxuries. I got the 1.3mm stub and it’s a crazy pen. I can’t work out whether I like it or not.
- A Montegrappa Extra 1930 Colori del Mar ‘The Sea’, also from Bryant at Chatterley. This is an impressive pen in sterling silver and bright blue celluloid.
- 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.
- A couple of gorgeous new handkerchiefs from Hanks by Hank.
- Some Bungubox 4B ink from Dan Smith at the Nibsmith.
- Two Sunwayman V11R lights that were a bargain on eBay.
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…