I really took a chance buying this Aurora 88 Nettuno. I haven't quite gelled with the last couple of Auroras I've bought, and what's more I've had less than perfect luck with the quality of its nibs and pens. But for months and months I've been unable to get this pen out of my head, … Continue reading The Aurora 88 Nettuno has beauty and brains
I recently bought an Aurora 88 with italic nib. It was not what I expected. This is because Aurora does not make it easy. Over the years it's offered different kinds of italic nibs, including different widths of italics. Try to find pictures on the internet and you often turn up ten-year-old threads on FPN. … Continue reading A public service announcement about Aurora italic and stub nibs
I used to write quite a lot of posts about paper. Recently I've been all about the pens. Time to redress the balance. Let me give you a tour of the many different notebooks that have been across my desk recently. And boy, I've had a lot of paper. But before that, let me cut … Continue reading Notebooks, notebooks, everywhere!
I am an inveterate pen seller. I've bought and sold about 125 pens in the last few years, and I don't regret it. When I realise a pen isn't for me, I release it to help someone else on their pen journey. I lose money on each pen I sell, but I consider it a … Continue reading Six long-gone pens I miss — and what I’ve done about it
When you have 200+ inks, it's all too easy to find yourself picking up a bottle and having no recollection of the ink at all. You uncap it, and all you see is some dark, shiny liquid. Hmmm. If only there was some way to keep a a record of how each ink looks on … Continue reading How I do ink swatches
I had a joyous, pen-heavy day today. I joined a few folks for a beer at my local pen meet (and got to play with a 1.9mm F-C music nib!) ...reinked a couple of pens with fresh beautiful inks, did my version of adult colouring by writing up a Currently Inked on an A3 sheet … Continue reading The simple joy of mucking about with pens
A while back I made an attempt at a scoring methodology for pens. It was a way for me to take a bottom-up, step-by-step approach to working out what I liked and disliked about the pens I owned, and to see whether the cumulative total resulted in a ranking that actually reflected my gut preferences. … Continue reading Quantifying greatness: going deep down the rabbit hole
I read a book recently on algorithms, and it discussed a category of problems called "optimal stopping". Optimal stopping is all about finding out when to, well, stop in a pursuit. How many candidates do you interview for a job before making an offer? How many new restaurants in a city do you try before … Continue reading “Optimal stopping” and the Namiki Urushi 20 / Yukari Royale
So far this year 43,000 visitors have made their way to this blog, leaving 360 comments and 368 (much-appreciated!) likes, while reading about Montblanc's new releases, my hard-learned lessons in the hobby, nine must-try factory nibs, and most recently my love of Nakaya, which makes the 240th post here. It takes time, energy and money … Continue reading Enjoy the blog? Please donate.
Spend any time on pen blogs and forums and you'll find someone mention "Nakaya" and "grail pen" in the same sentence. There's something about this Japanese brand that really gets people by the soul and won't let go, in a way that Sailor and Pilot don't. Maybe it's the mystique around the brand itself: staffed … Continue reading The magic of Nakaya