When you're a pen freak like me, you spend as much time organising your stationery (and other hobbies' detritus) as you spend using it. My setup is not fancy. I don't have a huge house, I don't have a dream home office or desk setup. I have a beaten-up Ikea desk and office chair that … Continue reading Behind the scenes: storage, travel and writing desks
My poor pen collection has had a very disruptive week. Two of the pens in my week four selection (the Pineider and Diplomat) went into the 'for sale' pile, so I took them out of rotation. But I wrote the Lamy 2000 dry, and had good runs with the 149 and Optima. And then today … Continue reading The magnificent seven: week five
Happy Friday, everyone. Some quickfire updates for you... Paper: good and bad Good news first. GLP's the Author notebook is now available in a range of colours from Amazon, and a special festive red edition is available too. Same great flexible format with Tomoe paper, same price (around £20), but a beautiful blue and bright … Continue reading Snippets: Conids, paper and more
If you read my last post, you'll have spotted that I've bought rather a lot of pens in the past couple of months. So it's time to sell some and restore balance to the force. Also, I want a Conid. As usual with my sales, all pens below are in well looked-after condition and are … Continue reading Pens for sale!
My "magnificent seven" project is having good results. This week I wrote three of last week's pens dry, even though I had another new pen day (the replacement Graf Guilloche after my bad experience... I filled it with Montblanc Spider Web Grey). I wrote dry the Desiderata Soubriquet, Montegrappa Extra, and Graf Classic. I decided to … Continue reading The magnificent seven: week four
I buy a lot of pens. All kinds of brands. All kinds of price ranges. Steel and gold. Fine and broad. From many different pen shops. I assume that most of the time, the pen arrives ready to write. But sometimes the nib lets me down. And that "sometimes" is starting to feel like "too … Continue reading The frustrating pursuit of a functioning nib… is it too much to ask?
It's nearly December, and my thoughts are turning to a review of the year. Last year I enjoyed putting together a lighthearted list of awards, based on products I've encountered over the course of the year (and on the full understanding that I saw only a fraction of the new releases). But first, let's start … Continue reading The UKFP awards 2018
Almost without planning it, I've ended up with five Viscontis — more than any other brand in my collection. And two of those five are the "Van Gogh" model, Visconti's relatively inexpensive steel-nibbed model (alongside the Rembrandt and the new Mirage, I guess). The Van Gogh isn't perfect — in fact, it has some of … Continue reading A portrait of the Visconti Van Gogh
I swore to myself: no new pens before Christmas. But (predictably) I failed. The Black Friday discounts got the better of me. I'm undecided how I feel about this ultimately consumerist holiday, and what it means for the small retailers and brands that I try to support. But my actions speak louder than my words. … Continue reading Magnificent seven: Black Friday edition
The Pineider La Grande Bellezza is a confusing pen, with some head-scratching design decisions marring what could have been a great addition to the pantheon of Italian fountain pens. Let me rattle through the basics first. This is a cartridge/converter pen, of pretty good size, with a 14k nib and a metal section. It comes … Continue reading The great puzzle of the Pineider La Grande Bellezza