I am a ballpoint pen kind of man. Recently I have been forced to move away from my ballpoints onto a stylus in order to improve my efficiency at typing long-winded emails on the fly from my smart phone. The other day I had a pang of regret as I felt the earth was moving too fast in the direction of fast communication and lcd screens. I had spent from 8.30am to 9pm at night looking at a screen until my eyes were squinting and I was not sure whether I was seeing things or not. This coincided with some correspondence with Barbara Nichol from Penultimate in the city, again, via email.
I decided to call in on Barbara the next day and I walked out with my first ever luxury fountain pen. The odds were always going to be stacked against this left-handed spasm-proned would-be author but I decided that it was time I wrote a hand-written note on some nice stationary that had been lying in my drawer since the last time Smythson was on sale and to use the magnificent Banjo Patterson bush ballad stamps I had from Australia Post.
How much has the world changed ay? I recall in the early 1980's that we had those shocking old telephones with long elastic coils which would always get terribly tangled up. My grandmother used to keep hers next to her writing desk where she received both telephone calls and wrote letters. She used to keep pen pals and write to them all the time and nothing seemed to please her more than writing a nice letter and having a cup of tea.
Yesterday I wrote a letter to my mother and then one to my fiance and after I was done I felt good. I peeled off the sticker stamp which no longer needed to be licked and I closed off the fancy envelope and plonked the letters into the red post office box. It was from start to finish a form of a ceremony - the same kind of feeling I get when I take tea with a certain friend who regards tea in the same way I regard writing a hand-written card.
Thanks to the team at Penultimate and to the people who organise the sales at Smythson, I was very pleased with myself yesterday.
|Clockwise; Sailor ink, take-sumi ink by pilot mont blanc ink, sailor white barrel fountain pen, an old mont blanc fountain pen I found and my original ball point Mark Twain pen.|
|Up close with my new Sailor fountain pen from Penultimate.|