For one rare, perfect moment I had three pens inked. Three pens is my nirvana. Three pens are easy to use, they don’t invoke any guilt or any need to choose which ones I’m going to allow to languish, thus proving they are second-best. We cannot see, we will not mention, the other two pens which had ink in them, but which were due to be flushed out.

The first of my three pens is the Namisu Orion which stays in my Filofax. Filled with the lovely Diamine Majestic Purple ink, it is a great everyday writer and, if I ignore the little voice inside my head asking me if I’m really committed to the Filofax, everything on that front is perfect.

I’ve been using the Cross Bailey Light for journal entries the past few days, mainly so that I can use up the Washable Blue cartridge currently in it. Washable Blue isn’t inspiring me, although many blues do hit the spot. Mind you, I’m not averse to finishing the cartridge so it’s not utterly abhorrent.

My “highlight ink” – currently Graf von Faber-Castell India Red in the Waterman Hémisphère Rose Cuivre – is never a problem. However, this is going to run out any day now. Just wait and see. It’s been running on fumes for days and days and days. Next time I pick it up it will be dry. Well, maybe the time after…. One day, pretty soon, I’m going to have a change from the India Red ink! I think I might move the Bailey Light/Washable Blue combination into that slot. Although it’s not bright, it does provide a contrast with the deeper ink shades that I prefer to write with.

So, those two pens we cannot see and will not mention? My friend’s Parker 51 and my Lamy LX. I inked them both up with the dullest ink in the universe (on the understanding that the universe comprises only my current ink collection): Lamy Crystal Benitoite. They both displayed the same annoying flow issues with this ink: hard starts, stingy supply as I wrote. “Life is too short,” I decided in the end. “Dump the ink, use something you like.” Last night, though, I hit upon the idea of trying a mix of ink, so I emptied almost all the Benitoite from the Lamy LX converter and topped it up with Graf von Faber-Castell Stoney Grey, another shade I’m not hugely keen on. After sitting overnight, this morning the pen started writing straight away, in itself a big improvement. I used it to write my journal entry and the flow was fine. The colour of this combination isn’t anything to write home about, but I like it better than either of its constituent inks on their own. It also gives me ideas about trying other combinations. I’d like to use up the bottle of Benitoite if I can do it without having to write through books full of paper in the not-quite-interesting-enough shade.

Whilst I would like to try another combination, the Parker 51 isn’t the right pen for the job due to the filling mechanism. I feel that a cartridge/converter pen is best because I can mix a small amount of ink and fill the converter using a syringe.

Of course, the real matter that is on my mind isn’t the inks at all, nor even the pens. They are merely the tools I use to express myself. The real content of this post is in the words that I wrote!

4 thoughts on “The details we sometimes miss

    1. That’s a very interesting question. I’ve gone back through a journal and I’m getting approximately 20 sides of A5 paper out of one fill, which is about 0.8-0.9ml of ink. So, the bottle of Lamy Benitoite at 30ml would write about 750 sides of A5 paper. It doesn’t even seem possible that it could be that high a figure! Of course, I’ve already used a bit of it, but even so it’s a daunting task. And if I tot up for all the inks I still have, it’s just plain crazy.
      As to whether filling the converter is messy, I’d say it varies and being a “pro” makes no difference whatsoever! Some days you don’t get a single drop on you, other days you look like you’ve upended the bottle and wallowed in the contents! The one thing I will say is that experience provides you with better tools for getting the ink stains off your skin. Personally, I’m a big fan of the good old pummice stone, but there are also chemical ink solvents on the market. The most pernicious stains are when you get ink around your fingernails – they can linger for an unbelievable amount of time.

    2. Ah, yes, I’m definitely suffering from a glut of inks! There’s been a good outcome this evening, though – my latest experiment of mixing the Lamy Benitoite with another colour has resulted in a shade I really like and can see myself wanting to use. I don’t mind so much having the bottle there so long as I know I’ll be happy when I do fill a pen with it.

Comments are now closed.