It’s hard to believe that two weeks have passed since the London Pen Show. I don’t feel I’ve completely assimilated my purchases into my regular fountain pen life, though they are inspiring me, each in their different ways. Today I’m going to round off my retrospective by covering what I think of as the odds and ends. And, wow, these are wonderful odds and ends!
First up, pen storage.
One of my main aims in visiting the show was to find some kind of storage for my out-of-rotation pens. Whilst I was very taken with the wooden storage boxes available on a couple of tables, in the end I opted for a budget-friendly zipped leather case from the Northumbrian Pen Company. I’ve photographed it with the whole of my current pen collection (minus one which is at work) and I honestly thought there would be more spare slots than this! Still, it’s only 2/3 full, so that’s okay. As well as the pen case, I chose two more inks, both from Montblanc. I’m looking forward to playing with the Velvet Red in the hope that it may be a little more to my taste than Diamine Writer’s Blood.
Then there are the extra two pens, both exceptionally generous gifts. To the left we have a Waterman Exception in the Rose Cuivre finish from a few years back which was passed on to me by an online friend I met at the show, being not quite to their taste. This is a duplicate for my existing Rose Cuivre in all but nib size – this is a medium nib – and came with some Diamine Autumn Oak ink which is reminiscent of the Honey Blaze which I’m so fond of, but edging a little more to the brown end of the scale. I find Waterman Pens to be very reliable writing instruments and this certainly follows that rule.
The second pen was a gift from my brother the day before the pen show. It’s a Monblanc Slim Line in a matte blue finish which my brother bought from Selfridges in December 1989. He says he mainly used it for signing cheques and since they went out of fashion it’s not had a purpose so he thought I might like it. I do like it! The gold-plated steel nib writes with a very fine line and, despite being very slender, the pen is comfortable to hold. Slim pens are not universally loved, but if you do like them this is a real treasure. I bought the Midnight Blue Montblanc ink cartridges specifically so I could ink up this pen and try it out before I travelled home after my day at the Fountain Pen Show.
I feel very grateful to both my friend and my brother for their generosity and for providing the back-story to these two pens. Fabulous mementos of a lovely trip to London.
Now, the real post-show work begins. I want to get to know the five new pens in my collection (six, if we count the Kaweco Al Sport I bought just before the show) and to see how they work in with the whole. The Montblanc is already suggesting itself as a go-to “planner” pen – that fine nib allows for plenty of writing in a small space. The medium nibs of the Waterman Exception and the Hemisphere suggest they will be great to use in my daily journaling. Then the two vintage Sheaffers will provide challenges – one with its broad nib, and the other with its problematic ink flow. All of which should keep me out of mischief so long as I don’t keep going into Jarrolds’ stationery shop and looking at all the lovely offerings.
Next up, I’ll have some knitting to write about, so I will see you again in a week or so.