Tag Archives: bad language

Pen, paper and ink

Continuing on a theme from Monday’s post, here are some lovely things to write on and with:

Yes, that is indeed a fur Moleskine holder.  It is available here where, should you purchase one, your rediscovered love of the German language will encourage you to refer to it as a Ledereinband Notizbuch.

I found the fur-lined cover via my new favourite site ‘Skine Cover, which encourages acts of customisation or vandalism (depending on your outlook) such as this:

Beautiful, if highlighting a spectacular amount of time spend procrastinating, rather than filling the notebook with whatever it is the artist is allegedly ‘working’ on.  I know that trick well! 

From Skine Cover it took me but a short while to find Molecover, a company based in San Francisco which produces leather Moleskine covers.  I really don’t think I am going to be able to leave for Japan without this one coming with me:

Gorgeous.

In response to Monday’s broken pen lament, I was advised to check out The Writing Desk, which I did, although doing so has only added to my woes.  Now also appearing on my wish list are this pen case, for the avoidance of future catastrophes:

And I think my life will be a touch emptier without their pen of the week, the fabulously named Sailor Professional Gear Mosaic:

Look at that baby.  I bet it swirls and curls like a Ferrari Testarossa!  Naturally it would need to be filled with the finest ink, available here from Noodler’s Ink.  The only difficulty will be in deciding between Heart of Darkness, Dragon’s Napalm and the X Feather…

Photos ‘borrowed’ from websites mentioned

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Mein Füllfederhalter ist kaput!

Disaster struck ten minutes hate this weekend when – not one! – but two of my fountain pens broke.  I can understand your thinking, this is the digital age, why would a blogger care about a pen being out of action?  Use another one, I can hear you shouting, get a biro, (wo)man the fuck up, Julia!

The truth of it is, that I can’t go back.  Forced to write with a fountain pen from a tender age because it was believed it would make my handwriting nicer, I tried to flaunt such bourgeois notions at university by using horrible and inevitably chewed-up old bics.  Tried, but I am afraid they don’t cut it with me.  I have employed the argument that I can write quicker with ink, as the nib glides across the paper more smoothly than a ball-point which cuts in, so my hand can keep up with my thoughts and I can get it down before whatever it was melts off into the ether.  Similarly, writing cheques (another soon-to-be-archaic experience) or letters, or birthday cards, or never-to-be completed ‘to do’ lists, all benefit incalculably from the use of what the Germans so charmingly call ein Füllfederhalter.

At school, I went through a – thankfully short, owing to its unmistakable air of pomposity – phase of using a fountain pen refillable from a bottle of ink.  Fingers would be permanently stained, pristine white shirts dappled with stray spots, a supply of blotting paper (always luminous pink – why?) could never be too far away.  With the old Parkers you could flick the ink, if you were so inclined, by hitting the right angle to unleash a flurry of black dots, marching across your friend’s textbook and earning you both a few deducted marks for your sham Pollock artistry.  I can’t image today’s schoolchildren being allowed access to something so fun and so messy, which is a shame, not least for standards in handwriting.

So while the broken utensils are off at the mender and I reluctantly make do with a scabby ball point from a long-forgotten conference, I leave you with this quote from Idler, Tom Hodgkinson:

Go backwards in all things.  Wear tailor-made suits, use a fountain pen, walk through the park instead of taking public transport, keep a copy of Byron with you, go to art galleries at lunchtime, enjoy an afternoon pint in the pub, sneak in a cinema visit during the working day.  You must transform yourself in your mind from put-upon wage slave to modern anthropologist.  Detach yourself.  And force yourself to leave work punctually.

Some of those are harder to achieve than others.  I would suggest that the fountain pen is a good place to start.

Hideously out-of-focus shot (in thumbnail anyway) of a corner of a desk, by Julia.  Also featuring alongside the two broken fountain pens: my Moleskine, glasses, jewellery box and a Mallorcan fan dating from the Seventies. The usual writerly detritus

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