The joy of a fountain pen

Before I started this blog I had started a diary, as I do on most journeys. I am continuing with it alongside this blog, but it has changed a bit in focus now. I first started writing about my journeys when we visited Australia in 2000 because I thought that if I didn’t, when I got back it would be quite a challenge to work out what or where half my photos were. This of course was in the days of film and prints rather than time-stamped (and possibly even GPS-stamped) digital images, but we did have e-mail so on a few occasions I was able to pay for a session on a terminal in a hotel and e-mail the folks back home. When we got back I was able to combine my scratchings in my notebook with those e-mails and a few scanned images to produce a fuller record.

Since then I have regularly recorded my journeys in an A5 or A6 notebook and occasionally committed them to the printed page as well. So a month or so ago I bought myself a nice little hardback A5 notebook and dug out a twenty year old fountain pen. For some reason when I found my bottle of Quink it was empty – feeling unloved for twenty years it must have evaporated – so I bought a new bottle. Using a fountain pen has a very different feel to a ball-point or felt tip. It seems to be more luxurious as if it wants to take my writing to a higher level. Suddenly I am smitten.

I am not sure whether that will continue if I get blots over the page or ink stained fingers, but at least I am not dipping a nib into an inkwell on my desk while dodging inky blotting paper missiles. Also I find that my pen doesn’t have predictive text (joy, oh joy) or a spell checker – I would have got away with writing ‘knib’ rather than ‘nib’ without the page screaming at me. Of course the spell-checker will only tell me if I have spelt a word correctly, not whether it is the write, sorry I mean right, word while with my trusty fountain pen I am sure that I will use the correct word even if it is spelled in many different ways. What is good enough for Shakespear is good enough for me. (My father lived in Shakespeare Terrace and it was spelled differently at each end!)

So for my paper record I will forego external control of my wording but enjoy the sensation of using a fountain pen on the printed page. For the blog I will submit to having my spelling corrected and grammar and syntax questioned if I stray, but will have no excuse for “typo’s”.

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3 thoughts on “The joy of a fountain pen

  1. Fountain pens – what happened to them? I remember my very first fountain pen, a little Conway Stewart. My son used – or abused – a fountain pen! On a very regular basis I had to extract it from his bag or pencil case, carefully remove the inkfilled cap, rinse, dry and refill with ink for the next day. Sometimes the ink would leak out into said bag or pencil case. I can only assume they had regular bag fights or he just used to thump the bag down on the floor, thereby jarring it enough to cause the mess that I was presented with at the end of the day. We got through a lot of bottles of ink!


  2. Yes Tim, I fished my 40-year-ole Parker out for a run not so long ago, found some ink but when I ‘filled’ it the little rubber tube had perished so guess where all the ink went? Needless to say the pen has been returned to its’ writeful(?) place in the bureau – maybe another 40 years?


    1. Still enjoying using the fountain pen (just got the ink out for a refill). It is amazing how it is different to a ballpoint! While I was in A&E/Ward 5 I didn’t have my fountain pen and had to go back to a ballpoint, not only did it not feel as good but it didn’t work as well either!


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