One thing that has driven me bonkers for the last couple of years is the fact that my ‘forgets everything, doesn’t know when the birthdays are’ husband refuses to carry a diary. Well, I’ve had a breakthrough. I gave him a Holborn slimline with month on two pages inserts and he’s actually using it! I popped a few sheets of notepaper in the back and he’s writing his lists in there instead of scribbling them on scraps of paper which he then loses. I’m unreasonably pleased by this. I still have to remind him to carry it with him, but we’re getting there. I take it away and update it with appointments and events once or twice a week, but he’s checking it and writing things down and it’s already making a huge difference to his productivity. Now if I can just get him to put the empty cardboard roll in the bin when he finishes the toilet paper I really will be winning at life.
I set myself a fountain pen only challenge, to use them for a week exclusively and it has reminded me how much they please me. However, my Lamy AL-Star has leaked all over the place once too often and we’ve fallen out. Having purple hands just can’t be passed off as a fashion statement and bleach is not an acceptable perfume. I have made a couple of useful discoveries though. I have two Parker Jotter pens with medium nibs and the Quink ink is not entirely compatible with Filofax paper, not even the new and improved inserts, the ghosting is quite noticeable, but my Mother had one, so I will always have one, even if it’s not my favourite pen to write with. I also have a Noodlers pen with Diamine Shimmer Ink in Enchanted Ocean which pleases me no end and actually works reasonably well on Filofax paper, but I don’t carry it with me, I tend to save it for writing letters. I have a couple of Platinum Preppy pens
with extra fine nibs which do tend to be thrown into my bag, they’re great. They don’t leak and they don’t dry out, but they’re just bog-standard black and red, so I don’t tend to use them very often. Because of the compatibility problems between pens and cartridges, I went looking for a cheap pen which would use the international standard cartridges. I found the Jinhao 599 which only cost me £3.99 and came with a converter for bottled inks, not that I’ve used it, but talk about a bargain! I also wanted cartridges in a slightly different colour, something out of the ordinary, but without being outrageous. I wanted it to be suitable for everyday use. I found Kaweco cartridges and fell in love with the Smokey Grey. It’s perfectly acceptable to use for, well, anything really and it ticked all the boxes for my search. I wanted something a little different, not a harsh colour and one which was flattering to my (not wonderful) writing. So yes, I have currently found pen peace. The 599 has the perfect ink flow, isn’t expensive, doesn’t dry out and doesn’t leak. At £3.99, I can afford to lose it as well, which for a pen which I carry all the time is very important. Seriously, if you do nothing else for yourself this year, buy one of these wonderful pens. They have other styles at various prices, but I honestly cannot recommend them highly enough.