As spring marches on into summer, I’m enjoying the settling in and slowing down, and recently, I did some cleaning and freshening up of my lineup. Like with most things in life, there’s nothing more conducive to productivity and clearing out the cobwebs of your mind than doing a good reorganization and flushing out of your workspace and tools.
Lamy Safari All Black: Sailor Jentle Epinard
Pelikan M400 Tortoiseshell: Diamine Ancient Copper
Pelikan M600 White Transparent: Diamine Syrah
Lamy Safari Neon Lime: J. Herbin Lie de the
Franklin-Christoph M20: Sailor Kobe No. 59 Hirano Gion Romance Grey
Parker Sonnet Cisele: Sailor Jentle Grenade
It seems I continue on with my Sailor inks, although our recent shipment of Diamine has been exciting, and I’ve got a few Diamine inks on my list to try soon. When you look at all of my inks together, it does seem a bit autumnal, and I’m ready for some brighter shades once I empty out a few of these. I’ve loaned my pen roll to our window display, telling myself that I didn’t need it (hah!) and that it would be good for me – fewer pens inked up. However, it has been surprisingly painful, and I can’t wait to get it back and go nuts.
The Lamy Safaris are some of my favourite pens, and I find them inked up all the time. They’re in and out of my backpack and bags (I also have a Vista inked up and floating around somewhere, but I couldn’t find it for this post) for quick errands or tossing around. They’re the ones I reach for when I want to jot down something in the car, at a red light, that I’ve heard on the radio or from an audio book – snap caps mean no fussing around with twisting when I’ve only got fifteen seconds to make my point. The neon lime is also a great one for distracting the baby, and I don’t mind her playing with it because the ABS plastic is pretty indestructible.
I’ve also usually got a few Pelikans inked up. I find it takes me much longer to go through a fill, so I need to really be committed to whatever ink I put in them. I try to write my pens dry, rather than emptying out an ink halfway through. However my Pelikans often have broader nibs, and so I use them for journal writing or letters, when I’m sitting down for longer writing sessions.
My Franklin-Christoph was a great match for the Kobe Hirano Gion Romance Grey – I’m not normally someone who needs to match an ink colour to a pen, but when it works, it works. In fact, I’m enjoying it so much I may very well stick with greys in this pen for a little while. My Sonnet Cisele is another favourite pen, with another favourite ink, Sailor Grenade. I love the old-timey feel of the Sonnet, and the silver and gold trim. I rarely use red inks other than Sailor Grenade, which is a bit of a softer red, and having a broader nib on my Sonnet gives it a bit of shading.
I started out using fines and mediums, and then slowly moved towards mediums and broads and double broads, staying there for quite a while. Recently, as life has gotten busier, I’ve found more and more I like to have fine nibs for notes in the car or filling out forms on copy paper. I still haven’t really found myself using extra fine nibs too often – even though I’m someone who enjoys a bit of feedback on the page, I think I just like shading and ink too much.
In other news, Chicken the cat knocked one of my Pelikans out the window the other day, from the second storey. I actually intentionally put my desk in front of this window because there’s no screen, and it’s quite a low window – it’s only about a foot and a half off the floor – and I was worried about babies falling out. Turns out Chicken’s habit of leaping onto desks and sliding around pushed a different baby out. It was a lucky fall: the ground below was a gravel driveway, as opposed to asphalt or pavement, so the pen survived relatively unscathed. Chicken, also, remains unscathed, although he’s cutting it close. And, in fact, I don’t think he was even sorry.
It strikes me as delightful that I can report these incidents here, and find some kindred spirits who can empathize with the horror of such an accident. I write tongue in cheek most days, knowing that there are, of course, many, many more serious things happening in my city and world, but sometimes you gotta take what you can get and make the most of it: summer days, birds and cats, and fresh ink.