#21 Rediscover the Elegance of Fountain Pens

Rites of passage can create powerful memories, and to this day, I remember the thrill of graduating from pencils to pens in Grade 3.  The day we were finally allowed to use the ink well sunk into the top right hand corner of the desk, and then practice our running writing was special indeed.


Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons

Ink stains on fingers meant you were up there with the big girls. A sign of sophistication much like nicotine stains were for adults in the sixties.

These memories returned recently when a friend sent me a beautifully hand-written thank you note through the post.  When I acknowledged it, she promptly apologised for not having used a real pen.

Ah, yes, a real pen. The time has come to:

Screenshot 2014-09-08 Blue

 …and that is how I imagine my handwriting will look when I take up a fountain pen again…

I had an opportunity to send the same friend a short thank-you note a few weeks later, so I couldn’t resist resurrecting an old fountain pen from the deepest recesses of my desk drawer, discarded there in the eighties when I thoughtlessly moved to disposable biros.  All it needed, I thought, was an injection of fresh ink.

And so I was able to send her a letter that looked something like this:

  HandwritingSo I began to think that surely, in this day and age, fountain pens work better than this. Surely they’ve found a way for them to be scratch-free and blotch-free and ink-stains-on-fingers-free.

And so it was that a quick Google search led me into a strange new, parallel world of fountain pen aficionados. Or eccentrics, if you prefer.

Did you know that it’s possible to buy a pen with a solid gold nib?  And just look at the varieties out there these days:

glorious nibs

And all I had to do was type ‘Best Fountain Pens’  to find this gem of a site with its exquisite nibs. 

So the future is clear. I want a pen with a name like Montblanc or Parker or Waterman, and I definitely want a gorgeous nib.

But most of all, I want my one-hundred-and-first blog entry to be titled:

#101 Buy a solid gold

1 thought on “#21 Rediscover the Elegance of Fountain Pens

  1. Katherine Muirhead

    Wonderful gallery of nibs – some looked like the Sistine Chapel ceiling. After graduating from the ghastly junior school quill nibs I was given a beautiful Parker fountain pen. Alas even that did not help my left-handed, blotted scrawl.


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