random blather

There is neither lighter burden, nor more agreeable, than a pen

I’m pretty sure I was given a fountain pen by one of my parents when I started first grade—they’re supposed to help with your handwriting, make it tidier and nicer. It didn’t really work out for me that way, and I stopped using a fountain pen in favor of pencils or ballpoint pens. There were times when I picked one up, but I never stuck with it.

Just before I moved to Poland, I decided to buy myself a “nice” fountain pen and try it out again. It wasn’t really a fancy pen, just something you’d find in an office supply store, but it was definitely more expensive than a ballpoint or a gel pen. I gradually got used to it, and I brought it with me. I ended up buy notebooks with a lovely kind of paper that’s heavy enough so that the ink from the pen doesn’t bleed through or get smudged. After that, I was hooked. The pen glides over the paper so smoothly it barely takes any pressure to get a line going, and the thickness of the paper means that I can write on both sides of the page without worrying that it’ll show through.

When the Sheaffer pen broke (I dropped it and it landed nib down, which was kind of fatal for the pen), I replaced it with a cheap Waterman. I couldn’t stand the idea of going back to writing with anything buy a fountain pen. When I went to Wales a couple of years ago, I bought myself a Lamy Al-Star for my birthday. I ended up leaving that one on a train somewhere on the way to Wrocław, along with a bunch of other stuff in my favorite pencil case. I replaced the pen with an identical one, and have been using that one ever since. I’ve also got a backup of the “good” notebooks, so I don’t have to worry about the paper I write on.

My pens are nowhere near as fancy as the ones in the video, but they’re still pretty damn cool and I wouldn’t give them up for anything.

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