Friday, 7 September 2007

I may be no calligraphist, but at least I have a proper pen

I like fountain pens. Whenever I write with one, my writing, normally only recognizable to those who allow inkstained spiders to run across their work, becomes in my opinion slightly more legible. There is also the feeling that you are using a higher class of writing instrument, and that due to the superior implement, your work will ultimately be better.

That is all, admittedly, an illusion, crap generated by the brain to justify the use of an unusual tool. But I like using them, so I shall.

During 2006, my sole writing tool was the fountain pen from the JML pen set, which some of you may remember as being advertised with an unbreakable nib. And whilst, unlike the advert, I never tried stabbing mine through a Coke can, it proved well up to the task of performing the function it was intended to.

However, whilst it's nib may have been unburstable, the nib section of the pen was plastic, whilst the rest of the pen was metal. This knackered the thread between them up to the extent that after 12 months it was non-existent.

So for the last 8 and a bit months I have been forced to return to felt ended pens, and on occasions where nothing else was to hand, I have even used the odd Biro. However, during this time, I have been actively looking for the perfect pen to replace the JML.

I tried my mother's Parker fountain pen, which has laid unused at the back of a desk drawer for the 7 years or so she has owned it. And it was awful. The nib was scratchy, the pen itself was plastic and thus too light, and it was finished in an unappealing shade of blue.

I decided to narrow my search to pens like the JML, metal pens with a certain degree of weightiness, and with nice nibs. As, however, it wouldn't be considered good form to try a pen before purchase, I decided to look towards the cheaper end of the market, as I would be wasting less money should it not prove comfortable.

Some of you may be wondering why I didn't simply get another JML pen. The reason is that I couldn't find one anywhere. However, the pen I eventually found is almost perfect. It's silver, but probably isn't silver. It's not light, weighing at a guess two thirds of the weight of my mobile phone. It's lovely to work with, and the best bit of all is that it was just £2.99.

Yes, there are faults, such as that I would bet it isn't as tough nibbed as my last one (then again, I don't plan on stabbing this one through a Coke can either), and the clip on the lid is hideous, but it's a nice pen and I even have a choice between using cartridges or using bottled ink.

So I'm happy. Writing has once again become an unalloyed pleasure. I wonder if anyone would design me a fountain keyboard..........

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