Wednesday, 26 May 2010

I’m sitting here in my study at 0714hrs and enjoying the sound of the rain which has become familiar over the past week. My rainwater tanks are now full and I’m wondering — as I often do when it rains like this — whether I should have shelled out for another proper 4000 litre polyethylene or colorbond thing when extending the original installation instead of improvising with 2 IBCs and a 800 litre bladder. It was a lot cheaper, of course, but I’ve sacrificed substantial capacity.

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My perfect writing instrument is a fountain pen

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

While tidying up part of my desk yesterday morning I found a couple of Rotring 400 (F) nibs rolling around, along with a rather battered looking cartridge converter. They’d probably been there for years and I had no idea what I’d intended to do with them in the first place, so I just had to flush, soak, clean, dry and install them in a pen and see how they worked.

One of the nibs turned out to be squeaky-clean (at least on the outside), the other had traces of Parker Quink Blue Black in it, and the converter was completely inoperable and a total write-off.

I put the first nib into the pen and installed a full converter. No ink flowed. I shook the pen. No disaster happened. Nothing.

The same thing happened with the other nib.

And then I remembered the disastrous experiment in the early ’90s I had conducted with technical pen ink, when I’d come to the conclusion that while the fountain pen was the perfect writing instrument, the inks available at the time left much to be desired because they were neither saturated nor waterproof — and while Rotring Black technical pen ink was the best thing ever, the pens it lived in were much too fragile and scratchy for daily use. So why not use the Rotring technical pen ink in the Rotring fountain pens?

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