Monday, 23 January 2017

The Pen is Mightier....

Did I hear right that one of Obama's last acts was to free Bernard Manning? That's a travesty of justice, surely!

I loved Sean Spicer's (Trump's Press Secretary) take on the inauguration crowd numbers, which must have come from an alternative reality. Trumps seems to be battling fake news with his own fake news. Can anyone ever believe anything he says from here on in?

The latest cancer scare is food. Food causes cancer, so stay clear of it!

Fueled by the calligraphy bug, I decided to buy myself a Sheaffer Imperial fountain pen on eBay and managed to secure a gold plated 797 for just over 30 quid, which is a bargain. As it transpired, it almost matches my existing Sheaffer Targa ball point, which was totally unintended and an unexpected bonus. They aren't a perfect match, as the Imperial was of 1960s vintage and when introduced it had its own ballpoint and propelling pencil, whereas the Targa was a 1970s development, but it's near enough. The only difference is the clip.

Now the search is on for a medium or broad, inlaid gold nib for the Imperial, which are as rare as rocking horse poo. The beauty of the gold nib is that it's much softer than a standard steel one and adapts itself to your individual writing style much faster as the gold wears down.

I also bought Hay a 1970s, Lady Sheaffer 1001XG, Targa stainless steel 1st Edition fountain pen for her birthday - the accompanying ballpoint, which was a snip at £7 on eBay, arrived yesterday to make a perfect Targa set for under £50.

My father used to have an Imperial which he gave to me many years ago; however, it suffered from damage and went to pen heaven a long time ago. He wrote all of his correspondence with it and used a very distinctive Peacock Blue ink from Scrip. I think he fell in love with Sheaffer pens while bringing Liberty Boats back to the UK from the USA during the war. I have a couple of his old ships' logbooks from when he was captain toward the end of his career in the 1960s, and in the photo below you can see his signature in that colour at the bottom right.

Scrip no longer manufacture Peacock Blue, but there are near-enough approximations available on t'internet and I got myself a bottle.

Before going to sea, my father worked for a couple of years as a bank clerk in Den Helder, where he learned copperplate writing. Almost all Dutch people of his vintage (born 1914) had immaculate handwriting. While I have a penchant for the calligraphic stuff, my natural handwriting is quite poor (or so I think), whereas Hay's handwriting is far superior and well suited to  a fountain pen.

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