MakesMe…Quirky: My Beloved Fountain Pen


I write a lot of words these days but mostly on a laptop: notes for work, posts for my various projects, messages to friends and family.  Writing by hand is less of a thing these days.  However whenever I do pick up a pen it’s this one.  Part of my morning routine is to record ten things that I’m grateful for from the day before.   Handwriting this rather than making an electronic record just feels so right!

At my 1970’s girl’s grammar school writing with a fountain pen was compulsory.  I carried a big glass bottle of Quink ink around in my leather briefcase.  Being a messy cow I was always covered in the stuff!  Now I use a fountain pen voluntarily.  I seem to be one of just a few.  When people spot the nib they often comment. ‘I use one of those at school!’ is the most common response.  I  have this dinky little bottle in my bag that I was amazed to find in a French supermarket.  I now decant my Quink into it.  Black has replaced the blue that I used to have at school.  It’s a throwback from the time when I used to write notes by hand in health records.  They had to be black for legal reasons.

So why am I in the land of the dinosaurs when it comes to writing implements?  One argument that I used to use was that it was more eco-friendly.  But then an article that I read which considered the impact of the upfront environmental cost of manufacture pooh-poohed that idea.  So we’ll stick with personal preference shall we?  One reason is that my pen is heavier than your average biro or fibre tip.  I like the feel of it in my hand.    And that leads on to another reason.  The weight of the pen may be the reason that my writing is neater and so much more legible than when I use other writing devices.  It might be because I can control where the pen is going more effectively.

It’s rare that I come across other  users these day but when I do there’s the joy of connection.  I was in a cafe with a friend and wanted to draw a diagram on the back of a till receipt to explain something I was talking about.  I  reached for her pen that was out on the table. ‘Don’t use that!’ she cried.  ‘You’ll ruin the nib!’  She was so happy that I understood and even more delighted when I dug around in my bag and got out my own.

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