With so many means of virtual communication, I still find it a real pleasure to pick up a pen and write, in particular with a fountain pen.
The market for writing (on paper as opposed to on screen) has a bewildering array of instruments; from throw-away ball-points to pens costing more than a used car. Most come with a variety of ink colours, sizes, weight, ball sizes, nib variations, and thats before you start to include types such as roller-ball, gel type, fibre-tips etc. So why, with all this choice, do I still choose a fountain pen?
As I child I can recall listening with great interest to the sound of my father’s fountain pen on paper. What I found so mesmerising about that sound I don’t actually know. Perhaps, as an avid reader, not only was I watching the written word going on to the paper, I was actually hearing them them being created too.
One Christmas, I received a received a ball-point and fountain pen set. They were nothing fancy, as you would expect at a young age, and my enjoyment for the fountain pen far exceeded anything I could have expected. Of course it wasn’t without its problems as most schoolboys can testify; the blue ink stained fingertips and the occasional leak in a pocket or school bag.
The attraction of the fountain pen is the grace with which it imparts the beauty of writing. The design and crafting that goes into a nib, enabling it to glide over the paper using the flow of ink as a lubricant. Of course there is still the sound of the nib on the paper that I love to listen to as I write; a mechanical link between the pen and paper. In a quiet environment you can hear the speed at which you are writing, putting thoughts on to the page – literally. Thanks to my understanding of the work that goes into designing and building a fountain pen the pleasure I get from one is stronger now than it has ever been.
Having decided to treat myself to a new pen the question was which model to choose? I needed a fountain pen to use on a regular basis and not just a showpiece. Each pen is unique with its own feel, weight, balance and poise and this becomes apparent when trying different models. After testing numerous models from a variety of brands I went for a Parker Premier. From the moment I picked it up I knew it was the right model for me. Everything fell into place, like it had been built to my own specification, and it is a real pleasure to feel at one with it. Of course it is important to remember that nobody else uses your fountain pen; nibs actually wear to a writers style and so another’s hand can upset that, meaning it wont write the same for you.
It is my intention to keep this pen for a long time so I wanted a style that would remain neutral, and after much deliberation I chose the black lacquer body with silver; a classic feel.
I love writing with this pen so much that all my blog material is written by hand first, then copied across by keyboard. That way I get the best of both worlds.
So never mind my preferred pen, ultimately with a fountain pen it is whatever works for you that counts.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Natalie, from Picketts & Pursers, Rams Walk, Petersfield for her patience and assistance in the purchasing of this excellent pen.
Footnote: This Parker is actually replacing a nice Cross fountain pen. I thought my hand writing was deteriorating as I’ve gotten older but I’m pleased to report it improved at once when I began to use the Parker.