On shooting oneself in the foot

My new fountain pen arrived in the post this morning. I was very excited – until I realised that none of my cartridges would fit. It is a Lamy pen and takes a proprietary cartridge.

My original intention had been to buy my pen from The Writing Desk, who currently package the pen with a free converter (current count of bottled inks is… seven!) Then I became seduced by eBay prices and elected to buy a pen from a source that does not package a converter. After all, I thought, I have masses of standard cartridges and the Lamy can be nominated as my cartridge pen and I can use up all those cartridges. Definitely the economic option.

Well, I am kicking myself now.

The Lamy came with one cartridge, in a boring standard blue, which I have now fitted so that I can break the nib in. It’s a cheap pen, with a steel nib. I have always preferred a nice, soft, gold nib. How long will it take to break a steel nib in, I wonder.

Naturally, I set about looking for a converter to buy and I fell across WH Smith’s clearance sale on pens. I was very bad. I ordered a second Lamy Al-star at a bargain price of £13, two converters, and a new-to-me Japanese brand of pen, an Ohto. Yes. I checked. It takes standard cartridges, and will be the pen that I  use to work my way through my Herbin cartridges. The new  Lamy has a medium nib, today’s arrival has a broad one.

I think I have all my bases covered now.

I plan to carry on with my Messenger. The Parker should be re-homed, as it was a gift from The Scots Bastard. I only keep it because it writes so nicely… but it’s inappropriate to keep gifts from old lovers, I think.  I was going to give it away but research suggests that I should sell it. It seems to be slightly collectible – a Parker 75 “Custom” made in France in 1990/91.  It is jade green lacquer, with a gold plated cap and has a cute little green cabochon set at the cap end. The nib is an open style and is 14K gold. The pen holder is black and sports a gold plated band. Takes cartridges and has a filler (replaceable). Was once in daily office use but little used since I left work in 2002. It is like the one shown at the top of this page. There is one currently on sale at eBay

If I pop it on Bay I might be able to fund a nice Calumet tripod

…or pay to have my much-loved Elysée pen repaired. That’s vintage 1986 and it saw me through no end of examination papers – it accompanied me all through my degree and my Master’s too. I was devastated when the nib holder section snapped recently. Of course, as my ex-husband bought it for my birthday that year, perhaps I should not remain so attached to that pen either! It brings out the best in my handwriting, though.

I shall probably treat myself to some of these clever cartridges at some point (love the look of that Monteverde Purple!)

Speaking of treats,I made Parsnip and Apple soup  for lunch, with croutons made from the bread that I baked earlier this week. While the soup was simmering, I knocked up some buns (cinnamon/walnut/raisin) in order to use up some eggs. There was cream left over from the soup… so we have just had a warm bun, drenched in cream for a pudding. Oh, yum. The buns may reappear at coffee time. I am a bit annoyed that they “peaked” again. Must get a new oven soon.

Right, it’s time for me to write a couple of letters with the new pen. I may walk down to the post office later this afternoon, but not if it means missing my bun. If I do go, I shall take a camera with me.


  • 2 Snail Mail sent this morning – to Mia and to Shirley C.
  • 2 ready to go, but overseas so need the Post office
  • Orphan Postcards requested from PostMuse


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