Saturday, 26 May 2012

Write Away!

An article on the BBC website this week informed us that the sales of fountain pens are on the rise. I adore my Rotring Core which Bob gave me in January 2011 [to replace an earlier one which got lost] Technically speaking this is a cartridge pen not a fountain pen – but of late the terms seem to be interchangeable.

Bob uses a fountain pen [Parker] for filling in the marriage register at church – this is a legal requirement – and keeps a bottle of Permanent Blue Black Ink for filling it beside the church safe.

I shan’t be purchasing an official Jubilee pen [£650 is too much]

jubilee pens

I understand that the Queen uses a Parker. I was once told that she is not allowed to use a ballpoint pen for anything important as there are doubts about the permanence of the ink. Just the crossword and the odd Post-It note for Philip then!


If you inherit an old, dried up fountain pen and want to revive it, the Guardian has a very helpful tutorial here. Parker Pens will service old pens and replace nibs and ink reservoirs etc [at a cost] but not if the pen is more than fifteen years old.

My Rotring stays on my desk – I take my cheapo Wilko cartridge pen to school. I know some schools ban fountain pens on the grounds that they make a mess – but somehow I feel that if only children learned to use them properly, the general standard of handwriting might improve!


When most of the letters I write are spewed out by the computer printer, there is something wonderfully retro about signing them with a flourish using a proper pen.

Anyone else out there share my fascination with nibs and ink?


  1. Absolutely - I have an ancient green Parker which was inherited and a Schaeffer that I use regularly (which stays at home!). The Parker which saw me through my university finals - a Parker harlequin - was the best pen I have ever written with and was stolen from the first school I taught in x

  2. I loved fountain pens when I was at school. We had to use pencil for rough work but when we were working "in neat" it had to be done in fountain pen. I had a Parker pen to start with and then a Schaeffer pen later on - a black one with a gold lid - and I loved writing with that. I found it a few years ago, couldn't get any cartridges locally, eventually sourced some online, but by that time I had mislaid the pen again....when I find it again, I will be ready with the cartridges as I know where they are!! I definitely write my neatest with a fountain/cartridge pen.

  3. I do like a nice pen - I had several when I was younger but am afraid they've got lost over the years. There was always something very satisfying about 'popping' the ink cartridge! Right now I'm using cheapo disposable pens, but they are the rollerball type, so have that satisfying inkiness (and are less likely to leak in your handbag)

    Does the diamond jubilee pen have real diamonds?! I've just done my eBay post on the Queen related tat that's out there at the moment.

    1. I saw your post, and laughed out loud at some of the tat thereon!!

  4. Angela, I put the recipe for the rice & beans on my blog today. Enjoy!

  5. Have just returned to using a cartridge pen. We always had to use an ink pen at school and once you get used to having a little bit of blotting paper around - it's easy to use.

  6. I have a Parker, and I often use brown ink. Unfortunately, as a leftie, my letters are often smeared into illegibility, but I still love writing with a fountain pen on special occasions. Otherwise, I use a Pilot V-5 Precise, which is quite lovely in its own way.



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