Reading all the highlights and round-up posts from the blogs I follow has highlighted how meagre my output for the last year has been. In my head I reviewed lots of the things that I forked over my hard-earned cash for, but something got lost in translation and for a variety of reasons only a few made it onto the digital page.
In reflecting on this, I’ve come to realise a couple of things. Blogs are a little like gardens (no, seriously) in that they are a reflection of you and need to be tended and nurtured. If you don’t put the time into maintenance and planning, then you don’t get good results. That said, doing it for the sake of doing it can also be counter-productive. It needs both head and heart, and maybe I’ve been lacking a little of both.
I’m not much of a fan of resolutions – mainly because I’m terrible at keeping them, but I know that I need to do a bit of nurturing to get things where I’d like them to be.
It’s not all doom and gloom…
There are some positives. I didn’t have to buy all the pens I acquired last year – I won a set of 3 Lamy Aion pens from the lovely people at The Writing Desk. All I had to do was to indulge my habit and buy something from them – in this case a TWSBI Diamond Mini limited edition in gold. First impressions of the Aion fountain pen are good. If nothing else, it proves that buying more pens has got to be a good thing (doesn’t it?).
We all have weaknesses and it seems TWSBIs are mine. The Diamond Mini was one of 5 TWSBI pens I bought last year. My growing family of TWSBIs now stands at 7 – a Vac700 (currently a little poorly, but fixable), the gold Diamond Mini, an Eco, an Eco-T and three Diamond 580ALs (Lava, Turquoise and Rose).
It was an interesting year ink-wise. I followed the sheen bandwagon, graduating from the likes of Sailor, through Robert Oster to Blackstone and on to the Organics Studio sheen monsters Walden Pond Blue and Nitrogen Royal Blue. It was fun while it lasted, but perhaps you can have too much of a good thing. If the sheen obscures the base colour of the ink, maybe things have gone a little too far…
On the notebook front, I’m increasingly convinced that the Far East is where it’s at. Aside from continuing with the Hobonichi Techo – I’m on my third one (second direct from Japan) – I’ve been exploring the Life range of notebooks. As well as the Noble range, which is relatively well known, I’ve been impressed by the Tsubame (Swallow), Kappan and Renover books. Mnemosyne books have become my book of choice for work and I still have a real fondness for Midori’s MD books. My affection for Tomoe River paper remains undiminished, but it’s getting harder to come by in the UK at a sensible price, and there is still a (relative) dearth of books that use this paper.
KWZ’s Polish special edition inks have hit the UK, so time to hammer the bank account (again).
Targets for this year? Maybe I’ll finally commit to buying a Pelikan. Then again, I’ve procrastinated for a year already and still haven’t done anything about it. Birmingham Pen Company’s inks get good write ups, so maybe it’s time to give them a try. Colorverse inks seem to be the latest Instagram hit, maybe I’ll see what all the fuss is about.
Here’s to 2018. Let’s hope my grades improve…