Kaweco| Perkeo

I love it when packages arrive.  I especially love it when the packages contain pens. I really, really love it when the packages contain TWO pens!

Kaweco tin - can take two pens - costs about £5.00

Meet the new Kaweco Perkeos!

rotating images in Blogger is a head-ache....

I'm liking this ink!

Did you know that Perkeo was the tiny court jester for the Elector Palatine Charles III Philip of Heidelberg in the 1700s? Oh yes, the story goes that this little man had an unquenchable appetite for wine.  One day, in his 80s, he went to the doctor, complaining of feeling unwell.  The doctor prescribed water, an element that hitherto had not passed Perkeo's lips.  Within a day of drinking water Perkeo had popped his clogs.

Moral - if you drink gallons of wine a day, don't bother going to the doctor.

Anyway .... I don't know whether there is a link between jester Perkeo and Kaweco's Perkeo, but there ARE most definitely links that I can see.

For a start, this pen is much larger than the small pocket pens that I associate with Kaweco.  The Sport takes a teeny weeny convertor, but the barrel of the Perkeo is so long that it can accommodate a spare standard sized cartridge.

And indeed, these each have an empty standard cartridge stashed in the barrel for refilling on the go.

Do these pens take a standard-sized convertor? I was too scared to plug one of mine in case I ruined it.  But I'm thinking that they will.

So, a little guy with a huge capacity for liquid? Sounds like Perkeo to me!

The Perkeo has the recognisable Kaweco octagonal cap and it pops on and off with a satisfying click. The cap can be posted - which I like in a pen.  Makes the whole pen longer and keeps cap and pen together.

The section has a triangular appearance, reminiscent of a LAMY.  So, if you find a LAMY comfortable, then you'l find the Perkeo comfortable.

The two colourways that we have here are 'Bad Taste' in black/pink and 'Indian Summer' in black/gold.  Now, I appreciate that these are entry level fountain pens that retail for about £15.00 but I am not really attracted to the range of colours that the Perkeo is offered in.  I like Bad Taste, but Indian Summer is too mustardy for me.  But hey, different strokes for different folks, right?

Speaking of strokes, these pens came with different nib sizes (marked on the steel nibs): Indian Summer had a Medium nib and Bad Taste has a Fine nib.  I couldn't tell much difference, but then, I'm still a bit of a noob at this lark.

I can't tell the difference.
Don't look at my terrible paper.  DON'T LOOK, I TELL YOU!
At under £20 per pen, these are nice writers and will make great entry-level pens (or, indeed pens that you don't mind letting other people 'try').  They are capable of providing loads of ink with that spare cartridge option and are nice and light in the hand.

I'm not LOVING the colour schemes, but if someone gave me one, I'd be really happy to own a Kaweco Perkeo.

...and if Kaweco get back to me and the court jester has got nothing to do with this pen at all, I'm going to look really silly.  But YOU my friends, have got another bit of useless information for the next pub quiz.

Edit:  YES!  The lovely people at Kaweco have confirmed that this is the one and the same Perkeo that they named their pen after!  22/1/18

Diamine Ink | Hope Pink

Since the new LAMY is going to be vibrant pink, I thought I'd get myself a pink ink - just in case the LAMY one is too vibrant to read easily on white paper.

Diamine is my ink company of choice for lots of reasons:

1     They have a huge range of colours - including shimmer inks.
2     The bottles come in 30ml or 80ml sizes
3     The 30ml bottles are under £3.00
4     They are made in the UK

The ones that float my 'pink' boat are these ones:


Deep Magenta

Hope Pink

And as if that wasn't all splendid enough, Hope Pink raises money for Cancer Research when you buy it, so everybody wins!

I sent some questions off to Diamine about the ink.  Diamine said: "Hope Pink was introduced in 2009.   After the loss of a family member we thought it would be a nice idea to make a contribution to  cancer research for each bottle we sold through our website.

"Sadly, Pink is not one of our most popular colours, but pleased to say, to date, we have accrued £864.    We have taken the view that whichever is reached first, either the 10th Anniversary, or £1000 the cheque will be forwarded."

Isn't that a really worthwhile reason to buy a bottle of ink?!  Well, I HAD to buy it.

I recently ordered a bottle of Hope Pink in 30ml and have been pootering around with it with my brand spanky new dip pen (thank you Ania!) and gosh - aren't dip pens fabulous?

Here's some pix: Well, there would have been pix if I hadn't lost my Sony Cybershot somewhere.  Gutted.

Pink can be sweet and powderpuffy, but this is most definitely the sort of pink that kicks ass.  If it was a flower, it would be a gerbera.

(Imagine pix of magnificently calligraphied alphabet, name, price, company, quick brown fox etc) :D

If you have a fountain-pen friend who needs a little hopeful pep in their pen, buy them a bottle of this.

What are you waiting for?

LAMY | Vibrant Pink

This li'l teaser video that I picked up via Goulet Pens about the imminent LAMY in vibrant pink really appealed to me.

LAMY already has a fountain pen in fuchsia pink, in their Safari range.  THIS new one is from their Al Star range.  This means that the new pen will have a shiny metallic body as opposed to the Safari's plastic finish.

I wonder whether that vibrant pink might deter as many people as it attracts - would you hesitate before whisking out your pink pen in a business meeting more than you would if it was, say, ultraviolet (THE Pantone colour of 2018, people)? But then, maybe a vibrant pink pen is just the thing to tempt a non-user of fountain pens into the fold? 

I've already got a Safari and an Al Star - do I need another one? 

Let's be frank with each other here.  NONE of us needs any more fountain pens.  BUT we WANT them.  And if you want a fountain pen, a LAMY AL Star is a very affordable habit to develop. So, YOU BETCHA, I'll be looking for one of these when it comes out! 

You will be able to buy it with a choice of nib - remember that LAMY also supply left-handed nibs if you are buying for a south paw like m'self.

There will be a vibrant pink ink to go with this pen and I'll be interested to see how useable that ink is.  I have got some vibrant green which I simply cannot use because it's so difficult to read against a pale page.  Will the pink be easier on the eye?

What do you think of the bright pink? 

Wing Sung | 698

The joy and pain of ordering pens that come from China is:

Joy: They are inexpensive
Pain:  It takes weeks for them to arrive.
Joy: It arrives and you have completely forgotten that you ordered a Wing Sung 698

So, after ordering weeks and weeks ago, it arrived.  It is pretty - a demonstrator type (my preferred kind of pen at the moment) with silver coloured trim.

The cap has got a nice silvery pattern on the finial and reads Wing S (plus some Chinese characters) and 698 and on the clip it says LUCKY. Ha! More of that later.

Wing Sung 698 and writing sample

Transparent feed and section  - purty, ain't it? 

It's a piston-filer. I must be getting more adept at filling pens because I managed to ink it up with some Astorquiza Rot from Robert Oster and not turn the bathroom into a facsimile of a slaughter house.  I was immediately taken with the fact that I could see the shine of the ink shade in the feed and section as well as in the barrel. This means that your pen will look different every time you ink it up in a new colour!

How did it write? A nice fine nib produced a nice fine line with no hiccups or spotting or anything unpleasant at all.  The only downside for me is that the cap cannot be posted onto the pen body.  And I like keeping my pen and cap together.

Does that nib look like a baby's bum to you? It seems to, on camera - but it writes nicely, I promise you.  It's a fine nib and I think that it's steel.

So, I popped the pen into my handbag along with a few others and headed off to visit my mother.  I wrote a couple of pages of journal notes with the handful of pens that I carried in my bag.  The Wing Sung was lovely to use and to look at. I believe that it is 'inspired' by the TWSBI Eco.

Cut to a couple of days later when I decide that I wanted to fill it with one of the Diamine Shimmer Ink samples that I had been sent.

Reader, I could not find it anywhere.

The office was turned upside down.  Which is always fraught because I never get around to putting everything back.  So my office ends up untidier than when I started.

I took my handbag and completely emptied it.  I returned all the pens to the pen stand.  No Wing Sung.  Still, at least I managed to get rid of a lot of receipts from the fluff at the bottom of my bag.

The hunt continued for a few more days.  Sometimes with me getting out of bed at nearly midnight to explore a pocket or a drawer that the pen might somehow have ended up in.

Nowhere.  The pen was nowhere.

The last place that I saw it had been my handbag.  I turned my bag upside down for a second time, shaking out crumbs, orphaned pennies and paperclips but no pen.

'Look,' said Tartarus kindly (but a little exasperatedly) was it an expensive pen? If not, go and order another one.  I can't be doing with you 'tidying' up and looking for it.  The house is a mess.'

So I ordered myself another one.

Then I put all thoughts of the Wing Sung to one side and got on with my work.  This work involved going to the post office.

In the post office, I pulled my purse out of my bag and in one of the side pockets, I could see a plastic pen glinting.  Surely, it couldn't be?

Reader, it was.  The Wing Sung WAS IN MY HANDBAG.

Had it been there all along?! How was that even possible after being tipped out onto the carpet. TWICE.

I marched home and asked Tartarus and an equally bemused Sonshine whether they had removed the pen from my bag and then hidden it again before I went to the post office.  My son pointed out that if he had wanted to gaslight me, it wouldn't be with a fountain pen.  My husband pointed out that he wouldn't have urged me to buy a replacement if he'd purloined the original one for a joke.

Oh yeah, the replacement.  It's a Wing Sung 618. It will arrive the week before Christmas.  So, like I said at the beginning .... LUCKY ;D

Start Bay TN cover | Bullet Journalling

So this is a combi post today - bullet journal woes and Start Bay Notebooks.

I got interested in bullet journalling just over a year ago.  I should have realised that when your OCD friend introduces you to something it is going to be VERY organised. VERY.

Well, not only was it organised (which, believe me, I NEED!), but the groups that I ended up joining we so crammed full of beautifully illustrated journals that my own paltry offering palled into nothingness and I ended up really quite stressed at all the bells and whistles that people use when journalling - tape, ribbons, elastics, printables, stickers, charms  *hyperventilates just thinking about it*.

My mum says that buying art supplies and using art supplies are two entirely different hobbies, and so it is with bullet journalling, I think.  Surely the act of creation of many of these magnificent journals is a hobby in itself?

I ended up leaving most of the groups and feeling quite bummed out about the whole thing.  Which is a shame because, as I said, it's all about being organised.

Cut to January of this year *does the wavery hands time shift thing* and I decided to give it another bash. This time on MY terms.  And those terms, dear reader, involved a black biro (I know - PERFIDY!) a fountain pen and a ruler.

And guess what? I've been bullet journalling since January like this (with the odd - temporary - foray into washi tape and coloured pencils) and it is absolutely the best way to keep track of my life!

Now, enter stage left, Start Bay Journals and the delights of a Traveller's Notebook.  I'm sticking with the 'Traveller' not 'Traveler' because: Scottish, not American.  These journals are abbreviated to TN (avoids all transatlantic fall-outs over spelling for a start) and they are my New Best Friend.

I got a couple of TNs from Rob at Personalised Stationery in unlined and dot grid and have been using them to record all sorts of things.  Mostly quotes from Senecca at the moment, if I'm honest.  And some terrible sketches in the unlined one ....

The paper is just GREAT for fountain pen use as I've mentioned before and I have been throwing one or other of the notebooks into my handbag for use on the ferry or whenever I've got something that I want to keep a note of (it's amazing how often the Muse strikes when you've actually got a pen and something to record in!)

However, there's no getting away from it - without a cover, your journal can get dog-eared pretty quickly.

I went on the hunt for a cover for my TNs.

There are lots of lovely leather covers out there - usually with one elastic fitted down the spine to allow you to slot in your TN and with an elastic that slides around the belly, to hold the whole thing closed in your handbag or knapsack.

I get a bit antsy when it comes to buying leather things from countries where I don't know too much about their animal welfare, so I knew that I was looking for a British company.  I know.  I'm pathetic.  I am a shit vegetarian who loves leather.  Although I have not tasted bacon for 18 months now, so am quietly proud of that.

I also wanted more than one elastic in my journal cover - I can't imagine me and a leather bradawl without also picturing a jaunt to A&E ...

And I also wanted something that felt ... kinda broken in ... with a no-nonsense aesthetic.

Lo! Start Bay Notebooks journal cover fits my particular bill!  This costs £42.00 and is, therefore, slightly less expensive than the Midori TN cover (Midori being the benchmark of quality journal covers for me).  It's also made in delightful Devon!

This Start Bay cover will make a classy gift to someone special.

It arrives in a lovely little unbleached cotton bag ....

decorated with the Start Bay Notebooks logo in leather

And voila! The TN sized notebook cover.  Start Bay offer lots of different sized notebooks with different finished and even different colours of closing elastics (this one is the 'original dark brown' option).

Accept no imitations 
the logo should also be stamped into the leather on the rear.

The journal cover comes with one notebook to get you started.  
It has four elastics to hold your TNs in place.

Like So!

BTW - if you want something more personalised - feel free to add charms! Start Bay have a lovely selection of charms that begin at a quid - aeroplanes, dragonflies, skull and crossbones etc.  AND pen loops for £3.50.  AND self-adhesive pockets (perfect for storing receipts and tickets) at £3.50 for three.

But it can comfortably take quite a few.  
I think that they recommend a bundle of inserts up to 20mm 
in depth.  But why stop there, is what I say!

Here's me adding notebooks that still leaves plenty space free for 

Step 1
Make a large loop of elastic 
(I used a nice dark brown one to match the existing)
Slide the elastic into the centre pages of two journals to hold them together. 

Like so.

Step 2

Take your two notebooks that are now looped together and slide beneath one of the elastics that run down the spine of your journal cover.

Like this.

And look - you have inserted your journals
AND there is still space for more to be added!

Celebrate with a gin and tonic and book yourself a cheap flight to Italy. Or Birmingham.  Wherever! 
You are now prepared for all travel-writing emergencies!

You're welcome!


A quick look at the contents of one of the inserts - unlined.  And scribbles by my fountain pen.  I can't remember the ink name.  But it's purty, ain't it? I must start swatching inks so that I can remember which one is which! 

Diamine | Wine Divine

The second of the sample vials sent to me for review from the Diamine Shimmer range of inks is Wine Divine.

This is a splendid dark plum shade with a very subtle gleam.  In fact, for me, the gleam was so subtle that if I didn't know that it was there, I might not see it.

Maybe I am just spoiled because Firefly performed so brilliantly, glittering over the page like an, erm, firefly.

So, in the interests of impartiality (and having another try at the Firefly) I wrote the same copy in my little Rhodia journal and here it is along with Firefly.

Diamine: Firefly

Diamine: Wine Divine
For me, Firefly gives a lot more shimmer bang for your buck than Wine Divine.  However, these inks do need to be well-shaken before you load them into your pen.  Perhaps I did not shake my Wine Divine vial for long enough.

I like the shading with this ink, even if the sheen is not as noticeable as the Firefly.

If you make the photographs large, you CAN see the shimmer in Wine Divine and when it does gleam, it's very pretty.  But I need more gleam than my WD writing sample currently shows.

I have one other Diamine Shimmer sample to look at and it's called Citrus Ice.  I will get a pen filled with it this week!

My brand new Wing Sung 618 has been lost somewhere on the high seas. Well, on the ferry.  I have turned the house upside down looking for it, but it's nowhere to be found.  Nothing else to do I guess but order myself another one .... *falls on sword*

Diamine Ink | Firefly

I was lucky enough to receive two samples from the new inks that Diamine have added to their hugely popular 'shimmer' range' - Firefly and Wine Divine.  That's 32 inks in the Shimmer range alone!

Firefly is one of my real-life favourite colours - the amazing red/orange of a roaring fire shot through with a golden glimmer.  I used a Jinhao 992 with a fine nib and yes, I could see the sheen of gold even with a fine line!

I'm discovering that glitter is quite tricky to photograph, but here's my attempt:

I am really sorry about the scrabbling noise in this, my big greyhound was re-arranging his blanket and I've only just noticed the noise that he was making.  Sooooreee! Watch with sound down and expand to fill the screen to see the shimmer.  I think I'll redo this video tomorrow, but at least it lets you see hints of the gleam *poor lighting in the office face*

So, this is in a lovely little notebook from Personalised Stationery that has Fedrigani paper which fountain pen friendly paper (no bleed, tiny shine through but nothing that would prevent you from writing on the other side).  Do you see the glimmer when I move the page back and forth?

This will absolutely be my ink of choice when it comes to writing out the ol' Christmas cards for me this year because it is such a cheerful shade.

I've also had a practice run with it in my cheapo jotter from The Factory Shop and I'm still getting the gleam when the paltry November light falls across the page!

I can imagine that in a broad nib (or a calligrapher's hands) Firefly will be absolutely stunning.  I love to support British businesses when I can and Diamine Inks have been making inks in the UK since 1864.  In other news, it's under a tenner for 50 gorgeous mls of the stuff, so all in all, this is a winner for me!

I've got Divine Wine to look at too ... just as soon as I can find where my other half has 'tidied' it away to, I'll pop that up here too.