This is the last day of November. The Christmas tree is up and decorated. And we’ve only had four of the light bulbs fizzle in 24 hours, so there’s at least a 10 percent chance it will stay lit all season.
And we’ve already triggered our traditional winter visit to the auto body shop. Yesterday the teenager with the learner’s permit borked a right turn, ran over the curb and rammed into a sign post.
Luckily, that did stop the car. So it didn’t hit the two neighbors right there on the sidewalk. That’s a silver lining. And here’s another: we’ve mutually agreed that dad needs to take her in the future. Apparently I yelled “stop” too much.
Well, it’s obviously time to focus on the past, rather than the future. So here are my own fountain pen favorites for November.
1. Kaweco. I love those AL-Sports in raw aluminum and stonewashed.
2. Seitz-Kreuznach. Those inks are such a great deal and such high quality that if I were starting out today I’d snap up the blue, black, red and brown Seitz-Kreuznach inks and probably use them for half my writing.
3. Pelikan Brilliant Black. Sure, it’s not exciting, or new. But I used Pelikan Brilliant Black a lot during a hellish month of work this November. And I appreciate it. It’s an ink I can count on.
Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.
I didn’t actually buy any pens on Black Friday but I got something even better. I finally had time to open a box from my friend Dan Smith, the Nibsmith, and pull out the two Architect’s nibs I had ordered. Dan ground them from Kaweco Classic Sport nibs, one in broad and one in medium.
Custom Edison with medium nib. Brian Gray made me this Edison in tortoise lucite in a clipless cigar style. It features one of Edison’s excellent gold nibs in medium, which is positively cushy.
I love the material.
It’s inked with a sample from a friend of Diamine Racing Green. Made by Diamine exclusively for Missing Pen, a German eBay dealer, Diamine Racing Green is based on the discontinued Montblanc Racing Green ink.
I’ve never used the original Racing Green, but I’ve seen it in letters. This Diamine version looks lighter and greener, but it’s still a nice color, with a lot of shading, and I feel very lucky I’ve gotten to try it. I might mix some with a bit of black, to see how that looks.
Montblanc 146 with broad nib. Admittedly, I am not the world’s biggest user of broad nibs, but my favorites are those made by Montblanc. Not than just wider, the Montblanc broad nib is stubbish, with a thinner cross-stroke and wider down-stroke.
I have it inked with Kaweco Ruby Red, a color I like a lot.
Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun. A gray ink with a pronounced blue tint, Fuyu-syogun bears the English name of Old Man Winter, which is entirely appropriate. A beautiful ink with great shading. Cool and evocative rather than insistent.
An everyday ink? Like winter, probably most enjoyable for a season, not an entire year.
Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-ho. An unusual color, Ina-ho is a gold that leans green and brown instead of the usual yellow. Pilot describes the color as inspired by “a vast field brimming with waves of golden rice ears.” I think of a wheat field. And I think it’s beautiful. It’s well-behaved, too.