A Peek at the Pen Cup: The “I Am So Normal” Edition

pen cup with fountain pens

Oh yeah, look at this pen cup. I only have five fountain pens going, and it’s good.

Nothing intentional: I haven’t been using the pens much lately. That’s because my recent work has been mostly on the computer, and I am not good at writing letters, so lately I’ve been cleaning out pens and putting them away.

I have to say, with five pens, I feel so normal.

The most recently inked is my Pelikan M605 White Transparent, because the temperature is nicely frosty here, and this pen feels wintery. It’s inked with Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall, an absolutely wonderful ink in my opinion. Pen and ink make a perfect pair, and I keep coming back to ths combination. This makes me wish I had something to write.

All my other pens have been inked up for a while. But I managed to put together a suitably Christmassy trio.

pelikan lamy fountain pens

Such a happy sight. Malibu Barbie Christmas.

The green pen is my Pelikan M205 Olivine, filled with Pelikan Edelstein Olivine — another great combination. I do have to clean this one out, because it’s been inked since I got it.

The pink pen is my Lamy Al-Star Vibrant Pink. It’s still loaded with a cartridge of Lamy Blue, mainly to keep cleaning out the feed after my Vibrant Pink ink disaster. But Lamy Blue is actually a very nice ink with this pen’s extra-fine nib, and I always like a blue ink, so this is a good combination, too.

The two pens that have been inked and re-inked the longest are what have turned into my core users. One is my long-serving Lamy Safari Charcoal with fine nib and black ink (currently Taccia Kuro). The other is a pen I bought this year and haven’t taken out of rotation since: a Sailor Professional Gear Earth with extra-fine nib, inked with Papier Plume Da Blue ink. I use these two all the time, the Safari because I can take it anywhere without worry, and the Sailor because its amazing extra-fine nib writes tiny scribbles with perfect smoothness.

I’ve actually been very busy, but it just doesn’t involve much writing with pens and ink. And frankly that’s been kind of … restful. Fountain pens and inks aren’t a job for me, just things that add a dash of delight and interest to the everyday. And that’s enough. So if pens and inks aren’t centered in my life, right now, that works. My pens and inks are easy-going; they will wait their turn.

I guess I’m using them when I can. In fact, I had to move this out of the way to take the pen cup photo.

field notes lamy safari cookbook

I was using the Safari to take notes there, because I’ve finally found the time to get into something that I’ve always wanted to do: serious bread-making. (Because people always ask: not with a bread machine, but just flour, yeast, water and salt, worked by hand and set on the counter to rise over the course of the day before being shaped by hand, and then popped onto an improvised hearth in the oven.)

So I’ve been up to my elbows in different kinds of flour, and experiments with different pre-ferments. (This cuts down on my texting a lot, too.) But I am trying to refine my technique, which means I’ve been making a lot of loaves of a basic hearth bread, tweaking a few things here or there, learning inputs and outputs, and writing them down. It’s very absorbing for me, and it’s really delicious. Also I’ve become more popular with the family. Winter’s a good time to heat up the kitchen and make food for people.

Today I’ve been hovering over my brand new sourdough starter like it’s a new baby, searching for life and activity. I should know better, though. If it’s really like a baby, that sourdough won’t start bubbling and fussing until I try to take a shower, or start a movie, or go out to dinner. And as it grows, it’s going to do the opposite of what I want. As it should! So, grow big, little sourdough, and grow free, and grow as and how you will. In the meantime, I’ll just leave this here: I’m going to go walk the dog now, then I’m going to start a movie….

12 thoughts on “A Peek at the Pen Cup: The “I Am So Normal” Edition

  1. Bread making! Omg, that is the best thing ever. I’m so excited for you! And, don’t worry, my mom basically catered professionally for about ten years and even she sometimes has bread-making fails! Also (and sorry for boring you with this if you already know but I’ve met people who didn’t) – you can always turn the fails into rusks (sometimes called a biscuit? Like, because it’s bis [twice] – cuit [baked]? But I think I remember something about American biscuits being something else entirely so, don’t quote me on that lol). Just slice the loaf and shove it back in the oven on low to dry it out. Lasts ages too, since they’re already dry. Loads of cooking uses, and even more snacking ones. What I’m trying to say is, you don’t have to eat French toast for days in a row. (Although you could totally do that! No judgment here).

    And yeah, that’s a very ~restrained~ pen cup. I love that the pens not only match each other, but the cup. Very satisfying.


  2. Your posts always make my day. This should tell you a great deal about my life!! Your intellect and sense of humor are wonderful. I also respect your catholic tastes in music. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that would do it!

      Not only would I no longer feel “normal,” but also … new pets! And one of them might turn out to be a prince or princess, and I do have children to marry off, and I’d love to live in their castle(s), and … frankly, this sounds like a genius idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s useful to know that there is a way out of the fountain pen obsession, and that almost ‘normal person’ levels of pen cup occupancy are achievable even if involves work, dog walking and baking bread. And if your bread making is anything like as thorough as your pen and ink testing then it must be quite something.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Laura. Love the Malibu Barbie Christmas – what a great combination of pens and inks. That Bayou Nightfall looks very interesting. I inked up a couple of pens yesterday to start writing some Christmas cards and letters – Lamy LX came back into use filled with Waterman Tender Purple and my Waterman Hemisphere Rose Cuivre is now sporting Graf von Faber Castell Moss Green – a real favourite of mine. My other Hemisphere has been flushed out and today I will decide what to fill it with. I have basic Cross Black in my Cross Century II so that is being the solid, serious pen of the bunch.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A few thoughts come to mind:

    * Normal is for losers.
    * Bread-making/baking is an activity I consider done by gods and goddesses.
    * By the end of the post, I was starting to wonder what you had been smoking.

    In any event, while I very mildly congratulate you on deflating the flotilla of pens you more usually have, I am fighting the urge to break into your house and fill up a bunch of your pens. A couple cupfulls. Then again, you live far away, so you are safe. It has been a stressful couple of days, and when I came home and read this post I laughed a lot and it helped to ease things. Thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re welcome, and I’m so glad to hear that. Also, you made me laugh, too. 🙂

      I am kind of a goddess, yes. That totally works. I would have plumped for Diana, perhaps, or Minerva, but Ceres works, too. I like it!

      Liked by 2 people

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