PigPog and Cult Pens

Regular readers will probably have noticed that many of our pen reviews mention and link to Cult Pens. At first, we just happened to buy some pens there, and linked to them because we liked the pens and the shop. Soon, they started giving us a little discount on our purchases in return for the linking, then they started sending us a few freebies to try out (always disclosed in the review). Well, the relationship is about to change a bit more.

Things aren’t fully settled yet – there’s an office move that’s trying to happen alongside it all – but all being well, as of the end of December, we’ll be working at Cult Pens.

Moleskine City Books

Latest Update: The City Books should be in stores from the start of November – Moleskinerie has details of stockists in the US and Canada. Thanks, Armand!


There’s an interesting new announcement from MoleskineArt about the Moleskine City Book. It has an odd mix of features…

  • They’ll have some city information printed in them – maps, street indexes, etc.
  • Detachable sheets, much like some of the current models have.
  • Blank pages.
  • Translucent sheets for tracing – a quick way of copying a map, for example.
  • Adhesive labels.

European Cities, available later this year…

Everything Must GO!

UPDATE – The copy of Getting Things Done I had for sale is now sold. Sorry folks. But there’s plenty more to see!

In keeping with the spirit of the season, as the trees shed their leaves so must we shed books, CDs, DVDs, pens, electronics and all manner of unwanted hoo-haa. Yep, we’re having a much needed clearout of all of our stuff, and you, humble viewer, have the opportunity to obtain some of our once-treasured possessions!

Lamy Safari Review

Update: Removed the mention of the PigPog shop. We gave up, and put the stuff on eBay instead.


The Lamy Safari is a fairly cheap fountain pen – perhaps the cheapest you can get that’s actually good.

Lamy Safari - Close up of Nib

(Click any pictures to see them on Flickr, with notes, comments, and bigger sizes available.)

  • Plain ABS plastic casing.
  • Simple design.
  • Takes cartriges or a converter, but the converter is not supplied. Budget a little extra if you want to use bottled ink.

Parker 45 Fountain Pen Review

I had a few Parker pens when I was growing up, including a Jotter that used to belong to my Granddad. At the time, I thought they were very nice, classy pens. As I grew up, I realised that they were actually quite cheap, and not very good quality. That perception has stayed with me, and put me off Parker pens.

When reading up about fountain pens, I’ve become much more aware of Parker’s history, and they have made some of the greatest pens around. The Parker 51, for example, is widely acknowledged as one of the best fountain pens ever made. I’d seen the 45 in Staples a couple of times, and thought it looked very nice, for a Parker. I’m often taken by pens with unusual nibs, so the partially-hooded design of the 45 caught my eye.

Recently, though, I read Richard Binder’s profile of the Parker 45, and realised that this is one of the originals. The 45 was introduced in 1960, and has just gone out of production this year. If I didn’t get one now, they could be gone for good.

Parker 45, Cap On, On Paper

Does it write well? Does it reaffirm my feelings that Parkers are just a bit cheap, and not very good? Or is it a real Parker, from they days when they were at the top?

And why is my Lamy Safari in the drawer?

Time for a bit of good old-fashioned cat blogging

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It’s been too long since I last talked about the cats. And since it’s Sweeney’s 6th birthday next week, and there’s always plenty to say about her, I thought I’d indulge in a bit of good old-fashioned cat blogging. Because she’s there, she’s cute, and she’s a total nutjob.

Sweeney came into our family in October 2000, replacing the still-much-missed JessPuss. When we met her for the first time, she was in a cage at the Radcliffe Animal Shelter, waiting patiently for a new home and a new name (at that time she was called “Ethal”). She somehow managed to persuade us that she was the cat for us, none other would do, and we had to take her home there and then. Which we did. When we introduced her to her new home, she ran around the place, knocking over anything that was in her way and generally tearing around like a cop car in a cheesy 70s TV car chase. It was at this point we realised this cat was no Ethal, she was either a Bodie, a Doyle, a Starsky, a Hutch or indeed, a Sweeney. And lo, from that point, the mad little furball was renamed Sweeney.

She’s developed many odd interests since she came to live with us. She loves to sleep on dirty laundry. She likes to lick carrier bags. She thinks my arm is the best scratching post in the entire house. And she loves to play fetch – preferably with balls of rolled-up masking tape. She loves her sunbeams and will do anything to reach the optimum position for enjoying them. Her aim in life is to be where she shouldn’t be, and to eat what we’re having. She’s as daft as a brush and we love her to bits.

Happy birthday, you mentil kittin. Now get down from there!

Blog Advertising with Performancing Partners

You may notice some new ads on the right, from Performancing – we’re experimenting with their new advertising network. Looks like it should run alongside Google AdSense safely enough (they don’t look like Google ads, and they’re not contextual, so they should stay on the right side of Google’s ToS). They’re just in the process of launching (haven’t even officially announced yet), and don’t have any advertisers, but it might be kind of interesting to experience something like this from the beginning. Plus, they seem like nice guys.

If you have a blog, and fancy giving it a go, you can read more at Performancing Partners, and if you go there from here and sign up, we should even get a bonus as a percentage of what you make.