Pens and Photos

I Should Blog More

I should blog more. That’s hardly an original start to a blog post, especially one on a long-neglected blog, but there you go.

I’m using Emacs for much of my day-to-day stuff at the moment, working in PlannerMode. I never use the ‘Schedule’ section (I use Google Calendar), so I’ve changed it to ‘Blog’ instead, with the idea of tapping a blog post into it during the day, then posting at the end of the day. If you’re reading this, it worked. Once.

So, what’s been happening recently? We’re still enjoying Devon. My calculator obsession seems to have faded somewhat, leaving me quite settled with the HP 12C financial calculator. There are far more powerful things around, but they’re sitting unused in a drawer. The 12C just does the basics really nicely.

I’m left with my current obsessions being pens, notebooks and Emacs.


I have bought a few new pens recently:

A Sheaffer Tucky Vacuum-Fil set. I bought these on eBay, at a surprisingly good price. They work perfectly, and the vacuum-fil mechanism works smoothly, giving a good fill. They date back to somewhere between 1943 and 1949, so they’re doing well to still be going and in such good condition.

A few cheapies from an antiques shop in Sidmouth. I pop into antique shops from time to time, but I’ve never before actually found any fountain pens. This time, there was a little box full on the counter, £3 each. I grabbed an unknown lever filler, in full working order, a Sheaffer No Nonsense cartridge pen, a four-colour ballpoint, and a Conway Stewart No 116.

The Conway Stewart is the most interesting of the bunch – not a fountain pen as we know them now, but an ‘Ink Pencil’. The nib is like the nib in a real technical pen, like a Rotring Isograph. It’s a metal tube with a wire in the middle. The wire is pushed up by the paper, and moves a weighted seal to stop the ink from flowing. It has cleaned up quite nicely, but needs a new sac. I’ve ordered a set of sacs from Ian at Cathedral Pens, so I should be able to get it fixed up when they arrive.

I’ve also finally bought something from Andy’s Pens – a Sheaffer Clipper Snorkel, and a (reasonably) matching pencil. It’s a very nice looking pen, with a good smooth fine nib.


I’ve been taking plenty of photos recently, but not getting around to processing them and uploading them. I’ve been catching up on that a lot today – lots of new pics in my Flickr Photostream – you can just start at this one and keep clicking on the next in the photostream to go through them, if you like.

Some of the best ones to finish this up on, then I shall wallow in the bath for a long time before it’s Top Gear time…

Sheaffer Clipper Snorkel Nib

Vintage Computing Museum - Macintosh Classic, iMac, iBook

Vintage Computing Museum - Donkey Kong

Tern in Flight

Corner Pigeon 2

Sunrise from our Flat


Maybe if this idea works out, I’ll post again in less than a month.


4 thoughts on “Pens and Photos

  1. How are you getting on with your Sheaffer No Nonsense pen? I like mine. I have several of the most common (not the latest) type, all bought new, but I don’t have your experience of up-market pens with gold nibs etc. PenHero has an article on No Nonsense pens here:

    No Nonsense pens turn up fairly frequently on eBay, still some unused ones, usually quite low prices, though the posher ones with gold-plated (not solid gold!) nibs and marbled or chased barrels are rarer and more expensive. eBay occasionally turns up the first type of Calligraphy Set which has one black-barrelled pen, three nibs in Broad, Medium and Fine italic, and four cartridges of different-coloured inks. Nice way to get a variety of nib widths.

  2. Sam has the No Nonsense, but I don’t think she’s used it much yet. They’re supposed to be good little pens, though, and can even be used as eyedropper fillers if you add a bit of silicone grease to the barrel threads.

  3. Hi Charles,

    Glad you like it – the No 5 Fountain Pen was our favourite of the new range – the nib is quite similar to old Parker pens from the 80s.

  4. Just a quick note to say that the Platignum No 5 FP received very recently from Cult Pens ( great service, thank you) is a fabulous throw back to my school days and the platignums and osmiroids that i used to then love. Only had it a few hours but it write very nicely. Am using Private Reserve ink in the converter so have to see how things go as it beds in . First impressions – very nice looking and writes well, comfortable size and grip.



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