An Unexpected Discovery: the Parker 45 Flighter (I think)

Slight warning: Bit of an unstructured read today.

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I don’t know exactly where I got this pen. I think it came from my mum; she must’ve given me a pencil case and said, “you can have this and everything in it.” It might’ve even come from my grandfather/her father. I don’t really know. All I know is that I did not buy it myself. I found it in the pen roll/case thing I keep most of my fountain pens in, pulled it out, cleaned it up and then did a little research on it.

Apparently, it’s a Parker 45 Flighter – the UK version (due to the lack of a black bit on the end? I don’t know). It does have “made in the UK” stamped on the lid as well as a “45” and “Parker” with the little logo. There’s no mistaking that arrow shaped clip though. I’m not sure exactly how old this particular one is, but I think Parker started producing the Flighters in 1964? But, I think this particular one is from the 1970s. Again, I’m not sure, so feel free to correct me if you know.

Let’s see. It’s about 136mm when it’s capped and… just under 130mm uncapped. According to the research I’ve done, it’s “brushed stainless steel with a 14ct nib and gold trimmings” (that’ll be the clip and the ring around the black plastic grip section). The nib is a Medium on this one. It’s in pretty good condition actually. You can still see the “brushed” part of the stainless steel, but it’s got a few little marks on it. As one would expect for a metal pen that was kicking around inside a pencil case alongside who knows what.

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When I was given it… Or when I re-found it, there wasn’t a cartridge or a converter in it, but that’s no big deal to me. I have a lot of cartridges and a couple of the Parker converters kicking around. Because it’s a fairly old (to me!) pen though, I think I’ll stick with Parker cartridges.

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t expect to put the cartridge in, give it a minute and then for it to work as soon as the nib touched the paper. Not with how long this pen had been sitting around, unclean and unused for (a long time. A very, very long time. Easily more than five years. Probably more than seven.) To be honest, I didn’t expect it to work at all, but after a couple of minutes holding the pen nib down and after a couple of gentle dips in water, the ink started flowing. Paler than it was supposed to be, naturally due to the water, but it was working.

Man, using it was a struggle though. I was writing on the Arc paper from Staples and I had to keep going back over my letters. Only a couple of letters at a time though, not whole words or anything. But it seemed to be struggling considerably, thus making the writing sample very difficult to get through. So, I tried it on some cheap printer paper. That worked like a charm, so I don’t know. Maybe it’s to do with the coating on the Arc paper, maybe it’s because the pen hasn’t been used in donkey’s years and needs awhile to get going.

I am really sorry for my utterly horrible handwriting in this, by the way. It’s even more terrible than normal.
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Can I blame the pen for being… Disagreable? I don’t think I can at this point in time – mostly because I literally stuck a cartridge in and wrote the samples with it – I didn’t use it for about a week or so like I normally do. I personally think that as soon as the ink starts flowing through the feed a bit more, it’ll work just fine. And if it doesn’t like more expensive papers? That doesn’t bother me – not every piece of paper I write on has to be Rhodia or Clairefontaine or whatever. I have plenty of paper that isn’t.

I’m surprised I own this thing, to be honest. Well, actually, no. If it came from my mother or my grandfather, I’m not. My grandfather is the type of man to use a fountain pen, and my mother is the type to pick up on her dad’s habits. Plus I think fountain pens were just… The things you used, when she was at school. It seems like the sort of pen he would’ve given her, and she’s the type to pass things down to me so, no I guess I’m not surprised I’ve got it. That is, if it came from my family at all. I think it did; I’m not entirely sure where else it would’ve or could’ve come from. But! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I’m going to put it through some more vigarious use soon and then I’ll see how it does, but if I can only use it on cheaper paper, that’s no big deal – I care more about where it came from. I really am more of a sentimental kinda gal.

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#bookaday 3

One with a blue cover.

There were several options here with varying tales of interest behind them (The Fault in Our Stars, Foe, a collection of Sassoon poetry, Young Bond, Morpurgo) but I thought I go with one slightly more personal.

The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim by Jonathan Coe.

Not my favourite book by Coe by any way (that honour is and will probably always be The Rotters Club) but it is the book that I bought when I met him at a local book signing. I was at the back of the queue and had gone over and over what I was going to say, or wanted to say at least. I don’t remember now what actually came out of my mouth but something hopefully understandable did.

terrible privacy

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‘ye

Good morning my doves.

It is absolutely sweltering warm in the UK today, and has been for the last… Week? Maybe? At least since the Friday, maybe. We’ve had a little rain in the evenings here and there but it hasn’t really helped. We’re not used to this weather at all. Me especically, which you might think is weird considering the fact that I’m a “summer baby” – being born in August and all. Well, at the end of August, the 29th. (Oh god I’m 25 this year that’s terrifying). I was supposed to be an early Autumn baby but no. Apparently I wanted to see the world early.

Anyway!

I’ve fallen into the world of eyedropper fountain pens recently. I think it started with getting a… Airmail/Wality fountain pen. I think that’s what they’re called. Actually no. It started with my love of clear/demonstrator fountain pens. I just like seeing the ink; that’s why I like clear barrels so much. It’s a quirk. When I was looking for another, new one on eBay, I came across an Airmail pen. Ordered it, it arrived, inked it up, boom love. And then, a couple of my pen friends on Twitter (and obviously Brad and Myke on the podcast) started talking about Franklin-Christoph pens and… Ooof, those things are attractive. If money were no object, I’ll take the Smoke and Ice version with the 1.1mm nib. It’s on my grail pen list now. Along with like, four or five others I think. Maybe one day I’ll get at least one. We’ll see.

Here’s a link to the review that madde me think “I actually NEED this pen” – Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic fountain pen review by Pens! Paper! Pencils!

So, I started hunting around for other eyedroppers. I didn’t have much luck. One evening I was watching one of the Goulet Q&A videos and I was reminded that, hey hang on a minute – the Platinum Preppy makes an awesome eyedropper, and you have two kicking around – one of which isn’t doing anything. So, naturally, I hopped over to CultPens and ordered two more (along with a pen-eraser thing because I can never find my other ones and I figured that if I had one in a pen cup, I’d have a bigger chance of finding it). So now I have four Platinum Preppy fountain pens in my pen cup; two in 0.3 and two in 0.5, all different colours. I’m going to use up the ink and then I’m going to tinker and turn them into eyedroppers. And the best thing is, they’re cheap (I think like ¬£3 a pen) so if they break, it’s not really a big deal. Unless it’s full of ink.

I shall let you know how this goes for me.

Until next week!

Danni

x

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#OneBookJuly2014 – Slightly late introduction and a late report on Week One.

Looking back on it, I should’ve written about this last week. But hey, what can you do? I was inspired¬† last week and I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth when that happens.

Anyway.

This month, I am taking part in this:

1Book1Pen1Month

Here’s a link to a YouTube playlist of all the tagged videos.

Because who am I to resist a challenge? I have so many pocket sized notebooks lying around, I thought, why not?

I should mention that I have only downsized for my journalling, not for my daily writing, bceause that’s a bit too disruptive and I only use one pen and one notebook a month for that anyway. (A month is about the average time it takes me to get through one A5 notebook for my daily writing anyway, so I’ve kinda been doing it for years. Maybe not the one pen thing; I’ve only really been doing that for a few months – normally I’d change my pen almost every day.)

Yes, this means that I’ve stepped out of my Midori for a month. I miss it already but I’m gonna stick to the notebook I’ve chosen. Which, is this:

Very pink, much girly, wow..

It’s an A6 Midori MD notebook with a cover on it. So, I’m not straying very far, really. Don’t mind the picture in the plastic cover; it’s a joke between a friend and I and it makes me giggle. Plus it’s pink. The one pen is a Pilot Kakuno with a Fine nib, inked with J.Herbin’s Rose Tendresse. Can you tell I’m into pink right now?

On the second day, I realise that I’d need something to separate the days (or, chunks of text) out in my notebook so I dug around in my little organiser bag where I keep a lot of my Midori loot, picked one of the washi tapes I have and pulled out my paper trimmer to do this:

Cut to size, stuck to the plastic cover, ready to go.

One of my better ideas I think. They’re not cut perfectly straight and they’re not exactly the right size but I really don’t care – they’re close enough and they do the job.

On day four, I really, really missed my Midori. It’s sitting to my right, looking all sorry for itself. It’s not empty; it’s still got everything in it, including the next empty insert I was planning on using… But it’s not being used right now. Instead of changing over and throwing in the towel, I consoled myself by tinkering with the set up of it a bit before scribbling writing in my A6 book.

For the last couple of days I have been a little frustrated with my pen. I don’t know if that’s due to the ink I’m using or the fact that it’s a Japanese Fine nib (which is roughly like a Western Extra Fine) but it’s a bit… I want to say that it’s a bit of a dry writer? I struggle to get the ink onto the page without dipping the tip of the nib in water sometimes. I tried to remedy this by storing the pen nib down for a bit. That seemed to work for a little while but not long. Then pen was actually okay last night, and I’d kept it nib up in my pen cup for awhile. I don’t really get what’s going on. The feed is bright pink, so it’s not like there’s no ink there. I don’t know. Sometimes it behaves, sometimes it doesn’t.

I’m quite enjoying the size, actually. I think it means I write less though – I have this mindset of filling at least a page of whatever size journal I’m using every time I sit and write (which is normally only once a day). I guess I have even less to say now than I did while I was in the Midori? I don’t know how that works. But, I am enjoying it. I’m not sticking in as much stuff as I was with the Midori, but I guess I just don’t have anything to stick in yet.

Is anyone else doing this? Would any of you consider it? Do you think I’m strange?
Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you next week.

Danni

x

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#bookaday 2

Best bargain!

100% the best bargain I’ve ever found was the annotated Sherlock Holmes for 25p a volume. God bless charity shops. I already owned collections of Holmes when I saw them but could not walk away without them! These editions are older ones but they do see for about $40 on eBay so I thought it was a bit of a steal.

This is not my photo, as my copies are stacked away somewhere but they are identical.

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A Twist in the Tale of Fountain Pen Joys.

I’m not easily disappointed when it comes to stationery. Mostly because I spend a lot of time looking at the stuff, reading about the stuff and doing snippets of research. But sometimes, just sometimes, something pops up on my radar that doesn’t have a lot of column inches. On the internet anyway. Most of the time if a product doesn’t have many reviews (that I can find) or anything like that then I’m going to be really curious about it. And if that curiousity lingers, then I’m just gonna go and get it.

This is how I came to own the only pen that has ever disappointed me.

Do you want to know what it is? Alright then.

No Twist, no fun?! Are you kidding me?! She would not be that happy if she’d actually sat and tried to use one of these things.

Yes, that’s an advertisement from the Pelikan website for the Pelikan Twist. I am so disappointed with this pen that I only have ONE of my own photos of the thing. And it’s not even a very good photo, from what I recall. I can’t even find the photo.

Anyway. I have the… Blue and pink fountain pen version you see on the advertisement there. It’s got a fruity sounding name, which I need to go and look up… Blueberry Harmony. And yes, all the names are that… Strange. Like, the orange one up there (it has a light blue grip) is called Summer Splash. The light blue one (has dark blue grip) is called Fresh Ocean, and that red/green on on the end is Apple Candy. Not pictured is a teal pen (which is actually a nice colour) with a yellow grip wihich is named, aptly, Petrol. Yes, I understand that these are aimed towards children and maybe the teenage market, but the price was pretty decent (I got mine from CultPens for a shade under ¬£10) and I’d never tried a Pelkan fountain pen before (because all of the nice ones I’d previously seen are really expensive). So, naturally, I thought “why the hell not?”

I give Pelikan points for the bright colours, the decent price and the fun sounding names. And hey, the pen looks pretty cool, right? I mean, that’s what swayed me. But man that pen is uncomfortable to hold. That thing is pretty rigid plastic. For some reason I thought it would be a bit… Hm… Softer. But no. It’s rigid plastic and those sharp looking lines? While they’re not ‘sharp’ they can and do dig into your hand. Your grip depending, of course. Anyone who thinks that the Lamy Safari is uncomfortable to hold clearly hasn’t held one of these. Seriously. Holding the Safari is like holding a Uniball pen with one of their Alpha Gel grips compared to holding the Twist.

I’ve gone back to this pen at least three times since I got it (I think I got it for Fountain Pen Day last year. Or the year before, I can’t remember) and… No. I can’t and don’t get on with it. I can’t wrap my head (or, rather, hand) around how to hold it properly. I just find it really uncomfortable. I couldn’t even get an idea of what the nib was like because I couldn’t write with it for long enough to form an opinion. That’s how much I dislike this pen.

(I don’t dislike it enough to put me off Pelikan pens. I found myself a Pelikan Pelikano on ebay; a transparent one. It was a little more than the Twist but, it’s a transparent model that I don’t think’s been made for awhile.)

Normally, I’d say “it’s not you, it’s me,” but in this case, Pelikan Twist, it really is you.

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#bookaday 1

A favourite from childhood!

The Secret Seven were always a childhood favourite (and much preferred over the Famous Five!) but this was a particular favourite from the series, though I’m not sure why. I ate these books up when I was younger.

 

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