I was reading the book The Social Life of Ink: Culture, Wonder, and Our Relationship with the Written Word by Ted Bishop which is an interesting book. He mentioned he had an old Parker 51 fountain pen, so I got mine out that was given to my sister circa 1963 and eventually came to me. Sure enough, it is a Parker 51 Aerometric pen.
I had last used it 20 years ago, maybe longer, and I remember I had used Parker Quink blue ink in it. I threw that ink out last year. Ted mentioned in his book that there is a mammoth online forum called the Fountain Pen Network which has all kinds of information on cleaning pens and what ink to use. So I looked there and they said to flush my Parker pen with cool water. It takes a while to flush it but over the last week I did that. Wipe, flush, flush, wipe, on and on.
Then I ordered some Waterman bottled ink for it in the colour Tender Purple. I was tired of blue and I didn’t feel green was what I wanted, so I bought the purple. It has a slightly blue tint in it so is not alarmingly garish. When I got the ink today in the mail I filled my pen immediately and it worked right away. Not bad for an old pen. The Parker 51 pens are often described as working with any ink, but I wanted a good ink that was identified as specifically working with this pen as the Waterman ink was.
Someone mentioned a “gratitude journal” to me on my other blog. Intrigued, I looked this up and it is apparently a big trend. Some people say to write 5 things down that you are grateful for every day, and others prefer to write twice per week and make a fuller description. For me, the first option seemed too much like a shopping list, so I decided the second option would work for me and would have more meaning because it explained why I was grateful, what it meant to me that made it stand out.
I wanted a journal for this and I could have made one but I’m pretty busy so I looked online at various things and found some nice journals by Peter Pauper Press with magnetic closures. My regular journal has a magnetic closure and I love it so I wanted one that was similar.
Then I saw the one with a reproduction of a Hokusai woodblock print, and you can read about the original print at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
So I bought it! $11.51 CAD, a nice treat.
I had to find some way of writing regularly with my resurrected pen.
We pen geeks hide in the shadows, waiting for a prompt toward expansive colours of ink. You never know where reading a book will take you. Thank you Ted Bishop.