A Bit of Friendly Feedback

Anybody who knows me, knows that I am a pretty lousy correspondent. I’m lousy at returning personal e-mails, lousy at returning actual, real, paper mail. I don’t send Christmas cards and rarely remember my own birthday, let alone anyone else’s. And a couple of years ago I killed my Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and almost every other social media account you can name… and have never been happier about hitting a delete button. I like the fact that the only reason I carry a mobile phone these days, is to listen to podcasts and audiobooks, be messaged by my family, and ask my wife—whilst standing forlornly in the midst of the local grocery shop—what on Earth I had gone shopping for?  Add to that working stupidly long hours on epidemiological data analysis, and reading more SARS-2-CoViD19 research papers than is good for anyone’s sanity or eyesight, then it comes as no surprise to me, nor should it to you, that it’s taken me months to reply properly to a handful of nice e-mails that I received via this, my only remaining connection to social media.

Below, I’ll merge the e-mails and respond where I should, and I’ll add a photo or two that I feel like… which may (or probably won’t be) relevant.

At the local bookstore, I was glad to see Michael Behe’s pseudoscientific nonsense in an appropriate section.

Are we sitting comfortably? Then lets’s begin

I’m writing to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your blog and to add some comments to a few of your posts.

Thank you! Sincerely, thank you. Only other bloggers out there will know the disappointment of taking hours to put together a blog post and never getting any feedback, even a simple thank you! So thank you!

Your “How Many Versions of the Same Pen Does Anybody Need?” post was the “push” I needed to buy my first Pelikan, A Souveran M805 Blue Stripe with an extra fine nib. I’ve been reading about this pen for some time and wasn’t ready to commit.

I know the feeling, the Pelikan 800 series is quite a commitment, and I hope I helped a little.

I didn’t want to spend that much on a fountain pen but I couldn’t resist the beauty of it. I like heavier pens that’s why I passed on the M400 and M600. I don’t have a so called grail pen because I am too pragmatic to buy one just for the sake of buying. I want to use all of my pens, I am not a collector.

Wise words, never buy for the sake of buying, I’m not sure how much money I’d have saved over the years if I had always had that motto in mind. The only thing that’s ever stopped me from buying a shockingly large number of Pelikan products has been the weight… the weight of the money in my bank account mostly.

Now I have two nice pens for writing, more than a few for sketching, and one for every day carry that I won’t fret over losing.

Aaaaaand, that really should be enough for anybody right?

In the comments, “slightlyunnerved” wrote about QC with Pelikans. I also had that concern, from various blogs and Reddit. When I bought from CultPens, I asked them to check the nib before shipment and they did. They confirmed via email and I found ink residue on the nib, when I flushed the pen before using, indication of a writing test. You may want to request the same on your next order.

You’re absolutely right of course, about getting a retailer to do a quick nib check before they dispatch your pen. And most will be only too happy to oblige, especially with a pen that’s retailing at several hundred dollars a time. Don’t know why I don’t do it more often myself really. I know I should, but then I think about how a pen costing more than my first car should damn well write, and I get—as my mother would have said—arsey (North American spelling: assy... to be like an arse/ass).

Oh by the way, I found out about CultPens price differential through you and saved a $bundle$ compared to the Canadian price. As much as I love WonderPens, where the majority of my pens were purchased, money does talk.

Indeed it does, and I must also point out—because I love the WonderPens stores, their blog and all the WonderFolks therein greatly—North American retailers sell at the prices that they are allowed to by the distributors. They have minimal choice in their price range, and there are a great deal more expensive retailers out there than Jon and Liz. Also, when you live in North America, and you buy from a retailer in the UK, Europe, or Japan, you should be aware that you’ll be ruling yourself out of any warranties or after-sales service if there are defects or problems with your purchase.

Which I guess is all the more reason to ask them for that nib check if/when you make your purchase.

I built a new dock (nobody is more surprised than me that it floats), and our youngest enjoys the journaling habit.

Re: Minimalist Leather Journal Cover.

I, too was looking for a leather cover but didn’t want to overpay for what basically is a piece of leather. I bought the one you wrote about and I like it so much I bought another a few months later.

I then bought a Taroko Design – Enigma A5 Notebook to journal in Again I went to Etsy to look for a cover. I ended up buying the “Personalized distressed leather hobonichi techo cover vintage rustic leather hobonichi A5 A6 cousin cover HA05S” from the same vendor in the A5 size. It is very similar but is a bit larger and does not have the elastic slot. It fits the book perfectly with room to spare for a slightly, (~¼ inch or so),  larger notebook if needed.

That really is a lovely cover, almost the same as the first, but suitable for a notebook just a touch larger, with a few more pages. The DMLeatherStudio products I have experienced have all been of an extremely high quality too, and its current price is about $20 US, which makes it great value for money from what I can see. These sound like excellent choices. I hope you’re enjoying them! And I’m really glad I steered you in the right direction. Happy journalling!

I stole the idea of a leather strap from your Traveler’s Notebook With A Leather Thong post. I never liked the elastic band on my “fauxdori.” It never occurred to me to put on a strip of leather.

I can honestly say that neither cat, nor Traveler’s Notebook look anything like as new, fresh, and clean anymore. I tried to repeat that picture, but the current, adult-sized Alfie was having nothing to do with it. Anyway, glad that gave you a good idea, I far prefer the strip of leather, and it’s a great deal hardier, and easier to replace than the elastic… although mine has been chewed by small sharp teeth once or twice, thereby necessitating the occasional replacement. Mercifully—for Alfie as well as me—he has never actually chewed the notebook or a leather cover.

I purchased and tried the Life Noble Note notebook from your Life Noble Report A5 post.

I also bought the Clairefontaine Age-Bag Tan Journal from the post with the same name just to compare the two and see which I would like better.

Two great choices, but personally I am a bigger fan of the Life brand. I find their paper to be more tolerant of all my fountain pen nib and ink combinations than the coating on the Clairefontaine, and the Life brand design aesthetic really ticks all my boxes.

I appreciate your reviews because you review according to real world use, not as a lab-clinic tests.

That’s kind of you to say, and thank you! Although one or two of my old laboratory professors would probably be grinning at that comment.

Not to inflate your ego too much Emoji, but I trust your opinion after my purchases based on your site. I learned a lot and I wanted to thank you for some time and I finally found the time to do it.

Being a fellow atheist, I can only wish you happy holidays and to keep safe.

I have students, children, a wife and a large number of friends that keep my ego very much in check thanks, so if anybody feels like giving mine a stroke, feel free. I have learned a lot myself since starting this blog, not least of which is not to leave it so long to respond to people kind enough to take the time to write to me. My apologies and thanks.

Lastly, that final line was written well before December 2019 and the global emergence of a threat that makes those last two words very prescient. My thanks once again to anybody who has ever written to me, and/or clicked on a like button, and may you, and all your loved ones, keep very well indeed.























7 thoughts on “A Bit of Friendly Feedback

    1. Many thanks Rupert! And likewise from a rapidly cooling Canada. With the constant flow of material that comes through the research group I’m attached to, I just don’t seem to look at anything on the computer anymore, except huge columns of data analysis 😦 Keep well!


  1. Hi Alfie!! Oh yeah and Paul. No seriously, I’m glad you’re posting again. I had a brief fling with fountain pens, but their &^$#% habit of not writing immediately drove this writer out of her impatient mind. Back to gel pens in fetching colors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alfie says “Hi!” and I’m trying to pry myself away from nothing-but-work… I’m kind of succeeding, and kind of not 🙂 Good to hear from you too! Sadly, I’ve found that &^$#% habit drops off with the more money I spend on a pen; or at least that’s what I tell my wife. My Pelikans, the Waterman Carène, and the Montblanc have never let me down. The expensive Sailor 1911s and Pro Gears let me down maybe once in a rare while, depending on how often they’re used. Anything less than about four hundred bucks Canadian? Oh yeah, I hear you, but that’s part of the fun 🙂 And I try gel pens occasionally, but there’s just something about the feel of the nib on paper that I can’t get on with.


  2. Pingback: Web Finds – 14 October 2020 « Travellers Notebook Times

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