Pens are like People.

Waterman Expert 2 fountain pen. The ‘Ruby’ wedding gift from my wife.

The photograph above? An empty pen stand awaiting who knows what inky filled treasure. Subsequently. What future stories will evolve from both nibs?

Intentions were, whilst away on our anniversary break, to visit a specialist fountain pen supplier in the beautiful City of York. I looked the address up again the night before the York visit and was truly dismayed to see the page giving overall information re: opening times, site links, directions, etc. said ‘Permanently Closed’. Not through business hardships apparently, but from the owners simply retiring. It is a shame that the next nearest specialists were an hour’s travelling distance by car. Our time in York was to be an ‘all day’ intentional. We wanted to meet up with my wife’s sister and spend time together. 

I wanted ink, cartridges and ink converter to house in the Waterman fountain pen that Angie, my wife, had bought for me as a gift for our Ruby Wedding Anniversary. As luck would have it, I found some black and blue Waterman cartridges in good old W H Smith’s. Eagerly housed and the first words were much anticipated. The pen works beautifully and intentions are to write a deeper blog on how it performs. Loved it’s initial showing so much that I thought I would get a companion for it. 

Waterman pens seem to be extraordinarily diverse in design over the decades upon decades of their existence. If you were an avid Waterman collector it would bring many avenues to getting to grips with the amount of designs, mechanics and performance analyses in them all. I could imagine, as a collector, it being a full time commitment in study factors. I have no intentions in this pursuit at all. 

However, when looking at the specific design of my wife’s gift, the Waterman Expert 2 fountain pen, it was then I noticed the very different nib shape on the Expert 1. I hunted information and found one on eBay. At auction, it was very reasonable for the starting price of £25. I won it at that £25 price. My wife always shakes her head when I say ‘I won it’. She says ‘No! You didn’t win it. You bought it’. Romanticism and subsequent successes are found in the act of challenges. Not being handed life’s treasures on a plate. That is how our marriage has lasted as long as it has. Experiencing the trials and tribulations alongside the easier times. 

Please tap on individual images to enlarge.

So ‘won it’ means it was worth the attentive act of purposeful pursuit. Not looking one up and buying the new shiny dependable one. Auction fountain pens? They are based in happenstance and perchance. Simply ‘Buying it’ is so much more a disappointing pleasure. So now two Experts will exist alongside each other. The Expert 1 is still out there in postal land. When it arrives it will be good to write a collective blog on both pens. It somehow links to a relationship between two inky driven souls. Two fountain pens of vintage nature. Two pens that are different in their idiosyncratic inherent natures but actually familiar in their outward presentations. What stories are to be wondered in the act of, unknown to myself, lyrics, poetry, thoughts, reflections and the brevities of any important or everyday words written from both nibs, different inks and then onto paper results? Flights of fantasy, freedom of expression or philosophical words are a fabulous spiritual experience when written down. However. A written shopping list of food needs and ingredients are equally as important in keeping one alive through the fundamental need of nutritional sustenance. 

Rather like two people who have grown together in a relationship and reached decades of stories too. Fundamentals of living alongside flights of fantasy and freedom of self expression go hand in hand. It’s what makes us who we are.

6 thoughts on “Pens are like People.”

    1. The Expert 1 arrived this morning. It’s nib performance is lovely. In fact. Both Experts are working okay. The couple who ran the shop? I looked them up to see if they had moved to another premises. Then found out they had retired. A bit of a story too about their history. Sounded like a great shop! Shame really that no one took it on. It was called ‘Signatures’ Here’s a link. Quaint old place too. Cheers Danny.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That’s so disappointing Gray. I love York, but can understand your disappointment at not finding the shop open. I would usually go to The Pen Shop but I think they’ve closed their Glasgow branch.

    I’ve discovered I seem to have a fancy Italian silver fountain pen, but struggling to find ink cartridges for it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose many businesses have struggled with custom over the lockdowns. Especially in busy places like York. Your Italian pen, if there is no identification on it anywhere, can be identified by others on pen enthusiast sites. The fountain pen network is a site I joined. Or on here there are bloggers who focus on fountain pens. Or a specialist shop may identify. Standard cartridges are cheap and worth a try. Thank you for commenting. All the best.


      1. Be nice to get a fountain pen up and working. Sounds like you want to revisit the writing experience. It’s something I have noticed that blog contacts get very absorbed in and is great therapy. Good luck with your seeking.

        Liked by 1 person

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