Swan Mable Todd. Harke. Aphantasia.

The Swan and The Journal awaiting the inclusion of reflections on ‘Harke’ from Obscure Sorrows during a quiet 04.30 in the morning time of isolation and bliss.

The early hours of morning at 04.30 and gentle light go hand in hand. Photographs for blog uploads need the light from the central ceiling. If not? You get shadows and misreads. Central light? Albeit thrown from a bulb housed within a copper light shade that throws out a gentler glow, it still is a harsh enough intrusion after sitting in an ambience of calm. Like jumping in an ice pond after a glorious relaxing period in the sauna.

John Koenig and his words for Obscure Sorrows is one that is oft used in early hours. It gives a kick start to ruminating and meanderings. So….the word ‘HARKE’. If you tap the smaller photographs or pan the larger ones out you can see where I’ve written it’s meaning. Cheers and thank you if you have.

After reading and trying to apply to my own historical memories… I realised that ‘painful memories’ that can be looked back on with fondness don’t actually exist in Summers’ world. To tell a story about it with verve, passion and panache isn’t possible. I remember a few years back having a huge mental breakdown in the middle of night. Literally pacing to and fro moaning in anguish through anxiety. A work related imagined possible scenario entered my brain and wouldn’t let go. A tired and fogged mind, that can exist in the middle of night, when most vulnerable, can imagine all sorts of unrealistic scenarios. And turn them into, not a possible reality, but a reality of ‘This will likely happen!’ It was so intense a breakdown that I was advised to talk to a counsellor to help shift the burden of stress.

I did, and by the time I saw him all I could do was shrug my shoulders and state ‘These things happen when overwhelmed with workload don’t they?’ As I am typing? Nothing from that incident materialises at all. Just that I know I felt dread at that moment in time. A dread brought about in knowing that workload, lack of staff, patients with massively high dependence levels and exhaustion could compromise in the worst possible outcomes. Basically, you feel like your drowning I suppose. In reality I sit here typing like a completely cold fish. No PTSD exists whatsoever in any memories from that past. Any past traumatic life events in reality. Aphantasia has it’s advantages at times. Back to the fountain pen and experiencing those little material treasures that exist. Known right now as The Swan Mable Todd.

The Swan Mabie Todd was bought in a bundle off eBay. Divide the amount paid with total bundle number and it was approximately a £2.00 purchase. Absolute belter of a bargain! It wrote really well initially. But then began to leak ink. Changed the ink sac last week and it was back to it’s inherent ability to writing in a beautiful way once more. Diamine Sherwood Green ink is a fine harmonious friend with this pen. 

It’s difficult to explain how it feels to get a fountain pen you really appreciate back into your daily collection and have it continuing to contribute in a shared enjoyment. To employ the pen to write and write and then write once more again. And the joy of looking at flow and ease in use. It just felt so inspiringly wonderful to be able to sit and write on a few scrap pages. Albeit a load of nonsense. After this muck about on scrap paper jaunt here it will be satisfying to write in the beautiful Indian journal here in the photograph. However, the paper is an absorbent type and a drier ink need is probably a safer option. The Swan nib, being gold and flex driven produces a wet flow. Mind you, the scrap paper used here is pretty absorbing too.

In my Day to Day diary the Rotring Art Pen is being used in the present moment. It is great with these type of absorbent paper qualities and behaves very nicely. It’s just that it houses a black cartridge and the Indian journal is a fine one and definitely deserves a bit of colourful joy in it’s life.

Hey ho! Thinking cap on!

Please tap on the individual photos to enlarge.

4 thoughts on “Swan Mable Todd. Harke. Aphantasia.”

    1. On eBay bundles it’s worth having a closer look. Maybe screenshot them and get a closer look at what’s in them Danny. I spotted the Swan amongst a fair few generics. To be honest you kind of buy with crossed fingers. I have five that were really useful out of them. The Swan being the icing on the cake. Now I’ve changed the ink sac and given it a wash out it has a new lease of life. £14 to £16 for the bundle. I got 7 or 8 with a broken beyond repair Conway Stewart, a button filler Mentmore barrel and cap and 3 generics with iridium decent German nibs. The other few I can’t recall. Got the Conway Stewart 286 today. Heart in mouth but got barrel and section apart with gentle heat and pliers. Took about 15 minutes. The sac was dried beyond. But all out now. Got some 16, 17 and 18 sacs in the post today too. So getting a little more confident. Nowhere near your knowledge though. So….Slowly does it! All the best.


    2. Stress. A huge player in life. Allergies are what my wife and daughter can experience when undergoing pressure. Eczema is so invasive and once it’s in the system it’s a constant symptom when you’re at your worst. I normally get on with life. When Covid first came to the ward, all of myself and my colleagues had massive problems day to day. I think it has changed many things in oh so many ways. This blogging and finding interests helps keep you positive. Cheers Danny.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Way more positive than any social media platform. Stress resulting in my wife have allergies to cold (yes the temperature), gluten, lactose. It was amazing. Of course the doctors were clueless. I always have to make sure I have a stretch of uninterrupted time when reading yours. Keep up the interesting post.


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