All posts by graysummers

And so the story goes, to where? No one knows. But it involves a Volkswagen T2 Crossover Bay Bus called Billie Bud (known to most people as ‘WOW, a camper van’); a Pentax LX SLR camera loaded with black and white film; cooking vegetarian food on a basic set up of Cobb cooker, a couple of gas rings and an open fire; reading books; listening to music and the ruminations from a Staff Nurse. to fill the hours outside of your nurse job somehow.

Onoto Junior de La rue. Lever ink filler Fountain pen.

The Onoto Junior de la rue fountain pen has arrived. Quite excited about this particular fountain pen. So it arrived in the post, given a quick once over look, grab a bottle of Waterman Intense Black ink, fill her up, grab a sheet of light sage green Khadi hand made paper and see what happens. Then, closed eyes, a deep breath to relax and begin. Just simply put down the normal routine of naive description. 

When watching YouTube videos or looking at pen analysis on blogs, many enthusiasts have rote planning. Covering everything we, as enthusiasts too, want to learn about the pen. I don’t have the knowledge or courage to perform that task. It is just the explanation of how, by using specific pens, it can hopefully give the reader a brief insight to whimsy. A small window of time where, upon reading, they may think ‘This Summers guy has added another reason why I really need/don’t need this specific pen’. Like looking at positive and negative Amazon item bought reviews. 2,158 reviews with a 4 star average. You ask yourself ‘Why 4 and not 5 stars?’ So you hunt down the ‘why not’s’ and it can swing decisions for or against. I’m very aware that some people complain or criticise for the simple reason that they actually enjoy complaining and criticising. You can spot them a mile off. It has an air of ‘look at me’ desperation about the write up. Ungracious elements inherent.

So if you want an in-depth review on the pen, this unfortunately will not be the read you require. It is meandering and lightweight writing.

The Onoto is synonymous with being known as a pen of all round dependency and beauty. A history of consistency borne from being very well made.  Being available to buy from a vintage pen era beginning in 1905 right up to current day. I really needed to find out if it is indeed quite joyous using an example of what many consider as very, very fine pens. Onoto, the company, have a brief history on their website. story began in 1905,and then in Strathendry, Scotland. 

Still making pens, they still have an air of luxury. These are pens at hundreds of pounds prices. New and old. So to own a vintage one of any kind was a self need of being able to see one in my hand, give a little nod and smile to myself with an ‘It’s Here! And Yes……We Have It!’ Why ‘We?’. It’s simply my inherent layers belonging to self Id. Ownership required due to a number of consideration levels. And so, after opening the envelope. a deep breath in, looking at the small lightweight plain as plain presentation, a little goosebump scenario and then what follows is a glorious feeling of ‘now the journey is about to begin’.  

You may scratch your head and wonder. ‘What! It’s only a pen,’ All I ask is to substitute ‘only a pen’ for something you yourself treasure. A particular piece of music on vinyl, an item of artisan or iconic clothing, a Gucci bag, an autograph on a photograph from a much admired celebrity, a painting by a much admired artist, an advertising poster of a film you have loved for decades, etc. Myself? A 1970’s poster of Lord of the Rings imagery that I had in teenage years on the bedroom wall, then my first flat/apartment wall, but now long gone. How I would love to now own again. I suppose it is anything that you yourself find, with a comforting scenario of emotional response to the fact you are now in the presence of something that is now yours. How it can enhance your life by simply being there. 

In my blog of The Ninth Gate bag, the original blog that started the Iconic Ownership theme, I reflect somewhat on the ethics of ‘possessing or possessions’. The Buddhist ideal. 

Also. My recent read of the book by James Norbury’s ‘The Journey. Big Panda and Tiny Dragon’ where the author wrote of possessions too. 

The values placed on possessions are not simply because you are a collector and buy/obtain/lust after/obsess over because you are an avid fan of something specific. I saw a programme where a gentleman was speaking of his deceased wife who collected everything ‘Beatrix Potter’. A room that became a shrine of thousands of items from books to ornaments. Possessions are indeed possible of becoming runaway trains. 

So in looking for fountain pens my philosophy is a simple one. Own at least one of the fabulous ‘knowns’. Just interest value. And don’t pay out a fortune. The enjoyment is about finding a little beauty of a bargain and enjoying ‘the chase’. The singular model from a vintage iconic make presents itself at a reasonable auction starting price and you watch. It goes into stupid price land and you click ‘unwatch’. It is about having a pen to see what all the fuss is about in reality. Then ultimately it then becomes about developing a small relationship of it as a ‘friend’. I wrote, when doodling once, ‘Can you fall in love with an inanimate object?’ If it can make you smile when holding/handling it and using it like a pen, guitar, book, bag, coffee machine, etc. or jump in and drive it like a VeeDub Bus, etc. then, yes, I suppose you can love an inanimate object. 

I now have an Onoto Junior de la rue and simply…… is enough. Yes, I do possess more than one in certain makes. I have two Waterman, four Parker, a few italic choices with interchangeable nibs, etc. However it is because you enjoy the pen qualities in the script it can produce. A particular make has a fine or medium nib. A stainless steel, iridium or gold nib. You realise it has a flagship model that is raved about and interest is tweaked. Or. You own a specific make where the model you have is a beautiful performer and that’s enough. You get a pen that is a disappointment? Pass it on to someone who may well love it and find it perfection. And yes. I do mean give it away. 

Below are photographs of my new wonderful Onoto.
Please tap on the images to enlarge.

If you are simply not interested in using something, why gain monetary value from something you cannot use? I bought a Hugo Boss scarf made of beautiful mixtures of various wools. It was about 8 feet long, Dr. Who Tom Baker style and not often worn. Yes, it was beautifully warm. I paid a whopping £10 for it from a charity shop. I knew they were expensive as I saw similar in the past on the internet. Around £150. I had it on to go into work one freezing cold morning and a fellow nurse was ecstatic about it. She absolutely fell in love with it. So I handed it over and said ‘It’s yours. I hardly wear it in reality. Too big and cumbersome’. She, on becoming the new owner, wore it often. We bought a new, second hand car. Our old one cost a few thousand pounds, no longer required, so we gave it away to someone who needed a car. Our local Machynlleth community have a swap site. Many people say on offering items ‘Have it! Take it away!’ That is a wonderful ethical value to possess. 

Now, owning this Onoto pen has made me realise straight away, on first use, why people enthuse about them. It is beautiful in it’s plain presentation, it’s performance and it is actually, I’ve got a new phrase,  ‘Onoto enough’. Applies to other ‘enoughs’ too. I will probably never own another one. Over the next few weeks? I believe it will settle in to become an all time favourite. I believe it will show it’s inherent confidence in itself. It’s been around a long time and still performing with ability to simply get on with the art of delivery. And that is a very great characteristic to possess. 

Below is the site address for current new Onoto pens. Says ‘Home’. Too flamboyant for my simple tastes, but very much worth a look.