In September last year I told you about my new logo seal and some memories about my first seal and my pen pals, and a few weeks ago I mentioned going back to using a fountain pen and ink.
That didn't just have nostalgic reasons.
My handwriting has never been beautiful. In elementary school when we still had tests in penmanship I never made a 1 (our marks went from 1 to 6), no matter how hard I tried. Over the years my handwriting kept changing. I tried this and that, had my letters lean to the left and to the right, I changed single letters and changed back (to this day my capital E looks like that of my first boss at work because I liked how it looked, and my capital M comes from American handwriting). There was even a short time back when when I drew little circles over my "i"s, never little hearts, though.
Of course we also loved to try colored inks. I remember I had several inks in very small glasses at one time, but I don't remember if I ever used them or if I just liked to look at them. We definitely tried cartridges other than blue or black, however, purple, turquoise, light blue, green. Red was out of bounds because the teachers used that for corrections ... although there was one teacher who used green, but he was different in more than one ways, wearing bib overalls to school for example.
I didn't keep a diary for very long, but when I did, I also wrote in it in ink.
When my brother gave me a fountain pen for a gift, I had a hard time choosing colors for the ink. Finally I went with the old favorites, purple and black, but am only using the purple at the moment which you can also tell by my desk and sometimes my fingers. Isn't it so pretty?
Well, my handwriting hasn't improved with time for which I mostly blame the computer. I never thought it could be such a strain on my hand to write a letter when, as mentioned before, I used to write ten page letters each day. Yes, that was a long time ago, but suddenly it was just a few lines that made my hand cramp up.
I decided I didn't want that. I didn't want to lose cursive writing which is hardly taught nowadays, I didn't want to lose the ability to write something without a computer, I didn't want to write it in a way not even I could read myself! So I started by doing all of my lists with pen and ink.
What I first learned from it was, to say it nicely, that calligraphy is still not for me. I admire it, I think it's wonderful to look at, but it's definitely not a talent I have, not even if I practice very much.
Instead I got out my old stationery. Not all of the paper I have is as old as this one. I have been protecting this for decades, literally. It's from the 70s and I still remember when I bought it. The shop is long gone. In its place came several more shops and now it's just a storage room with a display window.
Back in the 70s you could get silver rings there, knick knacks, the cotton scarves we loved so much (except for the light blue one with the lurex that never stopped dyeing my neck even after being washed a zillion times), and there was a wooden shelf with WWF items, notebooks, stationery, folders etc. from recycled paper. I couldn't resist the tiger. I will definitely not use this paper up completely, but keep at least a sheet for myself.
I still do have some cat stationery from the 90s, so I doubt I'm going to run out of paper that quickly.
Then the times of pen pals were over. We grew up, starting growing apart and didn't feel the need to share every bit of information (which is kind of sad/funny if you look at social media today, and I do feel the irony in me writing this post).
I know I won't bring those times back, I'm not intending to. All I want is to get a tiny sliver of it back for myself. With stained fingers and all *grin*
So watch out, who knows who will get a letter from me next? ;-)
Thomas Phillipps, World's Greatest Bibliomaniac
11 hours ago