Sunday, 5 May 2013

Why I Love Writing

I love writing.  Anyone reading my blog, will assume that I sit here typing away on my keyboard and then pressing publish, but in reality, I'm a pen and paper girl.  I'm a traditionalist. I like the feel of a notebook on my lap and not the electrical kind.  I like nice paper, and the feel of a pen sliding across the surface.

I love writing. I still have a diary that I fill in religiously each day, an oldfashioned woven tome, which contains all my thoughts and feelings.  Obviously, I hand write in this, and practice the perfect penmanship that I was taught at school many many years ago.

I was lucky enough to attend a school (and I'm only talking in the 80's, I'm not that old) where they believed that it was important that we write nicely.  At infant/junior school we started with a pencil and moved up to a biro.  They also instilled in us that a cheap biro was never a good thing; when we were ready we were equipped with a nice biro, which needed to be looked after.  I remember my first pen to this day, a Papermate, which came in a little presentation box, with a burgundy barrel. 

When we had mastered biro's, we were allowed to move onto a Pental rollerball and then the final crowning glory was to move up to an ink pen.  Girls who wrote with ink pens were looked on with jealousy and admiration.  They could be trusted to write with a nib and ink!

When I was thirteen, I went to live in France with a french family for three weeks.  Pen envy was still paramount at that stage and the girl I stayed with had a Caran D'Ache fountain pen.  It was truly beautiful and I craved this pen more than anything else.  Her handwriting was so different from my rounded english shape, the flow of the french squirls were so artistic and I felt sure that this was made possible not by her schooling but by this beautiful pen.  On returning home, I badgered my parents for a pen like Geraldines.  It was on my birthday and christmas lists for years but they could never understand my desire for a pen which "I was sure to just lose".  It took me 8 years to get a Caran D'Ache fountain pen of my very own.

Caran d'Ache Madison Cisele Fountain Pen Silver - 1
Truly a thing of beauty...
To some extent they were right, I did lose it, but not for a long long time and I wept when I found it gone from my handbag.  I've never again been able to justify spending that kind of money on a pen again but I still remember the feel of it in my hand, the flow of the ink over the paper, the ease with which it allowed me to put words on paper.  That pen made me a better writer.  It wrote the invitations to my wedding, the deposit cheque for the purchase of my first house and the birth announcement cards for my children.  It came with me all around the world on holidays to write postcards home and when I went to university it took me through all my exams. 

There is nothing quite like a fountain pen for giving your writing that flourish or for making it seem effortless.  So you can rub out a pencil, you can lose a biro and not give it a second thought but you can't get the feel of writing, truly writing, not just putting words to paper, without a fountain pen.

The closest I can find to that long loved pen is this one from the The Pen Company,, if anyone wants to get me one you know where to find me,  I'll be the one in the corner scribbling into a notebook.

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