Let’s just gloss over the fact that my blog-writing has tapered off. To say the least!

But here I am again and all set to talk about rites and writing. Prompted by some discussion of pens here and by a promise (yes, it IS a promise, Ms Scarlet!) by the talented Scarlet to post about her various pens.

It seems that there still some of us who are a bit fussy about our writing implements.Me, I can scrawl a grocery list with any old pen that comes to hand. But I do like a good pen.

I grew up in the days when penmanship was still taught in schools and until we were about 10 years old all our school lessons were written in pencil. My carpenter father made me a lovely wooden pencil case .And he taught me to sharpen pencils with either a pen knife or a chisel.Since knives were verboten at school I always sharpened my pencils at home.

And our first pens? Oh, dear! Those ghastly “school nibs” that splayed quicker than a bandy-legged jockey. And the school ink – arrgh! I think it came in big drums and was watered-down by the teachers who then chose well-behaved children to be “ink monitors” to fill the porcelain ink wells at each desk.No, I was never an ink monitor.

But I’d been given some money for Christmas or birthday and I added some of my savings to buy my first fountain pen. It came with a matching propelling pencil, in a leatherette case.. Of course, I promptly took it to school. And was just as promptly told I was not to use it in class.

At about this time, Mr. Biro’s invention had caught on and ball-points were being produced in mass quantity and their price came down. Sadly, so did quality and I never had one that didn’t go all blobby.

I don’t recall what brand my father used, but my mother’s pen was an Osmiroid and woe betide anyone who borrowed it! Over the next few years I owned several different pens, but the beloved Waterman was a favourite. A pricey pen for a kid;I think an uncle gave me his old one.

Spin the time machine forward some 50 years … for drawing I generally use a Staedtler Lumocolor or a ZIG or something similar. And I bought myself a Lamy Safari a couple of years ago! A cartridge style, I wanted to use various inks so  I bought a converter to enable that. These days, I find that my old fingers don’t do very well with skinny pens and the Safari is nice and chunky.


And did you know (I didn’t!) that Lamy developed it for German school use.

I used to have some good calligraphy nibs, but gave most of them to a friend when I left London. These old fingers will not be doing any more fancy writing.Mind you, I wouldn’t mind something like this! http://walyou.com/montblanc-steampunk-pens/

The Great Disposal of Old Stuff continues. With The Man no longer working full time we’ve embarked on re-painting the house. Well, he’s done all the hard work. I poured the wine! The walls (you’re dying to know, I can tell!) are a lovely sunny yellow. A little like Dulux Dandelion, but the shade changes with the shadows.

Work about to begin in the living room… old paint was a pale primrose.

2015-07-21 04.48.39


In this, if you squint beyond  Geiger, resident ladderologist, you can see the original, pale yellow, with the new , brighter yellow.

2015-07-21 04.48.00


And this is looking along the passage.See what I mean about the shifting shade!


Gradually, things are going back in place and some of the artwork is back on the walls. These are prints by a blogging friend http://havedogswilltravel.blogspot.com.au/  although she seems to be non-blogging these days. More will follow when we’ve re-wired some frames.




This blogging lark is thirsty work! But before I address that, here’s a natty bit of promotion…it is not my birthday, but the optician sent this as a reminder that I’m due for a test…IMG_4566


30 thoughts on “WRITE OF PASSAGE

  1. I think we were allowed to write with ink from about 9 years old…. it was a write of passage 🙂
    Fab post Dinah!! I will now have to run around photographing everything…
    Love yellow.


  2. Pingback: Pens, Pens, Pens…..!!!!! | Wonky Words….

  3. Excellent post!

    In grammar school, we used No. 2 pencil or ball-point pen. Liquid ink pen was required for 6th grade onward. I had a couple of traditional fountain pens, but we had to provide our own ink. So I switched to a pen with an ink cartridge as it was more convenient (and less messy) to carry spares.

    Love the Minion Yellow walls!


  4. I like the new colours…and the way the light plays over them.

    We were introduced to ink…just as you describe it…at about eight years old….the nibs were ghastly, so if you could write legibly with them you could write with anything.

    There were supposed to be handwriting lessons…but the person giving them was on sabbatical for my year so I still have handwriting which looks as if a spider fell in the inkwell and rolled round drying itself.

    I cannot tell you how happy the secretaries were when I bought my first computer….


    • The teaching of writing (at least in NZ) changed dramatically in the 60s and speed seemed to be more important than legibility! The girls who took the secretarial course at High School had far neater writing than the rest of us, probably because we all developed our own abbreviated notes.You tend not to care much about the ink marks when you’re doing things with hydrochloric acid!


  5. Love the lemony look!! I, too, have a resident ladderologist. Pips climbs anything that remotely resembles a ladder… or is remotely climbable. Makes renos a challenge.
    While I had to learn good penmanship in class way back when, I am just under 60 and so used first pencil and then ballpoint pen in school. My mum favoured a fountain pen with a refillable cartridge so I grew up using it (only when allowed) and being taught how to refill the cartridge.


    • Our other cat ids not interested in ladders, but Geiger’s a devil for them.
      A good pen can make all the difference to one’s writing.Mind you, my hurried scrawl can lead to “interesting” grocery purchases…


  6. My handwriting is woeful and I think I did try to write with a fountain pen once. Let’s just say, there was ink everywhere and I never repeated the exercise.

    I am very anal about my pens. I use Pilot v5 rollerballs and I buy them in bulk and in blue, black and purple. I do have a couple of ball points kicking about for paper that is too absorbent for the Pilots, but they aren’t anything special.

    Love the yellow. It’s such a happy colour.


    • These days, my writing is bloody awful. But I do still like good pens.I love Rollerballs!Some of them are wonderfully waterproof so you can do a quick sketch, catch your train or bloke(whatever..) and add watercolour later, Brill! as the kiddies say.


  7. One wondered if you would ever blog again. It’s too bad you can’t blog using a sharpened pencil. Maybe we’d hear from you more often! 😉

    Bright, yellow and sunny. Just like you. Love the ladder cat. Once again, proving their superiority.


  8. We were taught single letters first, then Kurrentschrift, write words in one word connecting the single letters. The excercise books for this had additional lines printed in (“Hilfslinien”) for the Ober~ und Unter-längen / de- and a-scenders.
    We used pencils first. Later we were told to buy cartridge pens – similar to what LX has shown. The trademarks here were Geha (seemingly defunct) or Herlitz – not that fashion stuff of today, but simple plastic pens, preferably in red for me. The Geha-products were good.

    I find it very unlucky that today is discussed that children shall learn to write only in blockletters. It’s bad enough that nowadays an average person of say forty years is unable to read handwritings of the 1950s – the systems were changed in the last century, but not learning a proper handwriting leaves the next generation without any chance to read older stuff. Many can’t even read the pre-war printed German !

    I like the yellow. The walls of my bath are painted yellow. I like warm orange tones, earth colours and fresh greens. If I win the lottery the walls in my house will be colourful !


    • I think this “connected” script is called, in Australia, “running writing” or “joined up writing”. Joined up???Even grammar is being torn apart!
      It will be sad if only academics can read older script.

      I would have liked more than one colour, but two of us live here so there had to be concorde! 😉


  9. “write words in one word ” – yes, nice … of course “we were taught to write the words in one go, connecting the single letters”.
    There should be always time to read again.


  10. Good to see you out and about here… i’ve been a bit lost myself. Life and all those things! LOVE the sunny yellow! i may have to find just the right room for such a bright color!


  11. Normal, throw-away pens make my lungs squeeze and weep. I cannot. I will not. I like the Uniball Vision Fine or even the Sharpie Ultra Fine. A line should mean something.


  12. Love the yellow, it’s so South of France.

    I’m horribly fussy about pens, and have different favourites for different types of paper, all of which are disposable. In the days when I had money I used to go to London (5 hours on the train) to stock up on a particular brand. Luckily it can be found in Scotland now, though not the full range of colours.


    • Yes, a little splash of Provencal sunshine! That’s what I thought, too.
      I’ve trudged around places like London and Brisbane, looking for pens, but all the way to London from Scotland on a TRAIN?!!! Good lord! I think that wins the obsessive prize! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Missed this post but it’s a real beauty, Di! Love all the comments, too. My nine year old grand daughter has just received her “pen licence”, meaning she can now use a ball point pen instead of a pencil in class. I’m pleased to see the children are learning “running writing” instead of block printing which was in fashion but seems to be out of favour now. Good thing too. And they get awards for good writing so perhaps all is not lost. My writing is almost unreadable now though if I use my beloved Mont Blanc fountain pen something miraculous happens and my writing improves.


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