One thing that may happen when you start collecting fountain pens, is that you start collecting ink as well.
The picture shows some of the ink I have – just the blues.
I am very partial to blue inks. I think I am on a quest to find an ink that looks just like the Parker Quink Royal Blue (with Solv-X) ink of my childhood.
This quest is completely fueled by nostalgia and not a little whimsy, as I don’t actually have any samples of what the Holy Grail ink looks like – its hues completely exist in my memory…
I have a confession to make: I have been looking at the Fountain Pens Australia (FPA) group page on Facebook. This is a “confession”, because I don’t actually have a FB account. The FPA group is a closed group, so for me to be able to look at it, M had to join it using his account. I’m using his account on the condition that I don’t comment. So far it’s probably been A Good Thing, because members of the group sell their pens there, and because I can’t easily communicate with them, I’ve not bought any pens. Money saved, right?
Then one of the members posted that she was selling pen wraps – and hurrah, she has a blog and I could contact her off FB!
Long story short, I am now the proud and happy owner of a beautiful pen wrap! I do love how the Internet enables me to contact people like me, and allows me to indulge in things like this.
I love the fabric, the design, and the fact that this was made just for me! There is something special about being able to talk to the artisan who makes the beautiful thing you wish to have…
Today was federal election day here in Australia. By my calculations I think this was the tenth federal election I’ve voted in. The results aren’t in yet – polling places in my home state, Western Australia close in about 15 minutes as I write this. In any case, I don’t want to blog about who I voted for, or about politics generally. Rather, I want to blog about the process, for me.
I think I’ve been going to the same polling place for the last four or five elections – the local primary school. This morning while waiting for M to vote – I voted first and then waited for M with the dogs – I sat in the school courtyard and observed the place and all the people who turned up to vote.
We got there at around 9:30am and there was a long queue of people waiting to vote. I got in line and M stayed with the dogs (dogs aren’t allowed into the school building where we vote). It was a beautiful sunny Perth winter’s morning. The school had very entrepreneurially set up a sausage sizzle – hurray for democracy sausages! – a book stall, a used clothes stall, and a cake stall. The stalls were doing good business, especially the sausage sizzle – you could get a sausage in a wholemeal hotdog bun with cooked onions for $3; $2 extra if you wanted a drink. They were also selling “brekky wraps” – bacon and scrambled eggs with spinach leaves wrapped in pita break.
Of course we had to have a sausage – and my tweet of my sausage even got featured in an article about democracy sausages around the country:
For those of my readers who have never voted in an Australian election before, here in Australia we seem to have evolved a particularly Australian institution at polling places – stalls (“sausage sizzles”) selling sausages in buns or bread. People have been tweeting about the #democracysausage all day today because a mark of a good polling place is apparently whether or not it has a sausage sizzle. If there’s a cake stall there too, even better!
My polling place won on both counts, with its sausage sizzle AND cake stall, but I think what made it even better was the sense of community and almost neighbourly feel I had while sitting in the courtyard. People stood and waited quietly. Some brought their children, or their dogs. They chatted with each other. They ate sausages. I felt very privileged to be living in a country where voting is so safe – and where we have a food tradition associated with elections!