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Clairefontane Flying Spirit Notebook Review.

30.04.2018 02:00

I received the Clairefontane Flying Sprit Notebook free of charge from Tudos.no for the purpose of this review..

This notebook is amazing. There are no other way to put it. When I look at a Rhodia Webnotebook I see the best designed version of the A4 softcover notebook that Moleskine popularised. This on the other hand is the perfect design for the soft cover version; you know the kind you can buy in a three pack.

The design is very understated, and you don’t think much about it straight away. Before you start to realise how perfect everything is. Even the stitches on the back are beautiful.

Let’s move over to the paper. The paper is very similar to Rhodia(same parent company), but my impression is that it is a little bit smother. There are smaller differences between this and Rhodia, like there are minor differences between Leuchtturm1917 and Rhodia, but they are very minor. And I would put them in the same ball park.

This book came with a lined layout, and I like it a lot. The lines are broader than I’m used to from Travelers Notebook refills and Leuchtturm1917; they remind me a lot about the layout I used in school. The kind you usually find in most wire bound notebooks.

The Flying Spirit is a fantastic notebook, that I would recommend to anyone that like notebooks like the Moleskine Volant. It is in many ways a much better version of that. With better paper and higher quality production standards. I’m not going to get another one of these, because I prefer a hardcover notebook, because it is a little bit easier to write on them for example when I take the train to work, and don’t always have access to a good table. %

To keep or not to keep?

23.04.2018 02:00

I guess this comes as a response to recent discussions on The Pen Addict podcast about keeping journals or not. My collection of notebooks is growing. And it grows some every year. The big question is: what should I do about them?

One option is to just keep them and let future generations deal with it. Not unlike how my parents and grand parents generations dealt with climate change.

Another option is to throw it all out.

And the third is to throw out some of it.

A lot of it is just notebook after notebook after notebook of tasks. While other parts are notes I have taken while reading or studying. And some of it is journaling.

Here is the thing: I’m probably the worst judge to what’s interesting. And I’m not one of those who care what happens after I’m dead and buried.

Kum Automatic Long Point Pencil Sharpener.

16.04.2018 02:00

I ordered a Kum Automatic long point pencil sharpener with Blackwing branding at the same time as I ordered my first box of Blackwings. It cost about $7.50 at JetPens. It has two holes, numbered, you use the first one to shape the wood, it will stop shaving off wood when you’re done and then you use the second hole to sharpen the tip.

I got this one because it was not too expensive, and I hoped that the blackwing branding on it was a sign of quality. It works great. I don’t have any complaints about it, it sharpens my pencils every single time. Without any issues. The only think I wish was different is more space for shavings.

I’m probably going to get a couple more of them. This is the sharpener you want if you want a long point sharpener and only care about the utility of it.

Palomino Blackwing.

09.04.2018 02:00

I bought my first box of pencils not too long ago. And I think this is the first time I have paid for a pencil. Why? I’m not sure to either of the why questions. I have never bought a pencil because I didn’t know it was more to them than the crappy plastic thing I got at school, that us boys always tried to bend into weird shapes. And I’m not sure why I bought a box of them now. I guess it was because a lot of people I respect enjoy using them.

My biggest surprise about pencils is how similar to fountain pens they are. Everyone have their own taste. And you have a lot of the same problems: both are very fiddly. Also: there are compromises. For example a softer pencil is smoother, but you need to sharpen them more often. Not unlike how broader fountain pens are more smooth(until you move into stubs), but they require more ink and take longer to dry.

I have enjoyed the Blackwings a lot. And I use them a lot. They are great to write with for example on the train and other places where I don’t want to think about ink smudging. They also look fantastic. Which was kind of the reason I went with the regular blackwings. But I will probably check out the 602 the next time. Because I think I will prefer a pencil that doesn’t require as much sharpening. But who knows? This is new to me.

Using a Iroshizuku bottle as a inkwell.

02.04.2018 02:00

I wrote about an idea I had not too long ago. The idea was to take empty Pilot Iroshizuku bottles, clean them and then use them as a inkwell or a ink bottle for other inks. Because not every bottle of ink is the same. Some of them are just a bottle, with a flat bottom. And that can make it a struggle to fill your pens, even though there are a lot of ink left. Especially with pens like the Vanishing Point.

I started doing this a few weeks ago and it works like a charm.

This got me to think about looking for something even better. But it works for now.

How I rotate pens

26.03.2018 02:00

Like I mentioned in a earlier post, I have limited the number of pens I use to three. My Lamy 2000, Pilot Vanishing Point and my Pilot Metal Falcon. The way I rotate them is that I always use the pen that is all the way to the right in my Nock.co Hightower. And when I write it dry, I refill it, and rotate everything to the right and the pen I wrote dry in the left pocket.

Where to go next?

19.03.2018 01:00

Where am I going with pen, paper and so on in 2018?

Pens: I’m not sure, there are some pens I would like. But they are priced way above my comfort level or never in stock.

Inks: I guess this will be where I start to experiment more in 2018 and moving forward.

Notebook: I’m more or less happy with what I have, and I don’t think there will be that many changes here.

Notebook covers: I’m very curious of what Nock.co will come out with in this area this year. And I guess a large portion of what I’ll buy will be coming out of Atlanta.

How things have changed since I got into fountain pens.

12.03.2018 01:00

I was walking around in the city, while Ingri and I were waiting for the train back home and I walked past one Leuchtturm1917 display case and two Lamy display cases. And I thought: damn things have changed since

1.

Back when I started, the only fountain pen related thing I knew about in Norway that was available was Parker. You could get the cartridges, while pens was something you had to order. And there was Mont Blanc stuff. But that’s stupid money.

In 2018, I could jump on the train, buy a Lamy Safari, Al Star or any of the entry level Lamy pens or a Leuchtturm1917 notebook. Something I had to order from UK or US in the past.

This is weird.

Pairing it down even further.

05.03.2018 01:00

I’m lucking enough to own a lot of great pens. But that means that I can’t use all of them. Or I can at least not use all of them all the time.

I own a few Retro51’s, three Pilot Metropolitan, one Lamy Safari, two TWSBI Eco, one TWSBI 580AL, a Lamy 2000, A Pilot Vanishing Point, a Pilot Metal Falcon and one Noodlers Ahab.

The way it works for me is that the pens I use is the ones I have in my Nock Hightower. It has room for three pens. And I have a system for rotating the pens in it. Too few pens means that you run out of ink, and too many means that they dry up or that you spend more time making sure that they don’t dry up than you spend writing with them.

My problem before I started to move pens out of rotation, first with the Metropolitans and then the Eco’s was that there was three pens I enjoyed way more than the others. I love the Metropolitan, but I enjoyed the other five pens way more. And I also loved the Eco’s but I loved the other three pens more.

The result was that I almost never used them, except for when it felt like “I had to”. Therefore I decided to clean and rotate out everything that I didn’t enjoyed the most. And I’ll probably ink them up when I test out inks.

My current pen carry is as follows:

  • Pilot Metal Falcon: Broad Flex Nib

  • Lamy 2000: Medium Nib

  • Pilot Vanishing Point: Broad Nib.

What I Carry

05.03.2018 01:00

What I carry these days are more or less the same as always, with some minor changes.

I always carry three pens, and I rotate them from a collection of five that I have in active use: Lamy 2000(M), Pilot Vanishing Point(B), Pilot Metal Falcon (Broad Flex), TWSBI Clear Eco(B), TWSBI Black Eco(Sub).

All of them are inked up with the same ink, as always. I currently use the Diamine Sargasso Blue, which I reviewed a while back.

As always, I use my Nock.co Hightower to carry my pens and pocket sized stuff.

Some of this stuff might change when Nock.co releases their A5 and Travelers Notebook Covers.