What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Improving the Karmic Outlook

Posted by Dirck on 21 May, 2013

I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend of attempting to placate the shrieking ghost of Queen Victoria… although I suppose if one lives outside the Commonwealth of Nations that’s not something that’s required.  When not chanting the first chorus of “God Save the Queen” repeatedly while making sure none of the furnitures’ ankles were showing, I was putting some energy in the rehabilitation of a wartime Duofold.  I’m reasonably pleased with the results, so I will bore you with some pictures:

It wasn't born in a barn, but it apparently spent some time in one.

It wasn’t born in a barn, but it apparently spent some time in one.

In this state, gold should not have a pick axe applied to it.

In this state, gold should not have a pick axe applied to it.

Happily, ugly was only skin deep.

Happily, ugly was only skin deep.

...unlike in the point's case, where scars remain.

…unlike in the point’s case, where scars remain.

The beautified whole.

The beautified whole.

The diaphragm in the filler also needed replacement, but the real effort lay in the only partially-successful burnishing out of the deep dents in the point (which the before picture, even once you’ve clicked on it to enlarge, doesn’t really show in their’full terror).  The point-burnishing tools I got last year have hardly ever had such a work-out.  I’m pleased with the results, even with some remaining visual damage, and I’m also pleased to be sending this pen back to it’s owner in expectation of no more recompense than the cost of postage.

Wait… how’s that?

Back in March, there was a posting on a forum; a student had come to a teacher known to use fountain pens, to show what his grandfather had turned up out in the barn (yes, the caption above held truth).  Teacher came to the forum to enquire about what it might take to get this sort of pen back on its feet.

I think I may have revealed once or twice in previous entries that I am given to wild romantical notions, and perhaps even to the odd flurry of Quixoticism.  That sort of story of a trans-generational pen is exactly the sort of thing that hits my “Sucker” button.  I sent a message off to the teacher, offering parts and service for free, and last week the pen appeared on my doorstep.  I won’t say I spent the whole weekend working on it (son and I were alone all day Sunday, and there was important popcorn-eating and Pixar-watching to get through), but the relaxing part of the long weekend was definitely that which included this pen.

I know there are those, like the founder of Reiki, who will suggest that in not charging for my service I will devalue the pen in the eyes of the lad who in a few days will be able to write with it.  I hope not, and I suspect not; it’s a smashingly pretty pen, it came into my hands because he and his teacher had seen the difficulties attached to refitting a Vacumatic filler, and there’s the family connection to give it intrinsic value.  That there’s a little act of stranger’s kindness also attached to the pen’s story might help a little, but in all honesty, I hope that’s the last thing that occurs to him when he writes with it.  Better by far to recall how he came to have the pen, and the context of the pen’s construction (V for Victory on the point, eh?).

I profit intrinsically as well.  That is a pretty pen, after all, which I got to look at up close and in person, and I get the good feeling of having pushed Entropy back just a little bit.  I also get the small idiosyncratic victory of having put a very good pen in the hands of someone under the age of 20 who might never have known a fountain pen otherwise.

Of course, I may also have done myself a small karmic injury at the same time.  After all, once he writes with the thing, he’s ruined for modern pens, and that ruination is on my head as much as anyone’s.

Today’s pen: Parker Vacumatic
Today’s ink: Waterman vintage blue


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