Last week I received not one but two hand written missives from bloggers who knew my postal address. Of course a handwritten letter or notecard requires a hand written reply and those have now gone in the post to Simone and Lesley. I realised however that since I rarely write real letters I didn't have any "proper" writing paper so apologies for that but I did write them both using a fountain pen and ink. I also discovered how much easier it is to write using a keyboard - being a touch typist I can more easily get my thoughts down as fast as I think them whereas with the pen I was lagging behind as it were and my writing was getting worse as I went along!
Lesley mentioned coloured inks and the etiquette surrounding this. I did remember learning that it was "correct" to use blue or black ink but not coloured ink but couldn't remember the details. Some research on the internet unearthed a website which said that apparently red ink can be seen as aggressive and should not be used and in some cases it is believed to foretell death! I hadn't realised that there were so many different inks available - on line of course as in the town shops when I wanted some there was Quink or nothing!! See this web page for some of the different types available - ink is obviously alive and kicking still!
Then of course there are the pens available to use. If you plan to write in ink you need a fountain pen or a dip pen (who remembers those from school?) I still have the pen my aunt gave me on my passing the 11+ exam - it had been given to her by her Canadian Air Force boyfriend so was a treasured gift! It needs repairing now though as the rubber inside seems to have perished with age so I am currently using a Shaefer fountain pen which my husband gave me. See my propelling pencil and pen still in the little bag I made for it nearly 60 years ago still with ink on it from back then!
As well as pens and ink there were other accoutrements required such as blotters - my writing case has a blotter seen above. Blotting paper came in various colours and qualities - I remember pink and green as well as white which is what I have here. Again who remembers blotting paper being stuffed into the ink wells at school so that it might be used as a missile when flicked with a nice bendy ruler when nobody was looking?!) Then there were pen wipers which were used to wipe the nibs of dip pens to prevent them going rusty and also of fountain pens to clear any excess ink after filling them. I came across this web site for all things to do with pens and ink etc - do check it out it's fascinating there are Sevres porcelain ink wells, blotters, leather cases for pens etc.
You may remember me showing you this book ages ago? Well I got it from the library again recently and have been enjoying reading it - in it the author speaks of writing letters and of having to cut quills to use as pens and making ink using elderberries (not too successful apparently as it was too pale) and oak apples cooked in a rusty iron pot - thank goodness we don't have to do that these days.
One last tid bit - I read recently that using plastic throw away biros is very ungreen both in their manufacture and disposal - I guess reusable is always going to be beter in the eco stakes.
A subject which would produce enough "stuff" for a small book - you'll be glad to know I won't be writing one though and certainly not here!
On a different note - remember this photo taken from the bus to London?
I sat in the sun and finished embellishing this piece yesterday whilst DH sat watching the Tour de France (how wonderful is that that in Jubilee year and the year that London hosts the Olympics we have a British winner?) I don't really know what to do with it now though other than toss it in the back of the cupboard and found it difficult to get effect I had in mind. I had no suitable ribbon to do the hedge as I knew it was neither black nor green so I used narrow cut strips of fabric - what a lot of misapplied labour I thought last night when I had had enough of it! Without the photo you'd never guess what it was meant to be would you but hey I enjoyed my couple of hours in the garden under the umbrella (yes it was so sunny we needed to have some shade).
I'll stop waffling on now and if you are still with me - thanks and congratulations you deserve a medal!