Dear Gardeners’ Question Time,
I’m holed up at Gladstone’s Library, which is a residential library in the tiny little village of Hawarden, North Wales. I’m here to work on my novel and relax a bit and OMG THIS PLACE IS BRILLIANT. I HAVEN’T SPOKEN TO ANYONE USING MY FACE FOR TWO DAYS, EXCEPT TO ORDER MORE COFFEE. Ahem. Everything about the place is incredible, from the building, which looks like this:
to the library itself, which looks like this:
To the grounds, which look like this:
And I’m not going to go on about this TOO much because if you want to you can go and check the place out yourself. But I will add one more thing: Hawarden smells amazing. It smells like everything good and nothing bad. I want to put Hawarden air in a can and spray it into my face at home. Why does it smell so good? Is this the rural life? Is it just fantasy? Or is it perhaps that London smells hideously awful and that’s what I’m used to?
Anyway I’m not here to talk Hawarden smell. I’m here to talk about the Divine Design Eyedropper pen, which is on loan from Scribble, and available at fpnibs.com. I suggested that Doris Day (which is her name now) might like to come with me to work on my novel and Scribble agreed. So here we are.
She’s a pretty little soul, is our Doris. She’s made from black and clear resin and being designed for eyedroppering she looks great with cool ink in her. Unlike many a plastic demonstrator she is solidly built rather than light and flimsy. I like that. She looks to my eyes like a pretty classy number. This is a pen you buy without a nib, so you can pick one from the fpnibs.com collection. Scribble told me nothing about the nib so I’m going to figure this out using the powers of deduction. Ahem. It’s a steel Jowo, a #6 I think. It’s a medium, and he went for the funky lacquer version in purple (obviously).* It’s a smooth, wet writer. Completely rigid but that’s fairly standard for steel. It starts easily, causes no problems and will keep you going through Chapter 9. By the time it was passed to me the purple was already starting to come off, so bear that in mind if it’s likely to annoy you.
Doris comes with a convertor, if you really want to use one, but using c/c with her does seem to be missing the point. She wants to be eyedroppered and if you do so she has a truly epic ink capacity.
Wait is this all the writing I’ve done? This trip suddenly feels less productive.
So am I in love with Doris?
I think she’s a great pen and well worth the £30 + nib. It’s nice to support a little brand like Divine Design. But she isn’t really for me. She’s too bulky and heavy. She’s probably easier to use if you don’t post, but I always post. I’m too afraid of losing caps everywhere otherwise. But with her posted I feel like I’m trying to write with a cricket bat.
Yes this is how I hold a pen. Stop judging me for it.
So close to being a winner for me but she doesn’t quite get there. Of course none of this is objectively bad, and it may be a great thing for someone else. Obviously there’s a trade off between making her robust and making her heavy. I can be fussy about this. For me the TWSBI 580 is in exactly the right place, while the Eco fails hard. Doris tips over to the other side. For those who like a lighter pen it looks as though the Divine Design Polo may fit the bill better. And as that one is £7 there’s no good reason not to try it so I probably will.
And now it’s time for the one character in Grease who doesn’t annoy me I think.
I don’t drink; I don’t swear; I don’t rat my hair; I get ill from one cigarette.
One of the above assertions may be untrue.
Mrs Trellis of North Wales.
* Scribble has now read this post and not corrected me about the nib, so I assume I must be right about it, because if there’s one thing that guy likes it’s correcting people.