Top of The Pen Pots: Inky Gifts from Afar

I’ve been more blessed than the Pope this week. I’ve received ‘thanks for being a fab interviewee’ gifts from Ant of UK Fountain Pens. I’ve received ‘oops, sorry the plastic cracked’ new pen barrels from TWSBI. And I’ve received ‘my god you are super duper awesome’ gift in the form of a Galen Leather Three Pen Sleeve from…myself. A good week all round!

Here’s the rundown of my Top of the Pen Pots for the last seven days.

Pens, ink and nature
Even I’m impressed with how ‘Ed Jelley’ this picture looks ;). (Ed, I could never match you!)

A shock entry at three: Galen Leather Three Pen Sleeve

I bought this beauty for myself as a birthday gift a few weeks ago. I wanted a slimline case to compliment my Nock Co Sinclair, that looked more ‘profesh’ than a camo print pouch screaming ‘I WANT TO BE A KICK ASS MARINE’ rather than ‘I’M A RESPECTABLE MARKETING PROFESSIONAL’. I think the brown leather expresses the latter sentiment quite well ;). And so it should, for the extortionate customs charges I had to pay, grrrrr!

I was initially terrified that the vegetable tan leather was too stiff to use (oooh matron). But, after deliberately heavy handedness, the leather has softened up nicely and carries my pens around with aplomb.  The stitching is sturdy, the edges neater than hospital corners on a freshly made bed, and it looks pretty damn suave. It fits most of my pens well (with some persuasion), and easily slots into a deep coat pocket or bag. I’ve loved carrying it around this week and it even got some admiration in my local hipster coffee shop. SCORE!

Galen Leather Three Pen Sleeve: stiffer than steel!
Galen Leather Three Pen Sleeve: Stiffer than steel!

A lovely surprise at two: Blackstone Barrier Reef and Sydney Harbour Blue

I almost kissed my postman this week. (We’ve all nearly done this, right?!)

He delivered an unexpected package via Bureau Direct from my buddy Ant, as a thank you gift for being his first interviewee. What a sweetheart!

I’ve made no secret about my burning desire to try these inks, and I wasn’t disappointed with Ant’s choices. Barrier Reef Blue is a peppy, wet and bright blue with a sensational red sheen, surpassing Robert Oster’s Fire and Ice in my opinion and for half the price. Sydney Harbour Blue is a gorgeous dark turquoise with green undertones that reminds me of Diamine Teal. I’ll be sure to do a full ink review of these soon; in the meantime, Alt Haven has done a wonderful job already!

Blackstone Inks: Excellent contenders to Robert Oster's inky crown
Blackstone Inks: Excellent contenders to Robert Oster’s inky crown

An unexpected re-entry at one: TWSBI Vac Mini 

I’ve had my TWSBI Vac Mini for nine months now but only a few days after purchasing it from Pure Pens (whom I love to buy from, for the record), it developed cracks on the barrel and vac piston knob. Bummer.

This didn’t affect the functionality of the pen, but my inner perfectionist flinched every time I picked it up to write. I finally got off my arse and contacted Phil Wang at TWSBI (what a GEM by the way :)), who sent me a brand new barrel and vac filling system free of charge. This newly repaired stunner is back in my good books again, and has seen an inordinate amount of use this week inked up with Blackstone Barrier Reef Blue. It looks killer with the medium JoWo nib. Officially in ‘re-love’.

TWSBI Vac Mini: I'm back in love!
TWSBI Vac Mini: I’m back in love!


What have you lot used most this week? And have YOU tried to kiss a postman?!

Keep those nibs mucky!


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