Peter wrote a letter accompanying the gift I received by mail two days ago. He wrote it using a fountain pen. Peter is not secretive about his joy for fountain pens and to honor his gift I used my 23 year old fountain pen to write a message on his printed paper. Truth be told, I hadn’t used this pen for many years. Like fifteen years, maybe even longer. It took some brute force to get the ink flowing again to write the short message. I know I shouldn’t be doing that, but with little time at hand that’s what I did. Of course that brute force resulted in ink leaking through places that shouldn’t excrete ink, which resulted in blue stains on my fingers. It all reminded me of the reasons why I stopped using it in the first place. Probably in combination of running out of ink (though I did find some spare cartridges still in my office supply box).

This fountain pen deserves a second chance though. It was a gift by my parents for graduating high school. My mother took me to a store in Groningen and I was allowed to pick my own, expensive, set. I picked this one, a Waterman, for it’s deep and bright blue color. I’ve used it extensively during my years at university (which was my mother’s reasoning for the gift in the first place), but as digital life grew the fountain pen got unused.

The thing is, I still use pens. I even prefer them for writing raw versions of short stories. So why not give my Waterman another go for that purpose? This morning I had some more patience and decided to give the pen a good clean. No fancy method here, just keeping it under the tap for a while, blowing on it a few times to get as much old ink out as possible. Then I dried the inner parts where possible and refitted the cartridge. A bit watery at first, but now it writes like a charm. I’ll place the pen on an easy to grab spot on my desk. Perhaps this pen will grow into a favorite tool for writing again.