Spring Cleaning

I went through my stationery hoard for some spring cleaning today, and decided to break out this cheerful Caran d’Ache rainbow pencil. Thank you M. La Plume!

I also decided to ink one of the pens I’d been saving for later. 

The Lamy Safari is a hugely popular pen, but I never had any plans to hunt down any since I discovered long ago that the triangular grip doesn’t suit me very well. But then I came across this discontinued version last year at a Montreal tobacconist’s. I find these cigar shops fascinating, because many of them also make a point of catering to the broader gentlemanly interests, such as Zippo lighters, shaving kits, chess boards, Swiss knives, and if you’re in luck, writing instruments too. Vasco’s selection of fountain pens was quite broad if idiosyncratic (Delta, Visconti, Ferrari, and Dupont, in addition to the more regular brands), and they had interesting old stock too. (I lucked into some past Caran d’Ache “Crayons de la Maison” editions there.) 

This yellow Safari was calling to me from the rotating stand next to the cashier, and as soon as I recovered from the initial shock, I decided to get it as my one and only symbolic Safari. This canary-yellow version with the black clip happens to have been the one often spotted in the hands of Korean celebrities way back when, and no doubt did its bit for the analogue boom.

I opted for the proprietary cartridge this time, but that only served to remind me why I hate using cartridges. The ink takes forever to reach the nib! I had to dip the nib in a little Staedtler blue to coax it out.

Somehow it feels a bit nostalgic, using this pen…

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4 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning

  1. A lovely, spring like colour too! I like the Safari, although they’re not my go to for long writing sessions, they’re super reliable, and quick enough to cap/recap that they’re a good pen for note taking. The “F” and “EF” are good choices for the small spaces in forms and pocket planners too.

    My favourites at the moment are the editions with a matte finish – it’s surprising how much they improve the feel of the pen. This year’s LE (Dark Lilac) is matte, and the regularly available Charcoal has a matte finish too.

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    1. Ooh, that makes me realize I’ve never really held a matte-finish Safari in my hand. Must try that sometime! Personally, in terms of looks, I prefer black-coated clips. They look so much more special compared to the usual bare-aluminum ones.

      I think what makes the Safari such a winner is the smooth nib; of course other brands have that too but the Safari in particular writes almost like a felt-tip pen. Also time has made me somewhat more accomodating of this severe triangular grip ;)

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  2. I should say as well that your description of the shop where you bought your safari evokes memories of similar shops in France. Usually a carousel or two of Opinel and Victorinox knives, a pen display, and then local souvenirs alongside the tobacco related items.

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    1. Yes, and it’s always interesting for me to see what items are considered as “men’s accessories” :) There was a shop like this in Buenos Aires too, and they had really nice knives (looks like it’s a point of pride for one to carry one’s own steak knife around here).

      Liked by 1 person

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