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  • A Fleeting Ripple

a little murderous: montblanc scarlet red

While the sun sets, it casts long shadows on the wall. The trees outside sway to a phantom wind. Their branches dancing inside, bringing the room alive. The whole world is painted a warm red. One of the distant neighbours is having a gathering, the laughter and chatter reaching to your ears. It’s a balmy weather, but it looks much warmer than it feels. The breeze is the one constant that never lets your skin get too warm under the sun, setting goosebumps in. Perhaps closing the window would be the best while the cold night air sets in.

I am not a big fan of red inks. This is probably rooted in a mighty bottle spill. My first red ink was Diamine Monaco Red in 30 ml bottle; a beautiful, unsaturated, dark-ish red. Trying to fill up a pen for the first time with that ink, I knocked over the bottle and spilled 3/4 of it to my desk. Fortunately I was doing it on a towel and my desk was black plastic in my old house, so the landlord didn’t say anything about the ink stains. From now on fill all of my pens in the sink and keep all the pen parts in the same room. Because when you’re running with a converter in your hand, trying to find the nib, you sometimes stumble and the converter flies across the room. Apparently white walls aren’t as forgiving with, ahem, a splash of colour.

Therefore, I have much less red inks compared to blue or greens. That makes Montblanc Writers Edition Homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Scarlet Red my second bottle of red ink.

…and yes, that is a very long name.

With the connection to Sherlock Holmes, I thought this would be a rich blood red, but I was (un)pleasantly surprised. This ink is almost an orange. It shades on good paper, ranging from an actual orange to a red. Not a true red, not a blood red, but a red. Swatches I’ve seen online were showing a much more vibrant red. So, in order to combat this unexpectedness, I put it into a pen with one of my favourite nibs: Pilot Custom Heritage 912 with a soft fine nib.

This pairing turned out to be amazing, I’ve already gone through two refilled cartridges. The soft, wet nib gives a bit of shading and character to the ink, and the fine nib keeps the lines tidy. I generally have a very light hand with fountain pens and I never get line variation with this nib, only a little softness. It’s an easily legible, well behaved pair. As it can be seen from the writings, it does become wider in a more absorbent paper, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say it feathers. The more I used this ink, the more I warmed up to it.

Even though I feel a little mislead due to my perfectly founded -to me- expectations of the ink, I enjoy using it. In itself, it can be a great ink if lighter reds are your colour. Turns out they are mine. Lately I’ve been a lot more flexible in my inks and welcoming change. For example, generally I like using a dark and solid black ink, but these days I’m using Pilot’s Black with its slightly shading lines. This red is no different in that sense. It’s very different from my murky greens and grey blues. It’s not even a faded colour. Change is always good, it keeps life interesting.

I put this ink on two papers, one of them is a crisp white and the other is a warmer cream. The white paper is Clairefontaine 90gsm “Velvet” paper, amazing for fountain pens. The other is a notebook by a brand called Studio Mottos. I had never heard of them before and decided to give them a try when I saw them. It’s not terrible paper, but it is absorbent and characteristics of the ink wouldn’t be too apparent. I like using that for trying new inks/pens because it gives me a better idea about how they’ll behave on regular paper.

In the end, this ink really grew into me. So much that I got Diamine Red Dragon to use more often, hoping that it would be more of a true red. Also that I like dragons. Okay, I’m rambling too much and it’s late and I’ll stop writing.

Thank you for reading! Today’s song is Assasin’s Creed Odyssey’s music. I missed Greece a lot in the past two years and I started playing this game during that time. The graphics are extremely beautiful and it does dull the edge of missing a place. Sometimes I just open the game to ride a horse around for hours, hoping to remember what the sea felt like on my face.



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