time flies, so do i: holiday carry
The deep rumble of the engine lulls you to a sleep, dampening any signs of life outside the little cabin. Four beds, not very narrow, but a little short and a small desk are the only furniture. Old, checkered curtains keep the warm glow of the light inside. Outside is dark in a way that a person that grow up in a city -me- can find hard to believe. The inky sea crashes and strains against the hull of the ferry, the stars still obscured by the light necessities of shipping. There are so many people out and about, though nobody seems to wander through these corridors. In the early morning, the dawn will summon us down to the belly of the ferry and we all will struggle into our cars. But for tonight, we are on this ship, land nowhere in sight.
I flew out for a well-deserved holiday a couple of nights ago, and now managed to find myself on a ferry so far out from civilization that internet is a luxury. What do I have? Pens, pens, and, more pens. Okay, also a laptop so I can type this out. You’ll probably see it a bit later. Anyway, a long holiday means lots of writing for me this time, I have some stories that I want to try my hand at writing. Who knows how successful I’ll be, but the only stories I regret are the ones I didn’t write.
So, here goes nothing.
Trying to bring an appropriate number of writing instruments to a holiday depends on your ability to estimate two things: how many days will you be away, and how much will you write. The success of your carry depends on this. Too many pens, and you will have hauled around precious extra grams of your sanity. Too little, and you’re stranded on an inkless desert.
For me, there are three considerations that guide my selection of pens. Then, once those are satisfied, I will ink up pens on a whim. The only limit is the pen slots on my notebook cases for this time.
The first and biggest consideration is being low maintenance. This goes for both ink and pen; no sheeny or shimmery inks, and no finicky filling systems. Larger ink capacity is preferred, since it will require cleaning less often and will travel well. Opus 88 Minty is my favourite pen for this. The shut-off valve keeps my mind at ease during flights and huge temperature changes, like the balmy 20 degrees of inside a plane and the 40 degrees outside. Not a single drop of ink on my fingers. To be fair, most of my pens travel pretty well, and I will still take precautions to make sure that nothing gets too inky.
The second consideration is the fun factor. Do I have fun while writing with this pen and ink? Does it make me want to pick it up again and again to write more? Different nibs are good for this, this is probably the widest variety of nibs I have ever carried with me. Stubs, broads, mediums, and a brand new architect nib. Novelty and exploration are always good motivators.
The last thing is colour. During the summer, all my murky greens and browns take a back seat to leave the stage to the many shades of blue. So many bright blues, delicate purples and the warmest oranges. My pens are colourful, my inks are colourful. The warm sun draws out the colour in my writing.
For a long time, I thought water-proofness should be a consideration. I spend a lot of time on different beaches after all. Then, I decided it is not worth it. I have rarely lost writing to water, and never to such an extent that it was completely illegible. Even if I did, what I’m writing isn’t life and death. It can survive losing a few words. Maybe, it’ll be even better for it.
On the other hand, the notebooks that I brought are pretty straight forward -a journal, a planner and a notebook to write stories in- so I’ll start with that. The notebook covers are all from Galen Leather, simply because I know they can hold up to the beating and I love them so much. My journal is a Leuchtturm 1917 notebook in green, lined, and very empty. It has been my journal for almost a year and I rarely journaled in the past year. I still carry it around to make sure that I’ll have something to write on if the need arises. Otherwise, the perforated pages serve as scrap paper to test pens on or scribble lines. It’s a good notebook, just not very exciting. Maybe, simply I didn’t have much to say to myself these days. It has been in the same slim Galen Leather cover too, a fitting darker green. Comfortable, light and easy to access. It has one pen loop to keep a pen for quick jottings and for the promise of journaling sessions anywhere.
My planner is a Hobonichi Cousin that will be a little empty. I record some events and stuff, but I brought it with me mostly for satisfaction. Keeping a planner is not the easiest task for me and I don’t want to give up on myself just yet. I love using it to record any and every aspect of my daily life. My absolute favourite planner so far. It’s in an Galen Leather A5 Zippered Folio, a little thicker and carrying four black pens. All of them have fun inks in them, ready to scribble things like breakfast times, when did the ferry leave the port, or how long did the drive take. Fun mini-journaling. Nothing deep.
The last notebook is my story notebook. I scribble, scratch out, and pour ink onto the page. Literally, albeit only once. The nib wasn’t letting me have enough ink to cover the part I didn’t want to see anymore, the crossing lines weren’t cutting ink. Nevertheless, it’s one of my favourite notebooks: a Clairefontaine A5 notebook with those cloth bound spines. I found a place that stocks them for cheap and I piled a good chunk into my cupboard. They’re great for drafting anything as the paper doesn’t distract and the pens just behave. It’s in a Galen Leather Writer’s Bank Bag, carrying 8 additional pens. I need to write a more detailed article on it, but I can say one thing: it’s perfect for carrying a lot of pens and two slim notebooks. Until that article, that’s all I have to say on that matter.
I was hoping to make this post short, because the pens are going to be part two. What can I say, I like writing and I like reading other people’s carry posts. I’m always curious about what pens and paper and notebook covers and everything other people use. So, here’s mine.
Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for the writing of actual pens that I brought with me, which should arrive shortly. The internet is unreliable around these parts of the world and I’m trying my best to find those pockets of good Wi-Fi.
Disclaimer: Galen Leather had sent the Writer's Bank Bag for a review.