Some real talk from the land of television: The only time a true TV fan knows a movie exists is if it that movie gets mentioned on a TV show. The only time we know a movie is a huge hit is if it’s mentioned on multiple TV shows. And the only time we know a movie has taken over the world is if it’s mentioned on hundreds of TV shows, many decades after it was first released
Yes, in the world of television, there’s no franchise quite like it. The films are a perfect frame of reference for many small screen stories — and at this point, allusions to George Lucas’s world are so common you probably don’t always recognize that they’re happening. (How many times have you heard “I have a bad feeling about this”?) Read more…
Since picking up one of the new Parker Fountain Pens recently, Rebecca Anne Milford has found a reconnection with a love of writing. Here, she reflects on the reason it holds so much importance to her.
I like the idea that the course of our lives can be charted by the writing implements we use. It begins with paint, daubed on with tiny fingers and toes as we get to know our bodies; then come crayons – chubby sticks of bright colour, used to scrawl on sugar paper and, much to our parent’s chagrin, walls. Our excitement and vision of the world is growing. As school approaches, we use pencils – HB, where mistakes can be erased as we diligently practice the alphabet. I remember my first ink pen was a blue number – it was what one graduated to in Junior school when people still painstakingly wrote essays by hand. Then there were the gel pens during secondary school – difficult to read, they left exercise book smelling of popcorn and bubblegum and sugar. We’d swap them with friends and write hearts around crushes. During university most of my notes were scrawled in biro – whatever I hastily fished from the bottom of my bag.
There was one hiatus during this period – my time writing with a fountain pen. My first was bought my dad – himself the recipient of some fine examples from his father. It was a Parker – plastic and blue, slightly shiny, and I loved it. From then on I got through a fair share, and wrote endless novels about my cat, notes to my friends, and outpourings of teenage diaries. But somewhere in between 12 and 16 this faded, and I did little to pick one up again. But this love of ink – this desire to once more write with the flowing ease of a nib on paper – never left. It had just remained dormant, and it didn’t take much to reestablish my passion for writing with a fountain pen.
Reunited with a New Collection
Picking up a Parker again was like revisiting a wonderful place from childhood, only this time the writing implement had grown with me. The Sonnet Contort Purple Cisle is a far cry from my WH Smith purchased practice pen. This one is a true thing of beauty – it’s satisfyingly heavy in my hand, and smooth like a pebble rubbed by the sea. The elegant comb of brushed-look shell glints with a pearlescent, dawn-break purple, while pearl lacquer gives it an ethereal translucence. Then there is the gleaming, spidery lines of 18k solid rose-gold detailing that turns it into a real thing of feminine grandeur. What’s more, it felt RIGHT to hold again – as if my hand had been missing the feel of a fountain pen. I imagine it’s similar to a Captain wishing for the grainy sensation of a ship’s wheel under his palms when forced to return to land.
Better Writing, Better Thinking
From that moment, three months ago, the pen has barely left my side. I write everything with it – shopping lists, diary appointments, notes to myself, the beginnings of short stories, travel pieces. And what both surprises and pleases me is the reaction from people. The latter emotion because so many people treat it with the respect it deserves, offering more comments than if I were wearing a beautiful watch – the Parker has established itself (and quite rightly) as a coveted object. But I add my surprise because of the number of people for whom writing with a fountain pen has become an almost archaic notion. So many look at the gleaming nib; the flow of dark ink; the slight influence towards calligraphy that it has on my writing – and reminisce about the days of their own Parker Pens. But so few use them now.
And why is this? Because of technology, no doubt about it. And I too am a sucker for scrawling messages down on my phone, the Notepad being my most used App. But now I have my pen, I can see the difference. There is something far better about writing things down. Not only is it proven to help us remember what we write, but for me it elicits a personal connection – an indiscernible thread between me and the moment in which I write.
A Global Companion
In the last three months my Parker Cisle has travelled all over the world with me, and with it I have diarised my adventures and penned notes to dear friends. It has sat in a cafe in Thailand, next to lemongrass tea as I watched my brother and dad play draughts. I had it aboard a catamaran on the Arabian Gulf in Abu Dhabi, where it looked quite at home next to the fawn leather. In Bali I woke each morning to the sound of birdcall and the gentle drift of frangipane flowers, and drank hot coffee as the day warmed, the pen in my hand as I recorded these details. It was by my side as I tasted Cognac in the South of France, and joined me in Berlin. But my favourite moment was sitting at Raffles in Singapore, early in the morning, at the tea table of my Palm Court Suite. I had just finished a letter to my friend back in England, and was catching up on my diary, describing the journey that had bought me thus far to South East Asia. Writing the words, choosing my descriptions, I was reminded sharply of the other writers – far better than I – who had visited this place – Kipling, Hemingway, Maugham- and had written of their experience. They had not absently tapped letters into an electronic device – they had applied the process of thought and then, like a lightning conductor, used their pen to focus the power of the words on the page, And now, whenever I write, this is what I think of. That near-magical process of writing – really writing – when the image in your mind is transformed to ink on a page. And I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful implement than my Parker Sonnet.
The Sonnet Contort Purple Cisele is part of the new collection from Parker Pens. Browse the array of new designs on the Parker Pen website, and follow @ParkerPens on Twitter, and more adventures from Rebecca Anne Milford on @Rebecca_anne_m