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Building a workbench or two

At the end of my series on restoring an Art Nouveau style cabinet, I mentioned that I had another project I wanted to tackle. That project was building a workbench.

I’ve never made anything like this before so I rather made it up as I went along.

I actually completed the project in the days immediately following finishing the cabinet, but I haven’t had a chance to blog about it until now.

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Weekend Away (Part 4) – the journey of eight legs

This is the final part of my series of posts on my trip away for the Bank Holiday weekend, which included front row VIP tickets to Caro Emerald‘s 2017 UK “Emerald Island” tour and also a gig by my best friend Claire’s band Iconic at Lady of the Lake in Lowestoft

In Part 1 I told you about my journey there, in Part 2 I covered the Caro Emerald gig, and in Part 3 I covered the rest of the weekend including the Iconic gig.

Now, in this final part, it’s the journey home.

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Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Diary, Out & About, Photos, Social

 

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Weekend Away (Part 3) – Iconic

This is Part 3 of my trip away for the Bank Holiday weekend, which included front row VIP tickets to Caro Emerald‘s 2017 UK “Emerald Island” tour and also a gig by my best friend Claire’s band Iconic at Lady of the Lake in Lowestoft

In Part 1 I told you about my journey there, and in Part 2 I covered the Caro Emerald gig.

Now for the rest of the weekend.

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Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Diary, Out & About, Photos, Social

 

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Weekend Away (Part 2) – Caro Emerald

Caro Emerald tour dates

Caro Emerald tour dates

This is Part 2 of my trip away for the Bank Holiday weekend, which included front row VIP tickets to Caro Emerald‘s 2017 UK “Emerald Island” tour.

In Part 1 I told you about my journey there, and how we barely arrived at the Ipswich Regent Theatre in time for the Meet & Greet.

So without further ado, here’s what happened next.

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Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Diary, Out & About, Photos, Social

 

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Weekend Away (Part 1) – The Journey there.

Caro Emerald tour dates

Caro Emerald tour dates

I’m a big fan of Caro Emerald, and almost a year ago I bought two tickets for her 2017 UK tour. In fact I think I might have bought the tickets the moment they went on sale. I went a little over the top and bought VIP tickets with a Meet & Greet with Caro beforehand, because I was a little more flushed with cash back then.

I chose Ipswich as the venue because, even though it wasn’t my closest, it was one that my best friend Claire could join me at and I thought it would be a nice thing for us to do together. As it happened, it fell on the May Bank Holiday weekend so a plan was hatched to stay with her and make a long weekend of it.

Since it was a Bank Holiday weekend, with the ensuing traffic chaos, I decided to take the train. Normally I would take my car, but I know from experience that the journey can take over 4½ hours when the M25 is rammed, although I have done the journey in as little as 3 hours when travelling back late at night. But I thought it worth trying the train.

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Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Diary, Out & About, Photos, Social

 

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Baoer 801

After a wait of almost a month, some new pens have just arrived from China. I’ve mainly bought Jinhao and Hero up until now, so the Baoer is a new one on me.

This is the Baoer 801 in “Black Shimmering Aurora Borealis” finish. It’s quite a nice pen and a little bit different.

Looks-wise, it is very similar to the Parker 88 / Rialto.

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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in Pens

 

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Diary update – Lady driver

Recently I popped over to Thruxton Race Circuit for a track day organised by Gold Track. It’s a circuit I have driven several times before, but on this occasion I was not driving as my sports car is too noisy for Thruxton and my current road car is too boring.

The reason for my visit is that Melindi Scott, who runs Gold Track, has become a good friend over the years and I was visiting to see her as it’s been a while since we last got together.

It was a lovely sunny day, so I drove over in my noisy sports car and arrived late morning. I figured there was no point arriving too early as I knew Melindi would be busy with driver check in, briefings, etc.

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Posted by on April 23, 2017 in Diary, Out & About, Social, Transgender

 

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Art Nouveau style cabinet – part 4

This is Part 4 of my restoration of an Art Nouveau cabinet which I had bought and whose base was riddled with woodworm.

As you will see from Part 3, I ditched the idea of using 18mm MDF and reverted to the original construction of a sandwich of plywood and mitred softwood.

Caution: This is a pretty long post with lots of pictures!

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Parker 51 and 61

I was at the Monthly Maltings Market at Farnham a few weeks ago, and was tempted by some fountain pens that a seller had. He is there every month, and I had previously looked at his pens but not bought any. I had been somewhat tempted by a Parker 61 Flighter as I had liked the inlaid arrow on the nib section, but the nib itself was in very poor condition so I passed.

However, this time I got into conversation with him, and we talked at length about pens in general, and a few specifics.

I had brought my Sheaffer Targa set to show him (show not sell), and he liked it. He had a boxed Targa two pen set in stainless steel which was £65. Interestingly, he said steel pens are less popular these days. He also had a Sheaffer Cartridge (looks similar to the 440 but has an arrow head cutout rather than diamond) but I figured that was too close to what I had already, plus I’m not so keen on that nib shape.

He had a collection of Parker 51 pens there, and I asked for one that would write, so he suggested a Teal one that had a converter, rather than the Vacumatic to the left of it since that one needed restoration.

I also mentioned that would like a Parker 61 but didn’t fancy his Flighter set due to the nib damage, and he showed me another 61 which he had, which was an early 61 capillary.

I enquired as to the price of the 51 and 61, and he wanted £35 and £45 respectively. I asked for a package price and he suggested £70, I countered with £65, and he accepted. It was rather more than I had intended to spend on pens, but I was taken by the moment.

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Posted by on April 19, 2017 in Pens

 

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More fountain pens

I visited my parents recently, and had a bit of a pen-fest.

First off, my dad gave me his old Sheaffer pen. Some might see this as worn out and beaten up, but to me it is gorgeous wear and patination, and I love it. There is a matching rollerball, which he also gave to me.

I’ve always loved the design of the inlaid nib Sheaffer pens, so this was really big deal for me to own one.

He thinks he first started using it in the late 1950’s, but I think he is mistaken. Looking online, this is without a doubt a “Targa by Sheaffer” which was first introduced in 1976. After some research on sheaffertarga.com I have narrowed it down to the Matte Black GT 1st Edition Classic (model number 1003) which was produced from 1980-1988. I believe it to be a 1st Edition as the cap end is the same colour as the cap and body, whereas the 2nd Edition has a gold cap end.

But regardless of its age and provenance, it is a lovely pen and I love it to bits. The wear and patina make it very special, and the brass showing through lends it a slightly Steampunk vibe.

Having inked it up, it writes absolutely beautifully. It’s a cartridge pen with converter, so I filled it with Parker Quink Permanent Black bottled ink.

He also gave me another Sheaffer, but doesn’t know where it came from or whose it was. Having done my research online, I have narrowed it down to being a Sheaffer Connaisseur Black 2nd Edition (model number 810), being the 2nd Edition because it has Sheaffer stamped on the cap band rather than the clip. This pen was produced from 1989 to 1996, and has an 18k gold oblique nib. It writes well, although runs a little wet.

Next is a nondescript green Parker 45 which was my grandmother’s, and whose only notable feature is the fact that the system has been worn into an odd shape presumably from years of writing. My mum said I could have it.

What I couldn’t have was my grandmother’s other pen which is a Parker 51 in deep blue, missing its clip and cap end, and whose nib is bent right over to the left like a banana through years of use. It writes really beautifully, and my mum writes with it regularly which is why I can’t have it. 🙂

Another pen they gave (back to) me was an old Osmiroid which I had as a kid and which I had forgotten that I had even owned. It’s pretty unremarkable.

There was also a very cheap Parker which had corporate branding on it which was obviously a freebie, and a couple of nondescript unnamed fountain pens that were similarly freebies, and I left those.

Finally, my dad also let me have a look at (and take a picture of) his Mont Blanc pen set. What immediately struck me about it is how heavily its design has influenced the Jinhao X450, and to some extent the X750.

Naturally I can’t have his Mont Blanc just yet as he still uses it. But I am sure that one day it will be added to my collection (although obviously I hope that day is a long way off).

So there we go – a nice little collection.

I think I might have to buy a pen case at this rate. 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Pens

 

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