Saturday, 24 July 2010

Have Ink Will Travel

Travelling Ink case from the Writing Equipment 
London show, 2009

The time is approaching where I shall have to forsake the comforts of my desk for a campervan trip to some yet undecided destination. The packing of camping and cooking essentials is already under way. Being the more organised of all those residing in the household, it is my task. In fact, I would not trust it to anyone else. I am a veteran. This is also the time to compile the writing instruments' and implements' travelling list.

I know that it will surely contain one Rhodia pad No. 13, my green "" notebook perhaps, pencils for writing and sketching (which ones?), one sharpener, one eraser, possibly two Lamy Safaris, one fine, one medium nib, some ink cartridges, one ink bottle (which?), possibly one Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen, one Staedtler pigment liner 0.4. Laptop. Portable hard disk. And then one comes to the dreaded reading list. Dreaded because I don't know what I'd really want to read until it's time to read it.

Travelling ink and pen case 
from the Victoria & Albert Museum's 
Renaissance and Medieval Galleries

There are of course too many choices of writing instruments and accessories. This is not a good thing. I would like to have a pen case and some parchment. Messy and odoriferous perhaps but simple. Forsake all choices. Shun all possibilities. Have ink, will travel. And instead of trying to produce thoughts I should in my holy-days copy texts like the old medieval scribes. Copy mechanically like they did. And in the absence of holy texts, copy receipts from petrol stations and camping sites, leaflets and flyers - release the mind from the tyranny of thought-made-word.

Copy for the pleasure of seeing the words forming. Like Gogol's doomed Akaky.

PS1 Since writing this post, Nemo of the submerged Noughtilus in Mobilis Ink Mobili has reminded me that Stephens' Ink still awaits to be explored. I suppose that being the one on the surface this task falls on me. I shall do my best, inspired as I have been by Nemo's publication of Stephen's Writing Fluids. 

PS2 Nemo's post strangely coincides with my thoughts about travelling. I can't keep thinking about the inkseller. How simpler and more enjoyable holy-days would have been if (imagine) whilst wild-camping on some remote cliff or wandering in some Godforsaken-town, one saw coming down the path, the inkseller with his barrels of ink. Travelling Ink bringing civilization to your door (or tent).


  1. you are brave- ink bottles for traveling. your post made me smile.

  2. Ink bottles and travelling is perhaps a recipe for disaster. I let you know how it went...