Tuesday, 18 October 2011

In disarray

Palimpsest has lost all sense of routine and habit, dear Readers. The regularity of the weekly posts has been thrown out of the window, as the expression goes. Palimpsest and its trading section, Inklinks, and Mrs Palimpsest's family as well, have moved house. "I can't be very coherent (we are breaking up our household here, now reduced really to complete disarray and I'm writing with a fountain pen I'm not yet used to.") Well, I'm actually marking cardboard boxes with a WHSmith marker to be exact.

-"You have to choose to answer two security questions for future checks", said the lady in HM Customs where I called to notify them of my change of address. 
-Where were you born?
-That's easy, I'll remember the answer to that. 
-Right. Second one."What is your favourite animal?" 
-Hmm, many. Can I choose another one? 
-Certainly. "What is your main hobby?"
-Um, I don't know. I don't really have a main hobby. Another one?
-"What was your favourite pastime as a child?"
-What? I don't remember. What is that? What happened to "mother's maiden name" as a security question?
-Oh, we don't do "maiden name" anymore, it is too obvious.
-Well, if I give you my mum's maiden name you'll have a hard time writing it down.
-Yes, but we don't do maiden names anymore. Look, I run out of questions. Just leave it and next time you call the system would have generated some more.

I'm sure that by the time I move again (and I hope it won't be very soon) the System would have devised even more interesting security questions for me to ponder on. "What is your favourite ink" or "What's the best writing instrument you've ever written with" or more likely "When did you buy your first iPad?" And I wouldn't be able to give one definite answer to those either.

I'm no good with giving one definite answer. I don't have "best" films and "favourite" colours and I like many inks. And by the time you ask I'll have different ones. I'm in disarray.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Wolff, again

Back in March 2011 Palimpsest has written about the elusive Elias Wolff and his pencil works. In July a cast iron E. Wolff & Sons Eclipse Inkstand popped up. In September, Inklinks sold a tin of Wolff’s Royal Sovereign pencils. Now a kind Palimpsest reader made Palimpsest aware of a photo showing Wolff’s pencil works at 54-56 Great Queen Street, Holborn, central London. It was taken in 1906 and is in the London County Council Photograph Library, London Metropolitan Archives.

Wolff’s pencil packaging in Inklinks today: Royal Sovereign Pencils