11 Jul 2018

what's in my bag #22: nights on-call

Night shifts are the worst: twelve and a half hours where I cover all medical patients (around 300!). I try not to eat too much during the shift but it's a delicate balance as on an empty stomach, I do get hangry! Here are the usual contents of my on-call bag:

Bag: Longchamp Le Pliage small
Contents (top left to right): a bottle of water, a pen, crackers, a snack, stethoscope, lip balm, phone charger, tissues, hand cream and boiled sweets.

I try and carry a small-ish bag when doing my nights. One that's small enough to not be in the way when walking from ward to ward but still big enough to hold as many snacks as possible. This is where my small Longchamp Le Pliage comes in handy. I have tried using a small cross-body bag but found it didn't hold enough food in (my colleagues will laugh at this as they all understand my constant hunger).

Anyway, these are the usual contents of my bag. Often, there will be a banana or two, and a clementine in there too; sometimes even a packet of nuts if I'm after a bit of luxury. It is often tempting to eat a load of rubbish but I try and stay as healthy as possible. I also get a bit ratty if I've gone for too long without food so grazing every few hours or so on fruit helps. The crackers and Soreen mini-loaf are there for contingency more than anything as they aren't as healthy as fruit or nuts.

4 Jul 2018

introducing: caran d'ache 849 fountain pen in fluorescent orange, extra fine nib

This Caran d'Ache offering is my first foray into this brand. Prior to this, I only knew of the brand as expert pencil makers so I had high hopes that this fountain pen would be extremely nice in hand. This is the Caran d'Ache 849 fountain pen and I chose to get it in a fluorescent orange colour and it is what I would call the entry level model.

It comes in a red box which feels a little cheap and you can definitely tell it is an entry level fountain pen for the brand.


The pen comes with an ink cartridge in the colour idyllic blue (which will be reviewed in due course) so you can use it as soon as it arrives. I understand it takes international converters (happy to be corrected about this as I haven't tried this yet myself). 

The pen clip covers up the brand logo and seems sturdy enough. An interesting thing about this pen is that the clip posts in such a manner where it appears to fit seamlessly with the pen body. 


As a creature of habit, I chose the extra fine nib and I have to be honest... The first pen that arrived was extremely scratchy, skipped and had hard starts. The company I bought it from replaced it with one that had a better nib. However, it seems to write with a bit of a stub and the line isn't as fine as I hoped it to be. 


The pen, when posted, is actually longer than a Lamy Safari which is pretty long itself too! However, it is an extremely light pen which appears to be built pretty well. 


Overall, there are positives and negatives about this pen but I can't help feeling underwhelmed considering how much it costs as an 'entry level' offering. The nib isn't ideal (in fact, far from it) and this part of the pen is arguably the most important... However, being as light as it is, long writing sessions are a pleasure and not uncomfortable at all.

With the majority of the other pens in my collection trumping this one, I will most likely let this one go in the near future.