29 Aug 2018

an impulse buy in hong kong: the muji aluminium fountain pen

When I was in Hong Kong back in February, I ended up in Muji (of course) at Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui. I was actually looking for their signature tinned candles as my sister wanted me to stock up on her behalf but this quest was unsuccessful and these candles were nowhere to be found. Instead, I stumbled upon this fountain pen. It is infamous within the fountain pen world for being a cheap minimalistic fountain pen of a decent build and writing quality. Priced at around $70 (if my memory hasn't failed me) which equates to just over £6. 

It is a lightweight pen which makes it ideal for those long writing sessions. The contrast in texture at the grip section breaks up what would have been a monotonous design.

The nib has some intricate detailing to it and it is a lovely fine nib which writes true to its specification. It is extremely smooth, does not skip and is a real pleasure to write with - especially when you factor in how much it cost!

The cap posts seamlessly with the pen to the point where the join to the barrel is hardly noticeable.

This Muji fountain pen takes international cartridges and I've yet to try any converters in it yet. If you do a google, different people recommend different converters for it and with an abundance of international cartridges in my possession, I'm in no rush to find a converter that fits.

This is a great pen for the beginner user as the short international cartridges are super easy to find on the high street and online (plus they are cheap!) and the pen is a pleasure to use.

My only dilemma is what to use it for: I already have two to three every day carries I use at work, I have two to three pens reserved purely for journaling purposes and two to three others which are permanent fixtures on my study desk. At the moment, it is a back up work pen...

22 Aug 2018

introducing meticulous ink: a british fine stationer

The high street is not what it once was - family run stores are being replaced by chain stores and multinational companies. I grew up in a lovely little village in the Highlands of Scotland where there was a family run butchers, a family run pharmacy and newsagents and many more independent shops. So when Meticulous Ink got in touch, I knew they would be a perfect fit for Paper Lovestory.

Meticulous Ink are based in the quaint town of Bath and dabble in bespoke tationery and print. The premise is an offer of good quality paper done the old fashioned way. They have a shop online but also a shop within their founding city of Bath too.

Today, I will be featuring three of their most popular products: a diary, a notebook and a writing pad.

But first, let's talk about Verity's penmanship. Isn't this note absolutely gorgeous? I'm currently on an Emergency Medicine rotation and the rota is killing. It was a delight to come home to this and see this note:


The Meticulous Ink diary features a lovely thick hardback cover with simple embossing to denote its status as a diary. It is date-free so you can start using it immediately, even now at the end of August! The A5 size with week to view pages means it'll be perfect for the mass market and would also make a great gift for someone obsessed with organising, or someone who wants to become more organised!

Opposite the week to view page, there is a blank sheet for anything you fancy. Doodle all you want, write as long a to-do list as you feel like or stick in something to remember from that week.

The quality of the diary is amazing - it really feels luxurious and the ring bound nature means you can stick things in and the spine won't break down.

The only things missing from this are a back pocket (for those loose bits and pieces you inevitably end up carting about for weeks to months on end before throwing them away) and a page marker.


Compared to the diary, the Meticulous Ink notebook has a thinner cover which is more akin to a thick cardboard. Within it, it has pages of peach, grey and green notepaper - all blank and ready for anything you want to use it for. The ring bound nature of it makes it the perfect journal as you can, again, stick things in without killing the spine. I am definitely a sticker when it comes to journaling (cinema and train tickets, Instax photos, stickers, etc, all have a place in my journal!).

Writing Pad

This writing pad is the star of the show. The cover says it all: 160gsm! 100% cotton paper! It takes fountain pen extremely well with no bleeding or show through. Both sides of the paper can be written on and the paper feels ever so luxurious. It saddens me that fewer letters are now written and sent via snail mail; most of us, instead, opting to use email or WhatsApp or a simple text message. Maybe more people can be persuaded to write letters if they came across a writing pad like this one...?

Each of the products featured here would make a great gift for any occasion. These products are definitely higher end and of brilliant quality. There is not much wrong with them (if anything) and you'd be supporting an independent retailer, rather than another corporation - a rather big positive in my eyes.

NB: This pen and the inks were sent by Meticulous Ink in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the company or anyone else.

15 Aug 2018

my fountain pen story: how it all blew out of proportion

Today, I thought I'd share how my love for fountain pens became an obsession...

It all started when I was ten years old and in primary school. My mum bought myself and my sister a basic Parker fountain pen each - a Parker Jotter and a Parker Vector respectively. A few years later, my mum found her vintage Parker 45 with a fine nib and this was my writing tool of choice. The thinner nib was a detail I much preferred to the thicker, medium nib of my Parker Jotter. I also felt more grown up with the Parker 45 and its burgundy colour.

A few years after that, and at the age of 16, I acquired a more up to date version of the Parker 45 in Hong Kong. Though it was a fine nib, it did not write as fine as the vintage Parker 45 my mum had given me. I reverted back to this vintage Parker 45 and despite a crack in its plastic barrel, I persevered with it. Eventually, I had to retire it as it would unscrew every two or three words.

This was when I was enticed by rollerballs (Uniball Signo, I'm looking at you) and those, oh-so-attractively-minimalistic, Muji gel pens.

At the end of my first degree and at the age of 20/21, I decided I wanted to try fountain pens again. And it was then that my first Lamy Safari (in coral pink) was purchased in 2014 after over a year's deliberation.

I realised just how much I missed not having to grip a pen tightly, the relief of no hand cramp despite writing for hours and how enjoyable writing with a fountain pen really is.

And then it snowballed. If I recall correctly, a Kaweco Skyline Sport, Pilot Kakuno and a Pilot Prera were my next acquisitions. Then it got a bit more expensive - I wanted to try a piston-filler and TWSBI were a fairly new name on the block. The price also made it a perfect first piston-filler to try out.

For each major life event after that (e.g. graduation, 25th birthday), I bought myself a fountain pen I had been coveting. These fountain pens are the Pelikan Souveran M400, the Pilot Decimo in Champagne and a Sailor Yukitsubaki.

Since then, I have acquired many more fountain pens and am going to re-evaluate my collection. Some will be sold as they are not used as often as they deserve to be. My obsession has slowed down since and of late, most of the obsession has been about the ink more than the pens.

Who knows what will happen in the next chapter of my fountain pen story :)

8 Aug 2018

new ink: j. herbin 1670 cyprus caroube

As always, I'll let the pictures do the talking but look at that shimmer!

1 Aug 2018

introducing.... designed by foyles hardback notebooks

Foyles is a British brand I really respect and when I was given the chance to feature a few of their notebooks, I jumped at the chance. Foyles in Charing Cross is a store I can honestly spend hours in and not get bored. Today, we're going to take a look at a couple of notebooks that are 'designed by Foyles'.  One of the draws of these notebooks are the fact they are made in Britain.

They come in several designs and the ones featured here are a mint offering and a navy version. The hardback means they can be subjected to a bit more rough handling before they show some wear and tear. You can see that the bottom right corner already looks a bit battered but it's nice for notebooks to show some proof of being well used.

Each notebook has 224 pages of 100gsm uncoated ivory paper. They are fairly weighty but all of these features point towards them making a great gift for someone into stationery or something a bit more luxurious. They also come with a page marker through the form of a coloured ribbon.

I decided to trial out the paper with two fountain pens:

- a Pelikan M400 Souverän in an Extra Fine nib, inked with Pure Pens' Cwm Idwal ink (a new favourite!)
- Sailor Fasciner in Fine, inked with Diamine Denim

The Pelikan, though an extra fine, writes fairly broadly and you can see a moderate amount of show through to the other side of the page. There was a small amount of feathering too. I think this is all due to the fact the paper is uncoated so the ink is absorbed quickly by the paper.

Overall, these notebooks are good for someone who likes a bit of luxury and who perhaps does not use fountain pen very often. They are very well designed and would make lovely journals. Just imagine them filled and sat on the bookshelf.

NB: This pen and the inks were sent by Foyles in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the company or anyone else.