1 Jul 2020

dreaming of better days through my travel journal

During lockdown, I was meant to be on holiday for a few weeks, traveling Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Obviously, this never happened. But if it had, it would all have been planned in this notebook. This notebook has been with me to a number of places already and my hope is to fill it before long.


My most recent holiday was a long weekend in Lisbon back in October. It was a reward for passing an exam and it was also nice to get out of the country for a bit!

Planning the trip, I always start by noting a rough guide for each day. Sometimes things change depending on my mood which is fine - but I do like to have a skeleton plan for every holiday I take. I'm not the type to fly somewhere spontaneously and just make plans on the day. Maybe that will change one day!

The next bit is an outfit plan so that I know what to pack. And then comes the packing list. This helps to ensure I don't leave any essentials behind here in the UK and also helps for when I pack to come home (to ensure nothing gets left there too!).


I then write a brief list of things I want to see. I work with a some lovely Portuguese nurses who were amazing in giving me a list of 'must-see' attractions. I went to every single one of their recommendations!


Every night, I wrote a journal entry detailing the events of that day and also what I ate (very important information). I don't usually travel with a fountain pen just in case they leak. Therefore, a Muji gel pen accompanied me on this trip.


In the top right corner, you'll see that there is a circular sticker I have folded in half in line with the page. This is a marker for the end of that 'chapter' of the notebook and the beginning of another trip.

I'm not sure where and when my next trip will be but it'll definitely be planned in this notebook. Australia is on my bucket list so that is a possibility if I can get a stretch of annual leave long enough to make the most of a trip there. Fingers crossed!

10 Jun 2020

pretty things: Leuchtturm 1917 A5 notebooks in bellini, powder and sage!

As mentioned in my previous post, I do like pretty things. So when I saw that these Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks were available for purchase.... Well.... You can pretty much guess what happened.

These are destined to be my future journals and over the last few months, my journaling habits have changed. I now write in my journal most days - it's good for a brain dump, helps my mental health and ensures I get a restful sleep most nights. Doing this enables me to write about the good things that have happened, the things that have irked me or have resulted in negative thoughts and also the random nuances of my day that I will read about in the future and (hopefully) have a chuckle about. 

The only question is... In which order do I use these beauties?!

20 May 2020

the twsbi eco rose gold in an extra fiiiiiine nib

Those of you who know me will know that I like a pretty fountain pen (or two....hundred... kidding, kinda). So when TWSBI announced that this year would be a rose gold year, I knew I wanted in on the action. The first rose gold offering is this Eco. The previous rose gold fountain pen TWSBI made had anything but raving reviews - the plating was allegedly of a poor quality and some buyers were left disappointed. However, they have assured customers that they have worked on this and the rose gold releases from this year will hopefully not be plagued with the same problems.

Anyway, here is the pen! I already have an Eco and know of its many benefits: the huuuuuuuge ink capacity, the demonstrator design so that you can see exactly how much ink is left, how lightweight it is in hand and its simplistic design.


One difference about the other Ecos and this one is the packaging. It came with this lovely cardboard sleeve which has the TWSBI logo in a rose gold hue. To me, this sleeve just looks that bit more elegant. The frosted plastic box is the same as always.


The rose gold accents complement the white elements beautifully.... If you like rose gold that is (I know it's not everyone's cup of tea!). The first ink I chose for mine? J. Herbin's Rouille d'Ancre. I love this ink but haven't had much opportunity to use it as work calls for a darker ink.


This is a beauty of a pen and it'll be a regular in my 'constantly inked' arsenal of pens. It currently has Robert Oster's Tranquility in it (an aptly named ink for the current times) but once that runs dry, who knows what I opt for next? All I know is, it will most definitely be inked.

30 Apr 2020

throwback thursday: medschool notes on psychiatry

Whilst doing a massive spring clean and clear-out of my flat, I found these notes I made on a psychiatry placement. These must date back to 2015! I think the pen used was a Pilot Kakuno (fine nib of course) and Diamine Prussian Blue as the ink. The ink seems to have faded a bit (despite not being in direct sunlight) and has turned into dark grey which is quite easy on the eye! The darker blue in the latter is Diamine Denim or Blue-Black - I can't quite remember!

For those of you still holding onto your university notes, what do you do with them? There is probably little to no need for me to keep them but they do look too nice to just throw into the recycling bin!

8 Apr 2020

(can we have some) robert oster tranquility fountain pen ink

Having neglected this blog for a while (I like to think of it more as a hiatus!), there felt like no time but the present to present this ink called Tranquility by Robert Oster. I've had a sample of this for a while and what better time to crack it out then 1) during annual leave and 2) during times of chaos. 

A few weeks' ago, I was surrounded by the C-word. Work, family, friends, on Twitter - everyone was talking about it and it was everywhere. As a result, I decided to try and switch off as much as possible. We get one daily email from work about it - so that is the only thing I actively seek out to keep up to date. My mind was fast burning out and by almost burying my head in the sand, it actually helped my mental health. 

For those of you who know me well, a few of the ways I use to switch off is through fountain pens, paper (through journaling and books) and sport. And today's post is about a fountain pen ink!

At work, I usually stick to a dark blue ink but I do think I could get away with inks like this one. Someone once told me that it didn't really matter what colour we used, it just had to be legible once photocopied or scanned. Not sure how true this is but I do think dark browns, dark purples and dark greens could be used with little complaint (maybe I will give this theory a go when I feel braver). 

For now, this Robert Oster ink will remain as an annual leave ink!