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!

17 Jul 2019

book reviews: medical/science (feat. Adam Kay, Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell, Henry Marsh and Nigel McCrery)

Continuing the themed book reviews I'm intent on doing, this month, it's medical/science books. There are two types of non-fiction I absolutely adore reading: funny books and geeky books about medicine and forensics. The first one fits into both categories while the other three a bit more nerdy! So here we go!

This is Going to Hurt - Adam Kay

A colleague recommended this book to me so I knew I had to give it a good read. Spoiler alert: I was absolutely not disappointed by it.

It's a funny read from the beginning with an extremely sad ending. For anyone who is a junior doctor, the angst Adam Kay goes through is something we've all experienced. From feeling out of our depth to not being able to do our job justice due to work and time pressures all the way to losing patients we genuinely warmed to. At points, it hit a bit too close to home. The fact he manages to create humour from it is testament to him. Comedy's gain is the NHS' loss.

And for those not in medicine? It makes a light-hearted read (until you get to the end) and it will leave you wanting more. Parts of it have been embellished I'm sure, but the overall theme is one all junior doctors will experience nearly every day. 9/10

Silent Witnesses - Nigel McCrery

This forensics book is very different to many others I've read. Instead of centering itself around cases, it goes through each of the major technologies used in forensics, how they evolved and how they have helped solve cases throughout history. It's a different set-up and I actually really enjoyed it. It had the potential to be boring with a structure like that but it actually worked really well! 8/10

Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies and the Making of a Medical Examiner - Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell

As humans, we're all naturally curious (some more than others!) and we all have a dark side. This book brought those two traits of mine together. Judy does a good job of giving a bit of background to her patients and the processes used to come to a conclusion. I found parts of it heartbreaking - the chapter around 9/11 was a particularly difficult read. The fact that she knew her job would be ridiculously busy in the aftermath and knowing that all of the victims had to be identified with their families informed broke my heart a little. I found her job fascinating though - not a career I'm considering but can definitely see why it could appeal. 8/10

Admissions: Life As a Brain Surgeon - Henry Marsh

Having read Mr Marsh's first offering of Do No Harm, I knew I would eventually get round to reading his second book. It's a different one compared to his first. He talks more about Nepal and the work he's done overseas and there is an edge of frustrating to a few of the chapters. It's definitely not a light-hearted read but I wouldn't call it a heavy one either.

Mr Marsh practised at my medical school's hospital and knowing the area pretty well, I could actually picture parts of his book in my head quite vividly! He writes very well and is very engaging when it comes to telling stories from his own life as well as the story behind some of his patients too. 8/10

** all book covers from Amazon.co.uk **