TWSBI Eco

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In the last few months I have reviewed a couple of different TWSBI pens and have been critical of both, so the question is with the Eco will it be three for three. Certainly at its launch the Eco raised a few eye brows. The 580 was considered to be a low cost entry into the piston filler world, yet here was a pen for considerably less. Critics were quick to point out the reputation TWSBI were still trying to shed for pens cracking and also that the section and barrel were one piece, making it harder to clean. The fact that you were still supplied with a spanner and silicon oil along with dismantling/cleaning instructions seemed to be overlooked, never mine most other manufacturers would cry foul and invalidate your warranty if they found you’d taken their product apart.

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TWSBI Vac 700R Iris

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TWSBI jumped on the special and limited editions band wagon quite a while back, particularly with the ECO and the 580 AL models, with the latter being hit by a slight price increase. 2020 had seen successful versions of those, with the Prussian Blue 580 AL being particularly well received, but in all cases it was still safe playing of a known formula so more than a few people may have been surprised when rumours of a limited edition 700R crept out. After all, while being the most expensive pen in their range (though still sub £80), it never quite generated the excitement of the others being more for those who wanted a vacuum filler but without the costs of a Pilot Heritage 823 (if available in your country) or the even higher cost of a Visconti. Certainly the initial artistic Instagram leaks garnered interest, however I doubt anyone realised just how quickly this pen would sell out when launched. A second batch was made and release within just a few weeks and I’ve still not seen or heard any confirmation this had been planned in advance. It appears that comparatively minor cosmetic alterations potentially changed the ugly duckling of the TWSBI range to a glorious white swan.

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John Twiss Thuya Burl Revisited

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I was looking at my pens last week and saw one I had not used for a while, a John Twiss creation made from Thuya Burl wood. It looks good and a lot of attention was made to bringing out its character and beauty. It has been an enjoyable week using the pen and I had created an nice review piece for it, though in true blogging fashion, felt the article was missing something. Photos were taken and about to be processed to find I already had photos …. from the previous time I had covered it … ‘doh !’ I believe is a suitable term. Still it’s a great excuse to show off the new photos of this beautiful pen.

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Perfect Pancakes

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I think close friends will always have been surprised that a foodie and gastronaught such as myself would avoid discussing restaurants, recipes, food history, and cooking techniques on this blog, however with it being Pancake Day in the UK I thought I would publish my recipe for pancakes and how I cook them. In reality they are simple to make and this recipe is closely based on one published in the Good Housekeeping’s My First Cook Book.

Note this is for traditional thin crepe/pancakes, not the thicker US style butter milk based ones.

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Schon DSGN Pocket6

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As with every collecting based hobby there fads in the fountain pen world, many accidental and most to the surprise of the creator. Such was the situation a year and a half back when Ian Schon launched a machined pocket pen based around a size 6 nib. Selling online and at pen shows his new range attracted the attention of a number of ‘penablers’ who brought the Pocket6 to the fore. By early 2020 this became a must have pen. The fact that online reviewers still use their Pocket6 pens and more than a few have bought additional does infer it is a good writing implement, question is do I get on with the pen and what are my personal views.

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[PfMP] Parker IM

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Been a few months coming, the final part of my Pens from My Past series where I cover the fountain pens that led up to my purchase of the TWSBI Diamond 580 and my entry/re-entry in to the fountain pen hobby. After all this was the one that could have completely moved me away from fountain pens but instead resulted in my looking for better alternatives.

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Constellations88 The Elements Moranges

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Oranges, tangerines, satsumas, clementines, all bring forth memories of the sun and summer, yet at the same time also trigger feelings of warmth at the height of winter, and orange crush resins are certainly the right sort of material bring a smile when it is raining outside. However, who would have thought this pen would cross seasons with it being ordered early spring and not arriving until early autumn, but then at the time who would have known based on previous experiences just how wide spread and heavily the COVID-19 virus would hit the world. Such was 2020.

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New Pens To Me 2020

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As the old Chinese curse goes, “May you live in interesting times”, and for 2020 this has been true for most of us. Personally my family has not been hit (so far) by Covid and those friends of mine who’ve caught it have all recovered, however as previously mentioned here I did lose my father at the end of August, so not a great year. As a result I’ve split this article up in to four sections, and many of these pens will appear at pen clubs once life returns back to normality (or what ever is considered the new normality).

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TWSBI Aurora

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TWSBI are almost at the same level as Lamy when it comes to special and limited editions, but normally this is just within their existing range, however early March 2019 they leaked images of a new pen on their Instagram feed. A new pen, based on the 580, but with a different shape and size. Under a week later is was available on the TWSBI’s own store (and only there), to be sold out within no time at all. No further batches were released.

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Dapprman’s 10 Main Inks

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I’m not really an ink collector yet I have managed to amass a few. Part of this was due to trying to find the ‘right’ inks for me before I discovered that in the UK The Writing Desk sold samples (Pure/Niche/Pelikan Pens also do so). It may also sound odd that this area of our hobby is not my scene to those who know me from pen clubs as I actually do enjoy swabbing inks and presently have three Coloring card decks on the go covering around 200 tests.

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