I’ve been quiet for much of this festive period, but I would like to wish every one a Happy New Year for this evening (or if you are in Oceania, the evening just ending).

2022 was an interesting year for me. For those unaware, I lost my job back in August 2021, just after 100% furlough was stopped in the UK, however I have been in the fortunate position that early this year I was able to declare myself early retired, at just 53. Now truth be told I was bored of IT and saving to retire when I was between 55 and 60, so just a little earlier than planned. In theory this means no more sudden splurges on pens. My days of attending a pen show and splashing out without having to think about things are gone, except last October, and maybe also last March. I need to learn to behave.

I am not sure what my favourite pen purchase of the year has been. Possibly the Sailor King of Pen Sunset over the Ocean from the October London Pen Show, possibly the Onoto Scholar from the Spring one. Certainly the latter is a great entry point in to Onoto and a pen I thoroughly recommend if you are happy to spend just shy of £200 on pen with a steel nib. It was only after thinking what fountain pens I have bought in 2022 that I realised both are in my daily carry set I take with me to my voluntary work.

I have actually repaired a few more pens. OK I have sat on a pair I bought for a fiver back in August until just a few days back, but then repairing (new sac) a friend’s Mabie Todd Swan Leverless (circa ~1935) was the excuse I needed. It is the pen on the right, the one in the middle being a Conway Stewart No 12 (late 1950s) and the one on the left being unknown. If anyone recognises what it is please let me know in the comments below. The only marking are Wing-Flo USA on the nib and Commonwealth Made on the barrel.

Hopefully I shall continue to regularly attend the Southern England Pen Club, and do recommend trying a similar sort of social group if there is one in your area. If it does not work for you then it is normally just one afternoon or evening lost, but it can be a great way to descend further down the fountain pen rabbit hole.

So my future plans. I aim to get back to one post per week, on Fridays, and to carry on with the Wednesday ink reviews, though at present not regularly. Pen purchase wise, I am not sure. There are a couple of pens I might be tempted by, but are now no longer made, so second hand, but you never know what inspiration I may encounter. I also plan of trimming my collection. I think I have identified around 40 pens I no longer use and either will not miss, else have other pens in the same range. Perhaps I might try hiring a table at the Spring 2023 London Pen Show.

That’s it for now, so here’s for a better year in 2023, particularly considering the various events going on round the world.