The Fountain Pen


We bought two wall units from the charity shop.

It wasn’t because we were trying to be frivolous. We have more than four hundred books among us, and only had one wobbly bookshelf which could break apart in any moment. Buying more shelving units to store our books was a necessity. But they were beautiful wall units and we love seeing them there. It’s one step closer to our dream of building our home library.

Oh yeah. One day.

But we needed to make space for those wall units. So we had an emergency summer purge last week. As usual, we ended up with a big bag of crap we could have thrown away ages ago, but lingered there collecting dust. We also ended up finding stuff that we thought we’ve lost, or something we even forgot ever having.

Mr. Fix-It came out from the spare room (the soon to be our library), smiling happy and looking smug, telling me that he got something for me. From his pocket he produced a pink-purple fountain pen.

“Oh!! You found my pen!!” I squealed.

“Oh! It was yours?” he was surprised.

I bought the pen when I was still studying few years ago. I saw one at WHS, and it was cheap. I thought it was really nice to have a fountain pen in my collection. I didn’t think it through, of course, what I was going to do with all my stuff if I had to leave this country for good. Maybe that’s the reason why it ended up in the pile of crap my husband was trying to purge.

“I couldn’t find the ink”, I said feeling a little bit upset. I wanted to give my pen a try. Hoping that it still works.

It took a while to rummage through my little box of possession. I have to say, I don’t have much of it any more. I would like to talk about it but probably not today… And the whole bag of ink cartridges wasn’t there.


We went to the city this weekend, and ended up buying another bag of ink cartridge for my fountain pen. Mt. Fix-It insisted that he’s going to pay for it. It was not too expensive so I let him.

The cartridge fits properly, and I had fun with it for a while — listening to the radio, and trying to write as fast as possible any words I could catch from the BBC radio 4 news. And suddenly I’ve got a flashback, and I remember my grandfather.

I haven’t had a thought of him for ages. I used to talk about him a lot when I talk about family. But it seems like it becomes less and less. It’s not because I found him less important now than before, but it’s because more and more happens, and more recent stuff sticks better to my memory bank. But the fountain pen triggers my memory about my grandfather.

My grandfather is a flamboyant man with a penchant of art, and music. One of his favourite thing to pass the time was copying interesting articles from the newspaper. Now you know why writing random words from the news reminded me of my grandfather.

His favourite pen was a silver fountain pen. Unlike my cheap fountain pen with disposable ink cartridge, my grandfather’s silver pen could be refilled. He gave it to me. I lost it after his death in 1996.

It feels bittersweet now that I remember him, but I am glad that I can still remember him. The best side of him. I even feel slightly proud knowing that there’s a part of him that stuck in me: a penchant of finer things in life — such as fountain pen.

Wow. I haven’t felt like this for ages, and suddenly have the torrent of emotion out in a writing form feels extremely good. I almost forget how it feels to be able to do this after being absent from blogging for some times. Hopefully I could do this more, because I think I do need this for the sake of my mental health. Tee hee.

Oh well.. Until next time.


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