Unseen Acadmicals (Terry Pratchett) Book Review

Hello all, and another book review! Back to Terry Pratchett, as I re-read Unseen Academicals recently. This was the first TP book I read, and what got me into the Discworld series. It’s great! I expect this will be a fairly short review, especially in comparison to the LOTR one.

Unseen Adademicals is the story of a Mister Nutt. Mister Nutt is a something, in that many people (including he) don’t know what that thing is. In UU, Mister Nutt attempts to achieve worth through working as a candle dribbler at the Unseen University. That is, until the wizards decide to get in on the troublesome game of foot-the-ball. Along with an unorthodox ally in the form of Trev, Mister Nutt comes into his own, and learns a thing or two along the way.
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Orcs (Stan Nicholls) Book Review

Stan Nicholls’ ‘Orcs’ is a book that definitely strums a different string to most other fantasy books. We have no knight in shining armour, nor silver elven lord. This book caught my eye in Waterstones (I do most of my shopping in brick and mortar stores, not online), and turned out to be a really good novel. I’d reccommend this to anybody looking for a good read.

Orcs is the story of the Wolverines, an Orc warband enslaved by an evil queen ‘Jennesta’. They are set against the Unis (humans whom worship one god), their master being a ‘Mani’ (worshiping many gods). The orcs also hate the humans for bringing advancement and technology to the land, and draining the magic of Maras Dantia (the world). Sent to retrieve an artifact, the Orcs are delayed and Jennesta believes herself betrayed, so she sends a second warband to pursue them. Under captain Stryke, the Wolverines decide they must garner four more of the artifact ‘stars’ to bargain their freedom. As their enemies mount up, things become a little more difficult, however. Captain Stryke is having strange dreams, though. Dreams that mean more than he realises.. Continue reading

Lamy Vista Review

Okay, I’ll put my hand up and say I purchased another pen last week; a Lamy Vista. However I managed to get it and a 5-pack of cartridges for about £12 due to some cards and discounts I had. Normally, the purchase would have cost me about £23.

The Lamy Vista is a model similar to the Safari of which I have heralded before, so here we go:

Design and Appearence – 8/10

The Lamy Vista is a Demonstrator (transparent) model, meaning you can see the innards of the pen. The design is basic and simplistic, but none the worse for it. I’m not a huge fan of the clip, which resembles a paperclip in my opinion, but it is functional and tense. I wouldn’t like to see it poking out of my top pocket (although I was using it in the Chemistry lab earlier this week, and I quite like it in my lab coat – it goes with the scientist look, see?)! The nib is only adorned with ‘M’, the size of the nib and ‘LAMY’. It is plain silver steel, and fits with the design and trims. It’s not hard on the eyes, but it isn’t a shocker. It’s got a durable look to it, and isn’t elegant like the Pelikan I own (pen brand.. not pet!). In fact, I do quite like it!


Construction and Quality – 8/10

The body of the pen is transparent ABS plastic like the Safari, so it’s tough stuff! Obviously, I haven’t had the pen long, but I can’t see this picking up scratches easily. The pen is solid, and not flexible. I can squeeze the inner rim of the plastic cap a little, but who would do that anyway? The nib looks and feels like it could take some abuse, which is a positive thing of course.The clip is pretty tense, so I don’t think it’ll lose it’s spring in a hurry. Pretty standard stuff really, this is a pen built to last.

Nib and Performance – 10/10

This is where the magic happens! I was genuinely and happily surprised with this nib. As said, the pen was £10, and the smoothness honestly rivals my £62 Pelikan M200 (not quite though). On the Rhodia 80g paper I used to write this review up, the Vista lays down a nice medium line, perhaps just edging towards the fine side. The nib starts every time, even having been left uncapped for at least five minutes, and hasn’t skipped at all so far. I’m really pleased with this.


Cost and Value – 7/10

In WHSmith’s, the pen sells for £16.99, but I got off a bit cheaper. The pen comes with the one blue ink cartridge, but you should buy some more at the time of purchase so as not to be caught short. Let it be knbown though, that this pen does NOT take standard, international cartridges. It takes specific Lamy carts, a Lamy converter. However, Monteverde do do their inks in ‘special’ Lamy Cartidges. I’m definitely pleased I bought the pen, although I’m sure more deliberation would have occurred at the original price.

Cleaning and Maintenance – 7/10

The pen is a cartridge filler, so cleaning is easy. Just flush through the nib with water every few fills or whenever you change colour, and Bob’s your Auntie! Maintenance is more ink dependent; an ink like Baystate Blue will need constant attention in any pen, but a non-saturated ink like the Lamy Blue will be no trouble at all. The Vista does pick up points for the fact that you can see the internal nib section, so you should be able to see any clogs. Unfortunately, the pen doesn’t come apart like a TWSBI does.


Overall and Conclusion – 47/60, 78%

Well, this is definately a lovely pen, and well suited to a busy everyday life. Rugged, easy fill and a good writer. Brilliant pen for the price, much like the aforementioned TWSBI pens. I think a good converter could make this pen a dream, unlocking the vice and price of using cartridges (the figures may differ with other brands, but Parker Quink Ink is approximately seven times cheaper by the bottle than in cartridges!). All of the scorings incorporate the price of the pen and so on – whilst this nib gets 10/10 for the price, it wouldn’t stand up to a Montblanc!

Changing or Improving Handwriting

Many people I know pronounce vehement vengeful hate to their handwriting. Okay, the majority of the time it is legible, acceptable and a lot better than mine! However, some people really should make the effort. Now, many people see it as impossible, as your adolescent handwriting is normally carried through your elder days. Not so! Whilst it can be very difficult, changing your handwriting is possible. Continue reading

A Poem!

Three posts today, I know, I’m sorry!

I just finished writing out this poem in my first shoddy attempt at ‘Bilbo Hand’, which can be found here, and is the writing style of Bilbo (and Frodo) in the Lord of the Rings films. As it is, this took me ages to write, but I hope to become more fluent!

The poem is based off of Bilbo’s poem in Rivendell, Book 1, Chapter 3. I hope you enjoy it.

No, the font doesn’t incorporate capitals.

Unfinished Tales (J.R.R. Tolkien) Book Review

Tolkien’s ‘Unfinished Tales’ is not a story in itself, but a collection of tales that relate to stories in The Lord of the Rings universe, which Tolkien has added to. Some are not ‘unfinished’, but more explanations, or even a ‘prequel’ style story. In this way, I cannot write this review as I normally would, as the book does not follow a single coherent plot, nor follow the deeds of one group of characters. Continue reading

Diamine Meadow ‘Review’

Finally, last but not least; Diamine Meadow. This is another green, similar but darker than Apple Glory. A bit easier on the eyes, in my opinion! I happen to prefer apple glory though. I think I’m going to be using this ink in my Christmas cards this year. It isn’t fir-tree green, but it’s closer than Apple Glory. Then again I could use Poppy Red, in relation to Santa’s jacket? I’ll make a poll, eh? It’s at the bottom of the post.

Use the ‘other answer’ to suggest a different colour entirely. I hope you enjoyed all of these colours, and I may post more when I receive more!