My Workplace

To quote, “this is where the magic happens”. Yes, this is my desk, where I do most of my blogging, writing, college work, fictional writing, poetry and the like. It’s not in a study, it’s in a corner of my bedroom. Laptop, notebooks, alarm and other clutter are all there. Of course, you can see my little set of pens on the keyboard slider under my desk.


There are a couple of pens missing in the photo but hey, no matter really! It isn’t a secret shrine to Bob Marley either.. I promise! It may seem like it though. In that drawer I keep my ink bottles, the notebook in which I write my poetry, ink cartridges, some syringes and pipettes and other clutter!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Now it’s your turn! Show me what your desks and workplaces look like! If you add a link to this post anywhere in your blog, I’ll get a little pingback to your post and I’ll check it out! Alternatively, comment with a link. Lay your secrets bare and show your workspaces, whether at home or at the office. Remember – be proud of your messy desk!


Vintage Pens!

For Christmas this year, I was lucky to receive a few items relating to pen and ink. If you’re interested, the sum total of such items was:

Mabie Todd Swan 200/60
Noodler’s Konrad Flex Pen
Diamine Sepia
Noodler’s X-Feather Black
Rhodia Webnotebook Pocket Notebook
Moleskine Limited Edition ‘The Hobbit’ Pocket Notebook

It is, however, the first item I am interested in talking to you about today. The Swan pen is a vintage pen of the Mabie Todd & Co (MT&C) pen company. The company is gone now and are not producing any more, which is a shame. It dates to during the second world war, being c1940’s. It’s a lovely pen, and writes with a fine semi-flex nib, giving some line variation. The material is called ‘BCHR’ in the fountain pen community – Black Chased Hard Rubber. Here are some pictures:






The Inscription


The Nib


Size Comparison With Pelikan M200

As you can see, it’s a very pretty pen (in my humble opinion anyway). I haven’t had a flex nibbed pen before now (it’s my first), due to the fact that very few are produced nowadays. I thought I might have difficulty using it, as some nibs require a very light hand to work with. However, this one isn’t too flexible and I can write with ease. the quality of the nib is astounding, especially considering that it’s at least 70 years old. The pen is also a lever filler, which I have not had before. Suffice to say, it works perfectly. I’m very happy with this pen. It has opened up my eyes to a whole area of pens I’ve barely considered before now. Let’s just say that I’m on the vintage market too, now. If you’re interested, this pen cost £80 on fleaBay. However, I highly expect you can get the same quality for half the price if you’re patient (I just went in for the kill on the Christmas rush).

Lastly, here’s a writing sample for your pleasure. The ink is Diamine Midnight.


PS: Has my handwriting improved from here?

Oblivion (Anthony Horowitz) Book Review

First of all, my excuses. This is, as you may remember, the book I have bought my brother for Christmas. The thing is, the damned boy went and borrowed it from the school library, We’ve already dissuaded him from buying it in shops on the count that it’ll be cheaper when it comes out in paperback. Well, when he’s borrowed it free you can’t use that one. He actually asked me whether I’d like to read it or not, as he doesn’t have to give it back until January. I haven’t touched the copy I bought for my brother, so I didn’t really read his book. Therefore, I haven’t gone back on what I said about not reading it before he (he read the borrowed one first, too). Pat Blair – please don’t take that gold star away!

Oblivion is the last book in the Power of Five ‘quadrilogy’, and it’s a hefty book. Over twice the size of Necropolis, and probably three times the size of the first two books. This is a good thing, as it lasted me a bit longer and allowed me to get really stuck into the book. I haven’t hand a big long book to get into recently, and whilst I probably should have left it for the Christmas break I still appreciated it. Anybody that enjoys Horowitz and/or thee Power of Five books should be getting excited now, as it’s a real pleasure to read and get into.
Continue reading

The Saga of Larten Crepsley (Darren Shan) Series

The Saga of Larten Crepsley is an offshoot from the Saga of Darren Shan, Shan’s longest series of novels. There are four short novels in the Saga, adding to the current twelve. In fact, all of Shan’s novels are fairly short, and these are only slightly shorter than he normally writes; so if you’re a fan you probably won’t mind. Anyway, I think that they are a worth addition to the saga(s) and I’m glad I read them. Here we go.

The saga (in saying this I refer to Crepsley’s, not Darren’s) is the story of Larten Crepsley’s history; how he became a vampire and rose through the ranks to become a general and so on. It does also tie in with the SODS (Saga of Darren Shan) and the war of the scars (vampires vs vampaneze). There’s also a bit of Larten’s romantic side, what with humans and with the gorgeous Arra Sails. This won’t be lacking in Desmond Tiny either.. Continue reading

Notes on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Well yesterday I saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie today. I’m not sure what I thought about it really. It could have been ‘better’ but it could have been far far worse. This isn’t a review, but more a collaboration of my thoughts and feelings. Continue reading

The Last Legion (Valerio V. Manfredi) Book Review

It’s been about a week since I wrote my last book review (or post on this blog, for that matter), which I feel fairly guilty about. Yes, I’ve got work mounting up, but it’s all too easy to use that as an excuse. Therefore, I am imposing a two-post-a-week rule upon my reviews. Hopefully this will push me back into the swing of things.

The Last Legion is a book I picked up on impulse whilst on holiday when we were in the supermarket. I’d never heard of the author, Manfredi, and neither have I since. However, it caught my eye and I don’t bias against unknown authors – everybody’s got to start somewhere. Apparently it’s a ‘major motion picture’ too. I’ve never seen it.

The Last Legion (TLL) is the story of a legion of Romans, the ‘last’ legion. Their mission is to escort the young emperor of Rome to safety through the amassed barbarian whom are taking over the land. The emperor first must be saved from their clutches though, and they must assault the guarded place in which he is kept along with his tutor. Upon being rescued – albeit closely – he is in possession of a valuable and mythical item; ‘The Calibian Sword of Julius Caesar’. As they fly towards Britain, the plot finishes in a brilliant twist that links in with the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Continue reading