Let There Be Light!

There have been less posts this last week or two. Mea culpa, but I plead in mitigation that life has been thoroughly hectic and every little niggling thing that takes forever to fix went wrong in that time. While I’m doing the sackcloth and ashes bit, you may have noticed that the standard of my photos has dropped from the just-about-acceptable to the frankly awful. Wherever it’s possible I use daylight, because it gives the truest image. Trouble is, here in the Northern Highlands daylight can be a scarce commodity for a few months either side of the autumnal equinox, and this year especially the cloud cover has come down like the lid on a shoe box. I did have a light-box but it was a pain to set up, and the best my – perhaps economical – lamps could emit was a weak and sickly light. So, weary with hunting for light I went out and bought some.

‘Twas pricey but it’s the bee’s knees. It gives me an adequacy, nay, an overabundance of light. Clearly, I’ll have to make some adjustments to my camera-wrangling technique to allow for that and there will be a period of learning but it’s a relief to know that I can take photos now whenever I want, and not have to wait for a brief break in the Cloud Cover of Doom that we’ve suffered all winter. By the way, those dishes on the floor belong to the cat. Best to leave them alone. She’s a Very Big Cat with a personality defect. We mostly let her have her own way.

I tried the new set-up on this handsome marbled plum/black Conway Stewart 55 and its Duro nib. The 55 and to some degree its smaller cousin the 388 seem to be pens in transition, different from their predecessors but having not yet made the decisive jump that was to come, to the baguette-shaped pens of the late forties and fifties. The 55 is less streamlined than its predecessor the 45, making it appear shorter and quite chunky, though actually they are the same length and diameter. It’s a pen designed to impress, and it does. The narrow/medium/narrow cap bands signal that this is an expensive pen, and if you don’t get the message, the big Duro nib is there to emphasise it


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