I’ve employed a wide variety of flashlights and penlights to peer into the barrel of pens in search of dislodged pressure bars and sacs that have turned to a particularly repulsive version of chewing gum. I haven’t been especially pleased with any of them, and about a month ago I went trawling the internet for something better.
I found that a whole new generation of flashlights had grown up while I was looking the other way, probably missing this event through lack of light. I picked out the Yaltec because it wasn’t too wildly expensive and the copy wasn’t as melodramatic as some of the others. Two of the things that were said are that it is “The Brightest Pocket Sized Torch in the UK “ and that it produces “1300 Lumens per square metre (at one metre) CREE XM-L U2 LED”. I confess I have no idea what the second boast means but the first one may well be true. It’s certainly BRIGHT! Scary bright, like if you shone it upon yourself it might drill right through you. Peering into fountain pen barrels has never been easier.
It uses those stocky little CR123A batteries, and though it’s not as demanding as I had anticipated, it does scamper through them quite quickly. However, you can get rechargeable ones, though you’d almost certainly have to buy yet another charger, as I did. I have chargers for two different types of camera batteries, a supposedly universal charger (hah!) and two other chargers for our ebooks. That’s not counting the dedicated chargers for hedge trimmers, screwdrivers and so on through an interminable list.
All that aside, though, my life has definitely become a little brighter. And when I sit in this room (which is north-facing and quite dim) staring hopelessly at all those Parker and Swan pens in very, very dark blues and greens and reds which look black in any but the strongest light, I only have to flick the switch on my Yaltec and all is revealed. Oh, the sense of power!