I’ve had several pen rests over the years but they never seemed to be an essential piece of desk furniture for me. I have a two-pen version made of very hard wood and for years I used the hollowed-out depressions for straightening bent pen nibs. Instead my inked-up pens sat in a cup within easy reach.
However a change was about to happen. My friend James sent me a rather different pen rest, one drilled out to accept ink sample bottles. This is useful in two ways: you need somewhere to store those little containers which are not very stable; secondly they provide the ideal means to fill a pen from those bottles. If you’ve ever tried to fill a pen from one on the desk you’ll realise how precarious a business it is. With the container firmly held in the pen rest filling becomes so much easier and safer.
I have two of these pen rests and thereby hangs a tale. When James (in California) sent me the first pen rest a new employee in the post office copied the wrong address into the customs label – one in Austria! The package travelled on the correct address as far as Inverness ( a mere 120 miles from my home), then some genius read the customs label and sent it to Austria. The recipient in Austria took it back to the post office and pointed out the error. The package then disappeared into oblivion for a couple of months. Believing that it had gone forever James very kindly sent me another which arrived in short order. And two days later the first one arrived from Austria!
So now I have two and I can only use one. First person to correctly identify the above pen in a blog comment gets the pen rest – UK only, I’m afraid – blame Royal Mail prices.