Review: Sense and Sensibility: Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility: Sense and SensibilitySense and Sensibility: Sense and Sensibility by Nancy Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Review: 54

5454 by Wu Ming
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great fun with multiple storylines that overlap against the backdrop of Cold War intrigue, pulp crime, and the political disillusionment of the Italian working class. The scenes in the Bar Aurora are especially wonderful. Frequent changes of location, perspective and the large cast of characters are a bit confusing initially, but don’t let that deter you. Other perks – short chapters, which are nice for those who read on public transport. And it’s available free for download on the authors’ website – unbeatable value! 😀

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UK Maxima Duofold, OB nib, circa 1958

This UK Parker Maxima Duofold (referred to earlier here) is well-travelled. From the UK it’d made its way to Sofia, Bulgaria, from where it was sold to me on eBay decades after it’d left Newhaven. At some point the pen suffered heavy brassing and a nasty drop – the tip of the nib was crumpled. So from Sofia to Singapore, then to the DC Supershow this year, where Richard Binder worked his magic. I was astonished to discover that the nib was an Oblique Broad. Usually I don’t enjoy using obliques but this one is a pleasant exception, again thanks to Binder.

The stiff Arrow nib harks back to the Vacumatic, while the aerometric filler and external design are inspired by the “51”.

The UK Duofolds are not particularly exciting pens — they were made only in black, blue, green and red plastics — but I like the Maxima’s size and commensurately large 14K nib. Moreover, this one’s colour is very close to British Racing Green. Apt, I think.

From top to bottom: a UK-made “51” Signet (circa. 1956), a Parker “Big Red” Duofold (1926) and the Maxima. Come to think of it Binder’s worked on all of them.

Waterman 54, mottled red hard rubber

Recently worked on a very attractive mottled RHR Waterman 54 for a fellow Singapore Fountain Pen Meetup attendee. Slightly faded but very nice color, minimal brassing on furniture, clean all over and with a sharp imprint.

The owner needed the nib and feed reset and the pen resacced.

Resetting nib and feed was straightforward, but it took much longer to get what remained of the old sac out. It had dissolved into lumps of extremely sticky goo (see left).

The Pen Sac Company’s catalogue indicates a size 17 sac, but this is an odd size and not commonly available. I discovered earlier that a size 16 sac fits just as well and I had them on hand. A bit of shellac, and the pen’s ready to write again 🙂