The joy of anticipation

For an average guy with a kid and a mortgage, I’ve managed to accrue some pretty lovely stuff.

A quick look at my pen Block and you’ll see a Pelikan M1000 and M805, Lamy 2000, Pilot 912, Sailor Pro Gear, Franklin Christoph Pocket 66 in the sought-after antique glass. And a fair few others. Look to the right and you’ll see a lifetime’s worth of ink.

Any sane person would say hey, I’ve got it pretty good. If all the pen stores burned down tomorrow I’m already set for life.

But I — and countless other pen fiends — keep ordering more stuff. There’s even a term for it: NPD, or new pen day. These far-too-frequent packages aren’t necessarily in the pursuit of perfection or completing a collection or getting the latest limited edition.

Instead it’s at least partly the simple joy of trying something new, that Christmas-day feeling of unboxing — and the excitement of anticipation. Will it come today? Was that the postman at the door?

Right now I’m waiting for the TWSBI Eco in Turquoise from the lovely people at Cult Pens. My clear Eco is a survivor in my collection, despite being cheap and odd-looking. The Turquoise cap is calling to me and what the hell, I’ll get it in a broad nib this time.

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You can get 15 of these for the price of a single Pelikan M1000. Great, I’ll take the lot. (Photo: Cult Pens)

And into the basket I put two other Monteverde Gemstone inks after liking Fire Opal so much. I picked Olivine, a khaki green colour, and Charoite, a purple that reminds me of Private Reserve Tanzanite (although hopefully better behaved). I need more ink like I need a hole in the head — I have at least half a dozen bottles that I’ve not used at all yet, and probably the same again that have only seen a single fill. But hey, gotta keep trying that new stuff, right?

This is not another one of those posts where I wring my hands and bemoan my materialism. I’m genuinely excited to try all that stuff out.

I read once that people get more enjoyment out of a holiday when they book it a long way in advance. It’s the anticipation that we enjoy even more than being there.

Maybe that’s one reason why I can’t stop backing stuff on Kickstarter. My current active projects include a square, flat water bottle ideal for your briefcase, an awesome brass flashlight replica of the ones taken on the Apollo space missions, and a mini three-string guitar by Loog intended for my daughter. Oh, and the Tomoe River Hippo notebook. Because I definitely need another notebook, right?

Of course, I’ve also backed the latest pen from UK-based Namisu, the Ixion. With its faceted barrel and contrasting section, I reckon it’ll be a real looker and comfortable and practical, too.

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Now that’s a handsome pen. (Photo: Namisu)

The great thing about Kickstarter projects is that you get all the anticipation of getting a new product, but for much longer than the 24-hour period you get after clicking “buy” at Amazon or Bureau Direct — curse them for their efficiency. Instant gratification is a wonderful thing, but (to a point) I quite like the uncertainty of when my Kickstarter pledges might arrive.

And, if these projects are delayed, as they often are… I’ve got plenty of other pens I could be using in the meantime, right?

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