July 28th, 2012

career

The parable of the fountain pen


2012_07_28
Originally uploaded by nice_cup_of_tea
I am by instinct and by genetics a hoarder (thanks to the Channer side of the family!) and work hard to reduce the stuff that I hang onto. I have had this lovely Waterman fountain pen in my desk for about 20 years and each time I have done a clear out, I have tested it and been disappointed that it didn't work, but still been unable to get rid of it. I think it was my godmother's pen. I always felt that it would write well and it felt wrong to give up on something so old and of original quality.

In January, a stationary shop in Zurich gave me the address of an independant pen repairer. I spoke to the owner and sent the pen, without much real hope of it being repaired. And then completely forgot about it.

On Friday, I had to pick up a registered letter from the post office and worried that it was from our rental agency (long fight about our flat, different post!). I opened the package and there was my pen! Beautifully restored and repaired. And it writes smoothly and wonderfully.

I love pleasant surprises. I love the swiss way of underpromising and overdelivering. I love the fact that I was able to repair on old pen that belonged to someone I loved and that I can continue to use. And I love the fact that it still sometimes makes sense to hold onto something and get it repaired!
londonbigben

Sal hits the big 40!

This update is a bit late, given that we went to London to celebrate with Sal in mid may, but hey, this is my blog and I'll post when I want to :-)

top row: Jay and Amit, Patrick with Sal, the four of us at the zoo!
middle row: Mags, Mano and the boys, Alan with Markus and Ish, Amit with Patrick
bottom row: On the underground, birthday cake, the three witches
mosaic

We had a wonderful weekend - arrived Friday daytime. Met other friends for lunch on Saturday. Mags and Mano arrived from Brussels and we all enjoyed a catered meal at the house on Saturday evening, which was handy, as it meant we didn't need babysitters.

The main event was a party for friends and family on Sunday at London Zoo - there was a lovely function room with outside private courtyard and garden. The weather was beautiful - the only nice weekend so far that summer. The food and service was perfect, all the kids had room to play in the garden. Some of the kids ended up in the tree. I particularly appreciated the fact that Mags and Mano took care of Markus and Patrick for a bit, so that I could enjoy my lunch in peace!

More photos here