Lovely analog stuff 2

New Street in Lancaster

It must have been at least ten years since I’ve last been to Lancaster. I’m glad we went today to have a look at the Lancaster Festa Italia. The city centre was full of stalls, offering Italian food, drinks and more.

analop shop

On our walk through the different streets, just after the super car section where all the Ferraris were on display, we got lucky found a little stationery store that just opened a week ago: analog shop


The shop is run by Melanie and Sherry. They were very friendly and also insisted that every customer who enters should sanitise their hands.

Melanie, one of the owners

Next to the exotic smelling hand sanitiser was even was a box with face masks, presumable for customers who would like one, but didn’t bring their own. It’s great to see that this is one of a small number of shops that cares for the safety of their customers [1]Compared to other countries with much lower infection rates there isn’t much hand sanitising and face mask wearing going on here in the UK anymore.

On display was a great selection of the kind of stationery you don’t usually find in the UK high street chains: lots of Kaweco, Lamy, Rhodia (always the nice stuff from their range of course) but also smaller brands, like ANDSONS, a leather manufacturer from Rehau in Franconia.

Find the ANDSONS…

I walked away with a new £36 ANDSONS pen roll made from felt and leather.

The shop keepers told me that in another week the selection of stationery on offer will have grown even further.

ANDSONS pen roll

I’m not sure when I’ll get to go to Lancaster again, but I’ll make sure I’ll visit analog shop again.

ANDSONS pen roll


1Compared to other countries with much lower infection rates there isn’t much hand sanitising and face mask wearing going on here in the UK anymore

Lego, Uni and …Sean

In the last few weeks I came across a few interesting items I want to share with you.


Lego’s mechanical pencil, the one that looks uncomfortable to hold, has been discontinued. Some shops still stock it, though. If you want one you better hurry. I was able to resist (so far).

Image © Lego


(you might have seen this one on the Bleistift Twitter feed)

Uni Mitsubishi’s Emott series will see the addition of 0.9 mm Emott pencils on 24 September 2021. Three different ‘colour groups’ (refresh, tropical and nostalgic) will be availble at launch. To me these mechanical pencils feel a bit like a modern day version of Faber-Castell’s Colormatics.

The Fineliner pens from the Emott series have been available in the West for some time now. I hope the mechanical pencils make it here, too.

Sean Malone

Cynic released a tribute song for Sean, our dear pencil friend who passed away far too soon.

You can find out more at Loudwire. Thanks to Stephen for letting me know about this.

The images of the Lego mechanical pencil has been taken from the Lego web site. I believe that the use of these images falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

CultPencil 4

My last CultPens order came with a special freebie that’s just to my taste: a ‘CultPencil’ – no they don’t call it CultPencil, I made that name up.

Smile clip (green) and CultPencil (blue yellow)

In recent years CultPens’ freebie has usually been a smile clip (10+ years ago goodies were often pens from Stabilo, Schneider and others), but for now and only while stocks last (and I believe stocks are very limited) CultPens is throwing this pencil in with every order.

I’ll show you the nice goods that led me to receive this surprise freebie another time. Today I just want to let you have a look at this beautiful pencil.

Despite looking very similar to an Impega / Lyreco pencil [1]The Lyreco HB pencil is the only wood cased pencil in my employers stationery cabinet, so I come across it regularly it is actually from from Staedtler’s promotional range.

At the end of the pencil one side spots the CultPens logo while the other side is labelled ‘This is a pencil’.

It is a nice writer, but it is still a promotional pencil, so don’t expect to see quite the same smooth writing experience as with a Mars Lumograph.

Staedtler is of course no stranger to the world of promotional pencils. I have a huge collection of their promotional pencils. Below is the CultPencil (top) with a small selection of promotional pencils (below the CultPencil) made by Staedtler in their British factory in Pontyclun. Notice how the Granada Studios Tour, a film studio tour in Manchester, is labelled for left-handers [2]which reminds me of Staedtler’s more recent left-handed stationery..

You can find out more about Pontyclun and Staedtler UK’s history in this 2011 blog post.

Thank you very much to Michael from CultPens for providing me with more information about the CultPencil.


1The Lyreco HB pencil is the only wood cased pencil in my employers stationery cabinet, so I come across it regularly
2which reminds me of Staedtler’s more recent left-handed stationery.

M 2

Last year one of the UK jewellery chains had a huge discount on some Montblanc items. This included the Montblanc M which could be had for less than 50% of the current recommended retail price. You will understand how difficult it was to resist.

The Montblanc M with the Universalpatrone – good use of the available space

The Montblanc M was designed by Mark Newson and is quite unusual for Montblanc standards. Not everyone is keen on the looks of this pen, but I love it. If you were to classify fountain pens by appearance then the M would be much closer to the Lamy dialog 3 than to your average Montblanc. Its most exotic feature is the cap which is magnetically aligned and held in place.

Unlike many other Montblanc pens which come with a converter the M not only doesn’t come with one, there’s also none available that officially fits. I successfully used the Cross Verve adapter in the past, but my Cross adapter is now back in the Verve.

I am now using what I call a Lamy/Pelikan cartridge. Probably 20 to 25 years ago these no-name cartridges got popular in parts of Europe. You could always get no-name Pelikan/standard cartridges [1]Pelikan has a big share of the market for school fountain pens., but with the popularity of the Lamy Safari being used in schools the ink cartridge manufacturers thought of putting a Pelikan compatible end on a Lamy compatible cartridge. Clever stuff and if you don’t mind refilling your cartridge with a syringe (I don’t mind) then it is just perfect for the Montblanc M’s body with the tapered end.

The Lamy end of the Universalpatrone

The only problem is that these cartridges don’t seem to be popular in either the UK, where I live or the USA, where nearly all the Bleistift Blog readers are based – as I wasn’t able to find these in online shops. I hope online shops in the UK and the USA will stock them in the future. In Germany, you can get them under the name “Universalpatrone” on eBay and Amazon for less than 10 cents per cartridge if you buy a bigger pack.

The standard/Pelikan end of the Universalpatrone

Proper reviews of the Montblanc M:

Pencilcase Blog

Gentleman Stationer

UK Fountain Pens

Gourmet Pens


1Pelikan has a big share of the market for school fountain pens.