Seen in the wild


Pencil beard vs Coronavirus 1

I didn’t realise there is something called a pencil beard / moustache, but it looks like it’s helping fight the Coronavirus.

Pencil beard (Image © NHS)

…well, not quite, but it is one of the beards the NHS (British healthcare systems) approves for use with a respirator.

This Sky News article has more information.


The images in this blog post have been taken from the Sky News article I linked to. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Fruit Sticker Album

I got to know Fruit Sticker Albums from pencil talk and thought of them as a curiosity. Turns out they are more main stream than I though: Yesterday they were in the news…

You can follow their Twitter account at https://twitter.com/StickersofFruit.


No 10 4

A few days ago the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, reshuffled his cabinet. This kind of event is one of those rather rare occasions when you can see the government’s nice pen trays in the news.

I first noticed these pen trays when I watched the original House of Cards TV series from 1990. This led me to looking into this and I found out that the real life pen trays are very similar.

Have a look at Tony Blair’s cabinet table in 2001.

Blair's cabinet table in 2001. Picture © Getty
Blair’s cabinet table in 2001. Picture © Getty

The highest resolution photo of the cabinet table I could find was from the Jewish Chronicle. Below is a magnification of the pen trays. The pencils look similar to the Shaws pencils used for voting in the UK. By the way, the Lamy Al-Star (or is it a Safari?) is not Theresa May’s but Hilda Worth’s.

The pen trays under Theresa May. Picture © The Jewish Chronicle

If you want to see more of these pen trays, here they are…
under Boris Johnson
under David Cameron
under Tony Blair


The images in this blog post have been taken from the sources acknowledged under the images. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Old 3

This is the book our son got from his school yesterday. Every day the children get a different book to read as homework.

A record player, a dip pen, an ink bottle and a typewriter

Here are two items I keep on my desk at work.

Here’s another thing I keep in my office.